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Published on January 29, 2020

13 Management Skills Every Great Manager Has

13 Management Skills Every Great Manager Has

Have you reached a point in your career where you’re ready to take on more responsibility and become a leader? Or perhaps you’d simply like to earn more?

Becoming a manager is an excellent way to do this. They are, after all, crucial to the success of any company, but it’s not necessarily an easy position to fill.

Great managers build happy and productive teams that consistently achieve their organizational goals. And to become a high-performing manager, you need a diverse set of management skills. These are vital to building an all-star team that trusts you to lead effectively, manage, communicate clearly, and motivate them to achieve their goals.

But what are these key managerial skills, and do you need all of them to be successful at your job?

While I don’t consider myself a manager, I’ve worked with many great managers in my entrepreneurial career. Looking back on my experiences with these professionals, I’ve put together a list of thirteen management skills that every great manager needs to succeed.

Let’s dive in.

1. Communication

It may seem like a no-brainer, but the ability to communicate is an essential managerial skill. You are the bridge between your team, upper management, suppliers, clients, even the public, and you need to be confident when interacting with each group.

A great manager can clearly and concisely communicate organization goals, client briefs, project deliverables, and much more both verbally and in writing.

Not only do you have the gift of gab, but you are also an excellent listener. Cliff Ettridge, Director of The Team, says,

”As a manager, you understand the importance of creating conditions where people feel safe.”

Whether that is to share ideas, raise concerns, address conflict, or discuss alternative ways of doing things, how you communicate with your team massively influences their willingness to be open and honest with you.

If you want to improve your communication skills, check out this article: How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

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2. Decision-Making

Each day, you will be required to make decisions. Remember, you’ve been given this position because your boss trusts you to keep the organization’s goals and mission top of mind.

The decisions you make will include prioritizing your workload, hiring new staff, assigning tasks, addressing customer or employee complaints… While some will be easy, there will be others that you’ll agonize over, and you won’t always make the right decision.

Robbie Thompson, PR and Content Manager at Finnmark Sauna, says,

“A manager should have the ability to tackle frequent problems that arise and be accountable for their actions.”

You will make mistakes. They happen, no matter how carefully you approach a problem or project. Having the conviction to stand by your decisions, even when they fail, is the sign of a great manager.

3. Delegation

A great manager recognizes that business is a team sport. And if they want their team to achieve or exceed their goals, they need to delegate.

Delegation shows that you trust your people to handle a job. Matt Deighton, Managing Director of Timeless Chesterfields, has found that:

“It (Delegation) encourages and empowers your team to develop solutions to challenges.”

You are not superhuman and you cannot do it all. Delegating tasks allows you to focus on other work, which might be more pressing. It also aids in the development of your team, which is beneficial to the company as a whole.

This guide can help you delegate more effectively: How to Delegate Tasks Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)

4. Adaptability

The best managers recognize that they don’t know it all and are willing to listen and adapt to new and better ways of doing things.

This is a crucial leadership skill. With the digital world constantly changing, managers need to be open to trying new technologies. What worked in 2018 doesn’t necessarily work now. And if you don’t change with the times, your team and your company will suffer.

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5. Motivational

Your energy and attitude towards your work, as well as your passion, influences and motivates the people you manage. If you come to work upbeat and ready to tackle the day, your team is more likely to follow your example.

When they’re having trouble with a job or at home, it’s up to you to refocus their attention. A great manager will know how to do that and get the best out of their people. They understand the importance of encouraging and incentivizing their people, as well as acknowledging their achievements.

They are an asset to any business.

6. Organization

Without a doubt, being organized is an essential managerial skill. You have to be, especially when you have a group of people reporting to you.

Not only are managers in charge of people, but they’re also in charge of budgets, project timelines, client expectations, and much more.

An organized manager will know what is achievable in a particular timeframe and what isn’t. They know what to prioritize on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. They know who can be trusted to take a project and run with it and who needs more guidance.

They also have to be on top of their workload. Remember, you’re juggling many balls, and you’ll drop one if you’re disorganized.

7. Problem-Solving

As a business owner, I hire great managers because I don’t have the time or the inclination to deal with every little problem that crops up.

It’s your responsibility to anticipate potential issues and resolve them before they become a problem. Great managers know when a matter can be handled internally and when to involve the boss.

You’re able to work closely with your team to assess and develop a solution that adequately addresses the problem without causing unnecessary stress.

