Matt | 03 December 2020

Defining The Key Skills That Risk Managers Require (And Training Them)

Pursuing a successful career as a risk manager involves identifying potential risks, minimising business losses and assessing profitability. In order to thrive as a risk manager, you will need a specific set of skills. As regulations and programmes are always evolving, risk managers must be ready to constantly learn new skills and adapt to new ways of working. This highly sought-after role was once considered a back-office function, but in more recent years it has become a highly strategic role within many businesses.

Being responsible for identifying and assessing threats, getting plans in place should something go wrong, and controlling how to reduce or transfer risks is a big job that takes a very varied skill set. These are the main skills that a risk manager must have, or be working on, in order to thrive in this career;

Attention To Detail And Analytical Skills

Risk managers could specialise in any number of risk types, but one thing they all have in common is analytical skills and excellent attention to detail. It is vital that you can manage companywide initiatives and large teams, whilst also keeping a focus on the small stuff.

A risk manager must pay attention to business objectives, profit and loss accounts, and potential risks, while at the same time being in control of the day to day functions. Sharp analytical skills are required to keep tabs on any potential new risks, and this needs to be paired with an ability to sit back and look at the bigger picture.

Financial Acumen

Whether you are working directly with credit risks or market risks, or something else entirely, as a risk manager, you will always have to spend time crunching numbers. Having financial acumen will leave you better placed to understand various financial indicators.

In the role of risk manager, you will need to know about business lines, stakeholders, markets, assets and much more. In some cases, risk managers are responsible for converting concepts and risks that aren’t very objective into measurable items like key risk indicators. By having financial acumen, you will be able to make quick and well-thought-out decisions as a risk manager.

Stress Management

It is no secret that some people can’t cope under pressure while other people thrive. It is all to do with how you handle stress, and working as a risk manager can be a stressful time. Some people are more skilled at staying focused and rational during stressful situations, and this skill is invaluable in the risk manager role.

Risk managers often have to make very quick decisions in the midst of a stressful time, and being able to work well under this type of pressure is essential. The truth is, some people are just naturally better at stress management than others; however, this skill can be improved through various self-improvement techniques.

Interpersonal And Communication Skills

When working as a risk manager, you will often have to convey complex risk management practices and concepts to less technical audiences. Although you might have excellent knowledge of risk management processes, it is vital that you can communicate and present these effectively to key decision-makers, such as the board of directors.

Risk management is often discussed at a very high level within a business, and risk managers can be called upon at any time to summarise the risks the business might be exposed to. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential in the role of risk manager.

Negotiation And Technical Skills

These two skills might not seem intertwined, but when it comes to risk management, they definitely are. As a risk manager, you don’t just need to create a risk management policy but be able to negotiate it to other individuals in the business.

It is your job to convince team members to be risk-aware and to work with others to decide what is technically possible for the business. Having both good negotiation skills and solid technical skills is sometimes a lot to ask.

Negotiating and interpersonal skills are often more of a personality trait than a learnt skill, and it is often easier to develop the technical skills when you already have the others in the bag.

Strategic Thinking

Pursuing a career as a risk manager requires being strategic-minded and a forward thinker. You need to have the ability to understand any potential risks the organisation might face, both from a business-wide perspective and at departmental level.

Risk managers must be able to keep up with fast-paced and volatile markets. While the role of a risk manager is primarily one of control, it is also essential that your risk management solutions align with the strategic objectives of the business. Risk managers are also often having to keep up with ever-changing regulations. You must be able to work strategically with relevant regulations in order to get the very best out of them.

Training To Become A Risk Manager

Working as a risk manager requires a lot of varied skills as well as solid knowledge and understanding about the role itself. There are various training courses that can help you pursue a career as a risk manager and build these essential skills.

Here at TSG Training, we offer various online training courses for risk managers. Some of our top courses for risk managers include;

  • Business Analyst Courses: Our various business analyst courses cover everything there is to know about analysing a business, from projects and applications to business risks. These BCS courses range from foundation level to more advanced training options.
  • Agile Training Courses: We offer a range of courses to acquire Agile skills, which are now mainstream when it comes developing and implementing systems. These courses are excellent for expanding your technical skills in a risk management role.
  • Project Management Courses: Ranging from foundation courses to practitioner courses, these project management training options are perfect for risk managers. They cover Agile project management based on the DSDM Agile Project Framework approach.