Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova
A manager’s job goes above and beyond just getting the job done. As a supervisor, it’s your responsibility to motivate others to deliver what’s expected. To do so, you’ll need to develop specific skills.
If there’s one thing successful organizations have in common, it’s the presence of intelligent, articulate, and compassionate leadership at the helm. Strong managers are capable of developing and leading high-performing teams to deliver exceptional results. Let’s look at the managerial skills you need to take your career to the next level, according to experts:
In this blog, we’ll discuss the:
Exact meaning of management skills
Key manager skills you need to focus on
The skills of a good manager are not just limited to delegating and getting the job done. Management skills is an umbrella term that includes all the traits and abilities you need to perform a wide variety of supervisory tasks, such as managing projects, solving problems, and keeping your team members motivated and engaged.
Managerial skills not only help you advance your career, but they also help you leave a lasting impression on an interviewer during a job interview. These intangible skills include, but are not limited to, leadership, effective communication, empathy, and teamwork.
While there are several job-specific skills that are crucial, there are certain people-oriented skills you’ll need to develop if you want to be an effective manager. Here are some of the most important manager skills:
Managers who are empathetic are able to build a solid rapport with their team members and identify areas of improvement and coaching. Empathy is all about supporting your coworkers in the form of providing assistance with complex tasks, checking in with underperforming team members, and treating others with kindness.
If you’re managing a team of people, you should be able to keep your own negative emotions in control, and act with composure in the event of a conflict.
Effective communication skills are essential for the role of a manager, and they’re the most neglected skills. A 2022 survey by Interact revealed that 69 percent of managers across different organizations in the US felt uncomfortable communicating with employees, and 37 percent hesitated providing direct feedback to their subordinates.
Whether the communication is written, online, or in-person, you should communicate in a way that makes the other individual feel comfortable. As an effective manager, you need to be flexible and be able to change your communication style according to the situation.
Effective communication skills go a long way in improving collaboration and efficiency across the board. The better you communicate, the more likely your team members will complete their tasks on time and achieve success in their job roles.
Leadership isn’t just about managing people. It also involves having the necessary expertise in your field of interest to make strategic, long-term decisions. You need to have a clear idea on your core competencies and how they fit into the big picture. Are there any courses you can attend to learn more about your field of expertise? Are there any workshops happening in your area that will help you stay up to date on all the latest trends and technologies in your field? The more you’re well-versed in your field, the better you’ll be able to guide and mentor others.
Effective management is all about enabling collaboration and synergies across the board. In order to do that, you need to be able to work well with diverse, cross-functional teams. For this reason, it’s important to be respectful of others and open to feedback. After all, teamwork is crucial for improved decision-making and high productivity and staff morale.
To be a successful manager, you should be able to think long term. As a manager, you’ll have to be able to make sound decisions, and effective decision-making is all about properly evaluating situations and looking at the big picture stuff. This means ensuring alignment between your projects and the company’s long-term goals and objectives and investing in continuous professional development.
Strategic thinking also involves encouraging innovation. If your team members have ideas on how to improve things, make sure to hear them out and give them a platform to test their ideas. Engage other department leaders in brainstorming solutions to complex problems and identifying new technologies and trends that can be leveraged to help the company achieve its objectives.
Managers tend to have a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders, which is why someone in this position needs to be reliable and dependable. As a manager, you need to build a rapport with your team members so that they can rely on you and turn to you for guidance, especially if it involves complex projects.
As you work closely with your team members and develop a working relationship with them, they’re likely to seek advice from you. When that happens, it’s important to be honest and consider the situation before sharing your advice. For example, should you offer advice to the employee in a one-on-one meeting or in a team meeting?
Conflicts in a workplace are inevitable, but escalations aren’t. As a manager, you should be able to identify disagreements in the office and take immediate steps to prevent the situation from getting worse. The ability to manage conflicts also comes in handy when you’re sharing bad news with your team members. For example, if you’re sharing a negative performance evaluation with an employee, you need to pay close attention to your tone of voice so that your coworker does not feel attacked.
Another important skill for a manager is the ability to think long-term. How will the department scale for growth? What can be done to make the team more efficient? What’s the best way to manage team productivity and output, especially if you’re working with a remote, geographically-dispersed team of individuals?
Strategic thinking requires a growth-oriented mindset. As you step into this role, start thinking about the big picture stuff. Find out some of the inefficiencies in your department and think of ways to improve things. Identify any areas with potential risks and determine the best way to mitigate these risks and ensure things run smoothly.
Think about an instance when one of your supervisors commended you for a job well done? Well, that’s exactly what being a good manager is all about. A little bit of recognition is important in ensuring your team members stay motivated and deliver 100 percent at work. Recognition also plays a crucial role in improving staff morale and reducing employee turnover. After all, who doesn’t like hearing a little praise every now and then?
If you’re stepping into a managerial position, make sure to support your team members’ decisions, recognize their contributions, and praise them on a job well done to boost their confidence.Good managers are not only confident themselves, but they also make others feel confident.
The global economy is unpredictable, and the only businesses to survive and thrive in these challenging times are the ones that are adaptive and responsive to change. A manager’s willingness to learn and grow keeps them motivated, productive, relevant, innovative, and competitive. You should be open to testing new ideas and discover new ways to manage your tasks if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
There’s a lot more to time management than just showing up to work at 9:00 am. It also involves knowing what tasks to work on, which tasks need to be prioritized, and how to set realistic timelines for different projects. Your job as a manager is likely to be multifaceted, which means you need to improve your time management skills to be an effective leader.
A good way to manage your time properly is to evaluate your day-to-day tasks at work and set a time aside for each of them. For instance, you can spend the first hour at work responding to emails and messages. Next, you can set aside another hour to schedule check-in meetings with your teams and evaluate your workload. Once you’ve reviewed your workload, you can prioritize your tasks according to their deadlines.
Effective negotiation skills are a testament to your ability to persevere when solving complex problems, persuading clients or coworkers, and identifying win-win solutions in case of a conflict. You can leverage your communication and interpersonal skills to influence others and convince them to make mutually beneficial, evidence-based decisions.
Managing people is all about delegating work while keeping your team members’ core strengths and weaknesses in mind. As a manager, you need to be able to delegate tasks in a strategic manner so that no one in your team feels overburdened with work.
Assigning the right type of project to the right person requires strong observation and analytical skills. You need to pay close attention to each team member’s ability to manage their workload and stress levels. This will help you plan their workload better and ensure your department completes all projects in a timely manner.
1. A manager’s job is more than just getting the basic work done. You need to inspire others to deliver their best, stay motivated and productive, and make a difference.
2. Whether you’re already a manager or about to receive your first-ever managerial role, you need to work on certain manager skills to help you become an effective leader at work.
3. One of the best ways to become a good manager is to be adaptable and approachable. This helps you stay competitive, and it builds your team’s confidence in your capabilities.
Asad's writing expertise lies in the fields of HR and marketing—putting him in the unique position of understanding the job-search process: both from the side of the applicant, and the side of the hiring managers. With this valuable blend of perspectives, he’s able to help his clients position themselves as top candidates for their desired roles.