They say that actions speak louder than words, and it’s a saying that applies particularly well to management. To truly be an effective manager, there needs to be a desire to spend the time and the effort necessary to improve your management skills. I speak to managers everyday who are great people with impressive natural leadership abilities and talents. Regardless of your natural leadership skills, however, I have yet to meet any manager that doesn’t have room for improvement. To improve as a manager requires not only good intentions, but action.Most managers, like anyone else, have areas of strength and areas of weakness. Our natural instinct is to gravitate toward activities and goals that cater to our strengths, and avoid the tasks that may expose our weaknesses. However, an effective manager confronts weaknesses with action. This requires a conscious effort to first determine areas of improvement and then to address those areas by taking action. Many managers enroll in our training courses simply to identify and address management traits that they would like to strengthen.One of the most effective ways to identify your weaknesses as a manager is to ask the people you manage for feedback. This can be difficult, as some managers have a difficult time accepting constructive criticism. However, swallowing your pride in an effort to improve as a manager will not only help you to identify opportunities for improvement, but will also show those who work under your management that you are serious about being the most effective manager you can be.One manager that I have worked with in the past has set a goal to take a certain amount of time each month to work on developing stronger management skills. His forums for gaining these skills vary, from reading books to attending seminars or even working with a management coach one on one. He sends a monthly newsletter to everyone that he manages with company updates, announcements, and other general information. As a part of this newsletter, he always provides an update on what he is doing to become a more effective manager. He has found a simple yet effective way to demonstrate that his intentions to be the best manager possible are being backed up with action!Part of taking action to become a more effective manager might mean breaking old habits and routines and replacing them with more effective management techniques. This can be difficult for some managers, as to a certain extent it feels like giving up something that you know and feel comfortable with. In essence, we are letting go of techniques and attitudes that we possess naturally and have relied on throughout our career. This is understandably difficult for some managers.The best way to determine whether or not you can benefit as a manger from learning new management techniques is to take an actionable step, make a change to improve, and evaluate the results of this change. It won’t take long for you to notice dramatic improvements in your overall abilities as a manger.