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Are you an experienced social worker thinking of applying for a social care team leader or assistant team manager role? We've put together a handy checklist to confirm the skill set you'll need and help you improve your CV.

Many of the leadership qualities needed in social care are the same as in other industries. However, some are particularly relevant for social care team managers and assistant team managers, so employers will definitely be looking for those key leadership qualities in prospective candidates. By asking yourself some simple questions you can be confident you have those essential management skills and that they are clearly highlighted in your CV...

Are you a good communicator?

All good team leaders communicate clearly and effectively. It's not just about having well-developed speaking and writing skills. You also need to be a good listener. It promotes trust and makes your team members feel valued.

Are you well organised?

Team members will be looking to you, as their team manager or assistant team manager, for strong, reliable guidance. That means having excellent organisational skills to plan strategies and set objectives, as well ensuring effective processes are in place to achieve those objectives.

Can you be respected and respectful?

The two go hand-in-hand. The best leaders command respect not by being authoritarian, but by showing due respect to the views and values of the people they lead. If people feel involved in decision-making, they are more likely to engage with ideas and rise to the challenge.

Are you good at inspiring and motivating people?

Social workers are usually committed and dedicated individuals with a passion for what they do. However, it's a challenging work environment and good management support is vital. They will look to you for reliable advice and guidance, particularly when the going gets tough.

Do you have integrity?

A leader who is fair and honest is much more likely to gain trust, respect and support from his or her team. If people feel they have been unfairly treated or misled, they can easily become demotivated.

Are you good at delegating?

The ability to delegate is a key leadership skill. But it's not just about allocating tasks. It's also about delegating in the right way, ensuring your team members have the knowledge, skills, resources and support to carry out the tasks effectively.

Can you manage change well?

Whether it's helping clients through a time of emotional instability, responding to societal shifts, implementing new practices or complying with new legislation, dealing with change is a common challenge for social workers. Transformational leadership can support your team members through periods of change, encouraging them and empowering them to achieve positive outcomes.

In conjunction with the Department of Health, the National Skills Academy for Social Care (now merged with Skills for Care) has published a Leadership Qualities Framework for adult social care. You can download it here.
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