18 Skills of Good Managers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 1 February 2023

Published 25 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Taking a managerial role can be an exciting step in your career. Learning how to operate as a leader can be important for your success in this position. To manage successfully, you need to develop a skill set that empowers others to be productive and enthusiastic. In this article, we look at skills required to be an effective manager and ways to improve them.

18 management skills for success

Here are 18 skills you can use to succeed in a managerial role:

Confidence

Effective managers know how to lead their teams with confidence, or the ability to develop self-awareness. Confident leaders make decisions and ensure others follow. They aren't afraid of responsibilities or trying something new. They view every obstacle as an opportunity.

Confidence in a leader impacts their team positively. Attending leadership and management forums, reading leadership books and taking on leadership opportunities can be very helpful in building confidence skills.

Related: How To Build Confidence at Work

Communication

Good communication is one of the most critical managerial skills. A good manager should be able to express their expectations, opinions and decisions clearly.

Effective communication skills come in handy when motivating and unifying a team. They help you set clear expectations and provide clarity to avoid confusion. The better you are at communicating your views, the more you can build trust and the easier it is to achieve the organisation's goals.

Related: What Are Communication Skills?

Listening skills

Listening is just as important as communicating. Employees want to know that their managers pay attention to their insights and opinions. A good manager should take time to listen to what employees say. Cultivating an open communication environment can help them air their views openly without being judged or discredited.

Listening helps you be aware of what's happening at work, and it motivates employees to know that their opinions can make a difference. Cultivate your listening skills by asking for your employees' views even when they don't willingly offer them.

Related: How to Improve Your Active Listening Skills


Decision-making skills

To be a good manager, you have to make logical decisions to benefit the company and your team. Be confident in the decisions you make and focus on positive outcomes.To be an effective manager, perform due diligence before making a decision.

Team-building skills

Excellent managers know how to manage and keep their teams together. A good team should be willing to support each other free from competition or judgment. A good manager should spot any team irregularities and find a way to solve conflicts or rectify the situation.

The success of a business relies on the ability of its employees to work as a team. To be an effective leader, be sure to listen to your team and build trust that allows your team to feel appreciated and committed.

Related: Assistant manager duties and definitions

Recognition

Good managers understand the importance of recognition and rewards. It takes more than a good salary to keep employees committed and aligned with your company's goals and objectives. Employees want to know that they matter and that their impact is significant in the business's success.

To be an excellent manager, you have to know your employees' needs and preferences. What works for one person may impact another differently. Some employees want a high-ranking position or public recognition more than a salary raise.

Related: Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation

Organisation

Organisation skills are essential managerial skills in dealing with now and the future. Good managers should have a plan to succeed and overcome obstacles. They should have a schedule with well-assigned tasks, guidelines and timelines to complete.

Trustworthiness

Good managers respect their employees' confidentiality by being trustworthy. Employees feel safe and motivated knowing that their managers have their best interests at heart. To be reliable, you must be honest with your employees and give guidance as per the company's guidelines.

Mentoring skills

Managers need to have mentoring skills to support others in their career journeys. To become a manager, you must have extensive knowledge, skills and experience to benefit your team. A good manager should have the will to guide and mentor members of their team.

Related: How to become a contract manager (plus salary info)

Creativity

Managers deal with different situations every day. They have to be creative to face and overcome challenges. An innovative manager is a competent person who propels projects forward no matter what. It's a great skill that can be contagious to your team members. If your team knows that you value creativity, they'll always rise to the occasion and invent new ways to achieve a set objective.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand other people's feelings, perceive their point of view and find ways to support them. A good manager also treats team members equitably, aside from emotion. They often act with fairness to ensure all employees feel valued and seen.

Delegation

Effective leaders share tasks and credit for their accomplishments. A good manager should be willing to delegate duties to achieve the organisation's goals. To delegate means you are eager to collaborate and share credit as a team.

Hands-on

As a manager, you oversee projects while your team completes the tasks. A good manager is also involved in the practical activities of the workplace to act as an example to the team. It's a sign of humility and also helps you get approval from your team. Your employees will respect you, for they know you can also handle the tasks you're giving them.

Vision

Vision is a good management skill. It enables managers to see the bigger picture and make changes to meet goals. A visionary manager communicates their vision to their employees and superiors and then translates their vision into an actionable plan beneficial to the company.

Time management skills

Time management skills involve knowing how to prioritise, set realistic goals and achieve them within the allocated time. Managers are tasked with the duty of overseeing projects and ensuring they are complete within a set timeline. A good manager should have a schedule and set routines on how to handle tasks.

Good managers have excellent delegation skills such that every team member is assigned a task they can easily handle. That way, the projects are completed as a team and within the allocated time.

Reliability and consistency

Good managers should be consistent and reliable. They should also be stable and secure. Employees should feel comfortable approaching you without the fear of a negative reaction. A good manager should be approachable at all times to help employees open up and ask for help when they need it.

Autonomous and responsible

Managers often have to make hard decisions to overcome challenges. A good manager should be willing to make firm decisions and stick by them no matter the consequences. If the outcome is less favourable, they should also be willing to take responsibility for their actions without assigning blame.

Problem-solving skills

Great managers should have excellent problem-solving skills. They should be able to solve conflicts at work and also any issues that arise. Your team should be confident in your problem-solving skills, such that they can come to you when stuck with a problem.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

5 ways to improve your management skills

Some ways to improve your leadership and management skills include:

1. Find a mentor

To be a great manager, find a mentor with managerial experience and ask them to guide you as you take up your managerial role. Take time to listen, watch and ask them questions when issues arise. You can approach your senior manager or participate in a formalised mentorship program.

Related: Why You Should be Looking for a Mentor

2. Volunteer

In your free time, volunteer in your community to be the head of a project or lead in community meetings. These volunteer works can help you exercise your leadership and managerial skills as you learn areas to improve. Interact with people and learn how other leaders interact with them.

3. Learn continuously

To be an effective manager, you need to have various skills and manage people from multiple departments. To be conversant with what your employees are doing, take time to learn new things. For example, if you have difficulty using accounting software, take time and learn it. Read books on leadership and management skills along with other relevant books to your role.

4. Attend conferences and workshops

There are various conferences and workshops organised either in your workplace or outside to teach people leadership skills. Take time to attend them and be sure to listen and implement what's relevant.

5. Practice

The perfect way to get good management skills is to practice. If you find it difficult communicating and listening to your team, try applying various techniques to help you improve. Find time to talk to your team and engage yourself in projects that require you to exercise those skills.

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