Between the pandemic, the shift to remote/hybrid working, and global economic turmoil, it’s safe to say that managers have been faced with more challenges in the last few years than ever before. That means it’s even more important to develop strong management skills that can help support and guide teams through turbulent times.
In this article, we explore seven key skills that every manager should master if they want to inspire and lead their team to success.
Defining management skills
When we think about management skills, we often think about the ability to inspire and persuade others. However, management skills encompass much more than that, including the ability to plan, organise, and control resources to achieve a specific goal.
The best managers have a combination of technical, conceptual and people-management skills — this means being able to effectively use technology and software, apply concepts and theories to solve problems, and communicate with people in a way that fosters a healthy, productive work environment.
Top seven management skills
There are seven essential skills that every manager or leader should focus on if they want to succeed, including
- Inclusive leadership
- Emotional intelligence
- Attracting and retaining top talent
Strong communication skills are the foundation of any managerial skill set. Active listening, clear articulation and an awareness of both verbal and non-verbal cues can help build trust within a team while also ensuring everyone clearly understands their roles and responsibilities.
Conflict resolution is also key for addressing disagreements quickly and efficiently without letting them escalate into bigger problems down the line. This often requires having difficult conversations with those involved — however, it can ultimately lead to better relationships between team members if handled properly.
You should strive for open dialogue during these conversations while avoiding assigning blame so that each party feels heard and respected throughout the process.
Strategic thinking and problem-solving skills
Having a strong foundation in strategic thinking and problem-solving is essential for successful team management. By understanding how various factors interact with each other, you can identify issues, opportunities for growth, and areas of improvement within the organisations. Additionally, you will be better equipped to evaluate risks associated with potential solutions before taking any action.
Creative thinking and ideation are also important since you must be able to brainstorm and come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. This requires a thorough understanding of the organisation’s goals as well as a willingness to think outside the box.
Finally, timely decision-making is key. It’s easy to procrastinate and hold off on deciding for fear of getting it wrong, but this can result in your team not viewing you as a strong, capable leader.
Once all the relevant information has been gathered and analysed, be confident in yourself and your decision-making abilities. If you make a mistake, take responsibility for it and show your team that every mistake is a learning opportunity.
Time management skills
It’s impossible to fit everything into your day without burning out, therefore time management is one of the most crucial skills you can develop as a manager.
In a recent study by Deloitte, 74% of executives say they’re facing obstacles when it comes to achieving their well-being goals, with the top two hurdles being “a heavy workload or stressful job” (30%), and “not having enough time because of long work hours” (27%).
If you want to thrive in your role and help your team to thrive too, then it’s important to balance your workload with your health and well-being. To ensure that tasks are completed on time and within budget, implement strategies to prioritise tasks, set realistic goals, and delegate responsibilities.
When delegating tasks, make sure you provide clear instructions and enough autonomy for team members to complete the job effectively without being micromanaged.
Furthermore, feedback should be provided regularly so employees can understand how they are performing in comparison with expectations set at the start of each project or task assignment.
As well as developing systems and processes for efficiency, you should also establish clear roles and responsibilities for team members. This will help them to understand how their individual contributions fit into the “big picture” of achieving organisational goals.
In addition, work on your coaching skills so that instead of micromanaging your team, you can encourage each person to utilise their strengths and think outside the box to come up with solutions.
Finally, strive to create a collaborative environment that encourages open communication and allows frequent opportunities for team members to contribute their opinions. This will lead to better problem-solving capabilities, improved morale amongst employees, and greater success overall.
To achieve this, make sure you provide regular feedback on performance while also allowing room for creativity when tackling projects or tasks together as a group.
Inclusive leadership skills
Successfully managing a diverse, geographically dispersed team will require you to hone your inclusive leadership skills. This is a crucial factor in creating a culture of respect, trust and inclusion, which in turn creates an environment that encourages your team to thrive.
It also benefits the organisation when leaders invest in inclusive leadership skills.
According to a recent study by BetterUp, it results in employees being 50% more productive, 90% more innovative, and 150% more engaged, and it also results in 54% lower employee turnover.
Emotional Intelligence skills
Emotional Intelligence (EI) involves having self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to self-regulate.
- Self-aware Leaders are more likely to be confident when leading teams or making important decisions because they have a clear sense of what matters most to them personally and professionally.
- Empathy is key for cultivating trust and healthy relationships with your team. Tuning in on an emotional level also enables you to provide constructive feedback more effectively — this is because you are better equipped to recognise potential underlying issues behind poor performance.
- Self-regulation is key for remaining calm under pressure, making the right decision, and maintaining consistency even when faced with difficult situations.
Hiring and retaining top talent
With remote and hybrid working, you have a vast talent pool available to you — so make the most of it! Strategies for attracting and retaining top talent from around the world include:
- Providing competitive salaries and benefits packages
- Creating a positive work environment where employees feel valued and respected
- Offering career development opportunities such as training programs or mentorship programs
- Recognising employee achievements through rewards or recognition programs
- Encouraging feedback from employees on how to improve their experience at work
Management skills for different scenarios
When it comes to management skills, there is no “one size fits all” definition. Here is a brief overview of the skills to focus on in each scenario:
Managing a large team
Skills to focus on:
- Ask strategic questions to bring out the best in your team and help them to develop their problem-solving skills
- Be humble, approachable and empathetic, and don’t be afraid to show that you’re human
- Actively show that you trust your team to get things done (avoid micromanaging!)
Managing a small team
Skills to focus on:
- Invest in training and coaching to help your people grow and reach their full potential
- Encourage teamwork and collaboration, and actively get involved with your team
- Model a healthy work-life balance and encourage your team to do the same
Being a new manager
Skills to focus on:
- Seek guidance from an experienced mentor on how to develop your leadership skills
- Practice the art of both giving and receiving constructive feedback
- Show that you are actively listening to your team and taking their opinions seriously
Leadership and communication skills training for managers
If you want to learn how to inspire, influence and lead your team to greatness, then now is the time to start developing the skills that will serve you throughout your career.
At NxtGEN Executive Presence, we can give you the knowledge and practical experience you need to hone your communication and presentation skills and become the best leader you can be.
With our comprehensive training programmes, we provide the tools you need to boost your confidence, improve your presentation techniques, sharpen your communication strategies and hone your persuasion tactics.
Get in touch with us today and take the first step towards achieving success!