Here’re 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills.

8. Relationship-Building

Another vital managerial skill is the ability to build good relationships with people. Whether we’re talking about your team or your clients, great relationships are essential to the success of a company.

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Bridie Gallagher, Director of Glass Digital, reminds us that:

“People work best in a happy and supportive environment, so a good manager should be friendly, personable, and able to stay calm when things get tough.”

Mike Hardman, Marketing Manager at Alliance Online, adds that:

“(A great Manager) appreciates that each person is different and aims to build a rapport with each team member. This makes them feel like their manager sees them as an individual, opposed to simply a name on a rota.”

A great manager will make decisions that are in the best interest of their team. They create an environment where people are not afraid to ask questions. They know that you’re always available to listen and give careful consideration to your responses, which builds trust and makes working with you a pleasure.

9. Leadership

All good managers should be great leaders. It’s up to you to bring together and inspire a group of diverse people to work towards achieving a shared vision, and only an effective leader can do that.

Your role could include leading meetings, setting goals, supporting staff, assigning tasks, whatever. As long as you lead by example, you’ll set the tone for a happy and productive work environment.

This article on leadership and management is worth reading: Leadership vs Management: Is One Better Than the Other?

10. Time Management

Often, we think of time management as maximizing the day so that you or your team is always busy. But time costs money. On paper, a job might seem like a quick turnaround when, in reality, it’s far more complex.

A great manager will take into consideration how much time is needed to give thought to brainstorming, problem-solving, execution, and delivery before agreeing to a timeline. This allows them to recognize when unreasonable expectations are being set by owners or clients and address this upfront.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your time management skills, these tips can help: 12 Effective Time Management Skills for Managers

11. Mentoring

In my opinion, mentoring is probably one of the greatest skills that a manager can have. Every team member can be better and do better. A great manager recognizes untapped potential and helps their people to unlock it.

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They know how to build their people’s confidence—when to challenge, when to upskill, and when to step back and allow people to take charge.

Be open and willing to share your experiences and knowledge. And remember that their achievements are a reflection of the time and energy you have invested in them.

12. Planning

Building an efficient team requires an expert planner, someone who is a strategic thinker. You can plan for every stage of a project and anticipate potential obstacles or delays that may result well in advance. You’ll also know if the help of an independent consultant would be needed or if there will be time to upskill staff.

Not only can a great manager identify the best way to do things, but also which team members would be most suited to a particular task. This all helps to achieve company objectives on budget and on time without negatively impacting the team.

13. Empathy

The ability to empathize with your colleagues is a skill that, for some, doesn’t come naturally. But it is vital, and more importantly, teachable.

Digital expert and consultant, Rob Weatherhead argues that:

“It is difficult to manage people if you can’t understand their position. This doesn’t always mean agreeing with it, but if you can understand it, you can manage it accordingly.”

Remember, people are emotional beings. They will form stronger bonds with managers that demonstrate compassion.

The Bottom Line

A great manager won’t necessarily have all the above mentioned managerial skills, but they will have a combination. This allows them to nurture and build on the talents of their team members to achieve their goals.

If you are a manager or aspire to be a manager, use this list to identify where your key strengths lie and where improvement is needed, then take action.

More Tips on Team Management

Featured photo credit: CoWomen via unsplash.com

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Allan Dib

Rebellious Marketer, Serial Entrepreneur, Business Coach, and #1 Bestselling Author

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Published on February 17, 2020

What Is a Bullet Journal and What Are the Benefits?

What Is a Bullet Journal and What Are the Benefits?

You may have heard of a productivity method called Bullet Journaling. What is a bullet journal? It is a very personal approach to getting in control of your life and becoming more productive.

It does that by allowing you to build your journal, your system, and your method of journaling with very few limitations.

Traditional journaling, or productivity systems, usually give you a template: a set way to record your information and tasks. You input the information and the system then shows you the information in a predetermined way. Not so with a bullet journal.

What Is a Bullet Journal?

With a bullet journal, you start with a number of symbols and a blank notebook (or a digital equivalent). Your choice of notebook, the pen you use, the ink color, and how you use the symbols is entirely up to you. You have complete freedom.

In a sense, with a bullet journal, instead of having a “system,” you have some best practices that guide you.

Is a Bullet Journal Right for You?

