- Showcasing positivity in the workplace increases the chances of team members taking on a positive attitude when faced with daily challenges.
- Reassure staff members that their contributions to the organization are valued.
- It is increasingly important that managers be able to prioritize tasks and delegate scarce resources wherever they are needed most.
Managing a team effectively in any organization requires more than just hard work, intelligence, or qualifications. In fact, a successful manager is one who has a wide-ranging set of skills. MindTools founder, James Manktelow, says a successful manager, ideally, should have between 90 and 120 skills individually.
That might sound like a lot but there is no reason to feel intimidated if you are aspiring to be a successful manager. To begin with, most skills you will only use occasionally, and a few you will need to fall back on most or all of the time. These few will also have the largest impact on employees and the growth of your organization. In other words, these are the main skills you need for success in today’s work environment. Here are the top 10.
#10: Being Positive
Positivity can play a big role in how team members perceive and perform in the work environment. Even if it’s over a zoom meeting or telephone call, employees can sense whether you are spreading a negative or positive vibe, both of which can affect their response to challenges. With that said, managers need to be mindful in ensuring they remain upbeat and optimistic in their interactions with staff. Showcasing positivity in the workplace increases the chances of team members taking on a positive attitude when faced with daily challenges.
#9: Motivating abilities
As human beings, employees can face various challenges in their lives. In a remote work setting, for instance, employees can face boredom, unideal living arrangements, noisy kids, or just a general lack of motivation. This is especially true if they are used to working in close-knit office spaces where they could easily bond with co-workers, but now don’t have that luxury. Whatever the case, a good manager who knows how to motivate and inspire their team can make a big difference in how employees approach their tasks and responsibilities. Reassure staff members that their contributions to the organization are valued. Encourage them to improve on weaknesses and show appreciation when they go above and beyond. Offer help and advice on how to handle stressful situations.
#8: Having innovative ideas
There is no doubt about it – the top companies in any industry are those that lead in innovation. Talented workers who demonstrate creative thinking are often head hunted by these organizations as a result. And with new consumer problems arising daily, managers have to possess the foresight to develop new and different products and services to address gaps in the market and boost the firm’s bottom line. Innovative thinking involves the ability to conduct research, decipher customer pain points, and to think well along the lines of design. To improve innovative thinking, focus on consumer satisfaction and how you can improve the customer experience in relation to the field you are in.
#7: Ability to prioritize
Keeping a business running includes consistently addressing the numerous tasks that have to be done on a daily basis. For a manager, that can be anything from making plans and seeing to the daily operations of the organization, to motivating staff and liaising with stakeholders. It all can get vastly overwhelming, especially in the current remote-work climate, and multi-tasking is certainly not the answer. In fact, studies show that multitasking can lead to human errors, time being wasted, and even burnout. As a result, it is increasingly important that managers be able to prioritize tasks and delegate scarce resources wherever they are needed most.
#6: Facilitating high-quality relationships
Getting the most out of employees depends a lot on the type of relationship a manager is able to build with them. It involves a knack of being able to build respectful engagement and connection around shared values. You will get better results out of an employee who feels their opinions are valued and are comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas in your presence. Relationship building skills also come in handy when dealing with people at other levels, including suppliers, investors, customers, etc. all of which can lead to a more harmonious and productive workplace.
#5: Decisive decision making
Managers are constantly faced with having to make decisions, sometimes on a whim, and the wrong choice can cause financial and reputational fallout. Decision making as a skill, therefore, requires an innate ability to quickly interpret issues, as well as risk analysis capabilities. Great decision-making skills also involve the ability to pick up on patterns, relate to past experiences, and understanding ethical repercussions that can arise.
#4: Trust-building capacity
Lack of trust among team members can diminish any organization and bring about failure. That’s because untrusting staff are usually not giving of their best and may indulge in actions that undermine productivity and good office politics. On the other hand, leading a team that trusts you to captain the ship will likely lead to better results. Employees feel empowered to fulfill their tasks and are more comfortable relating their concerns when they trust their leaders. Building trust is not always easy, but you can make it easier for staff and clients to trust you by being honest and open when communicating, taking responsibility for your actions, being exemplary in leadership, and focusing on building healthy, respectful work relationships.
#3: Effective communication abilities
As a manager, your ability to communicate well with team members will have a strong bearing on getting things done. This is especially crucial at a time when working from home has become more the norm rather than the exception. Communicating effectively means ensuring your messages – including directives – are shared in a way that the recipient fully understands. It requires knowledge of the seven C’s:
With good communication, it is easier to let your team members know what is to be done, how it’s supposed to be done, and why. Being an effective communicator, however, is not just for employees. It is also critical for working with the various stakeholders of an organization, including customers, shareholders, the media, etc.
#2: Problem-solving skills
Running any business successfully means being able to overcome the multitude of problems that often arise. Managers are, in fact, supposed to be problem solvers at their very core. Being able to assess an issue and come up with the best possible solution is one of the things that sets great managers apart from the average. Great managers also know that it is not necessarily about finding solutions alone. Succeeding in today’s workplace requires an integrative approach that brings people together to come up with solutions. This means being willing to have brainstorming sessions and meetings geared at helping people fully understand problems and be comfortable enough to share ideas.
#1: High emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence has grown in importance over the past two decades, and more leaders are paying attention to this skill, making it the top management skill to have in today’s workplace. Why is that? For starters, high emotional intelligence encompasses many of the skills already on this list, including being able to communicate well and motivate people. Emotional intelligence, unlike intellectual intelligence, focuses on people, and involves one’s ability to understand their own emotions, as well as those of others. There are five main pillars of emotion intelligence:
- Social skills
Again, it should be easy to see how these attributes tie in with many of the other important management skills. Social skills are necessary when building relationships. Being self-aware is also critical to the decision making process. When it comes on to empathy – which is the capacity to feel and relate to other people’s feelings – this is also necessary for good communication and building trust. These are among the reasons why emotionally-intelligent managers are often among the most successful.
You can work on learning and developing any management skill you need. But focusing on the top 10 listed above will help you to become a manger that people will listen and look up to.