So, with that in mind, would a bullet journal work for you? That depends. A bullet journal is ideal for those who have a strong creative side: a person who does not want to be bound by constraints and limits. Bullet journals give you complete creative freedom, and for many people, that is the attraction.

However, if you are easily distracted and are a bit of a perfectionist, this lack of constraints can be a rabbit hole of lost focus and frustration. There is also the issue of the amount of time it takes to maintain a bullet journal. Depending on how you want your journal to look, these journals can take up a lot of time just to maintain. That is not for everybody.

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How a Bullet Journal Works: An Overview

A bullet journal works by giving you a blank page for each day. You have an appointments section and a to-do section, and after that, you can add anything you want.

In your to-do section, there are a few symbols you will use to indicate what has happened to a to-do:

  • A bullet – a task
  • A bullet with a cross – task complete
  • A dash – indicates a note
  • Forward arrow – task moved to another day
  • A circle – an event

That said, you can of course modify these symbols to suit your tastes.

On top of your daily pages, you will have an index page and a calendar page. How you create these is up to you..

Benefits of a Bullet Journal

1. Improves Your Mental Health

We know journaling has incredible mental health benefits. The act of journaling gives you time for reflection, time to get your thoughts out of your head, and time to review and plan.[1]  It’s a tremendous way to add some much needed perspective in your life.

When you give yourself that valuable time to yourself, you have the opportunity to slow down and contemplate, and that allows your mind to settle, calm down, and reset. In a world that is relentlessly distracting, noisy and frenetic, those quiet moments with your journal can help sooth you.

Learn more about improving your mental health: 8 Simple Ways to Be Mentally Healthy

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2. Helps You Stay on Top of Your Goals

Bullet journaling helps you stay on top of your projects and goals. Your to-do list guides you towards getting important things done each day and gives you a space to collect new tasks, opportunities and events.

Without having a place to store your ideas, tasks and events, it is very easy for these things to slip your mind. When you have a journal with you everywhere you go, it’s very difficult to miss these things because you have them written down.

Being able to see what you have planned, what you would like to achieve, and how you are progressing is a great way to keep you motivated to keep going, even when things get tough.

Read more about how to reach your goals: 6 Golden Rules to Make Progress Towards Achieving Your Goals.

3. Develops Creativity

Bullet journaling can help develop your creativity. Having a blank page every day on which to create your vision for that day engages your creative side, and the more you use your creativity, the more creative you become.

The freedom a bullet journal gives you to write, draw, color in, and develop gets your creative juices flowing. And if you need inspiration, you only need search “bullet journals” and you will be inundated with ideas and examples.

4. Lets You Write Your Life’s Story

Every day you write a few more words of your life’s story. Over time, you build an incredibly unique story — the story of your life. That one reason alone should be enough for you to go out and buy yourself a beautiful notebook in which to start writing your story.

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Most people drift through life without documenting anything. Holidays with loved ones and friends go undocumented, becoming little more than a blur of memory and a long-lost batch of photos hidden among thousands of others stored on your phone.

With a bullet journal, you can write down how you felt and who you were with, and you can print out your favorite photos and stick them into your journal to help you remember. (Yes! You can do that!)

In ten or twenty years, when you look back through your journals, you will be able to re-live those special moments and experience the feelings you had at those times.

5. Helps You Achieve Your Goals Through Writing

The act of writing down your goals is one very powerful step to take towards achieving those goals. Studies have shown that when you write down your goals, you stand a much better chance of actually achieving them.

Having a place to evaluate and review your goals helps keep you on track and keeps those goals up front and center in your life. It is very easy to sit down in the excitement of a new year and tell your friends about all the things you plan to do, only to completely forget about those goals by the end of January.

When you write your goals down in your bullet journal (you can create a goals section), you have a place to remind you of what you want to achieve. This will keep you motivated and focused.

Need more tips for staying motivated? Check out 8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times.

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The Bottom Line

There are multiple benefits to keeping a journal, and the beauty of a bullet journal is that you get to create your own way of doing things. There are many resources online to guide and inspire you.

The stories and memories you record in your bullet journal will give you joy and inspiration for years to come. So the next question is, when will you start to create your own.

I have written a step-by-step guide you can use to start building your bullet journal today. This gives you guidance and ideas for the kind of notebook and pen to use, what you can store in your journal, and how to set up the basic structure.

Good luck and happy journaling!

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

Reference

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