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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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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Essential Apps for Entrepreneurs To Be Highly Productive

12 Essential Apps for Entrepreneurs To Be Highly Productive

If you are an entrepreneur, then you are aware of the importance of time management. There are only 24 hours in a day, which means you must manage your hours properly to be able to get a lot of work done.

With so much on your shoulders, you need to get organized. How do you achieve that? You do it by becoming tech-savvy and incorporating productivity apps to help you remain on the right track. Below are 12 essential productivity apps for entrepreneurs.

1. Evernote

    Evernote makes it on the list because of one simple reason, besides being your little note book for scribbling your thoughts: Its freeware version is available for Web, iOS and Android. Stay organized across all your devices. Sync files, save Web pages, capture photos, create to-do lists and record voice reminders. What more do you need? Apart from all this, you can also search your tasks on the go.

    2. DropBox

      DropBox delivers instant connectivity and enables the sharing of photos, documents and videos with any laptop or mobile device through the free cloud-based file-storing service. This app is extremely handy for sharing files with your team, which prevents back-and-forth emailing. With the version control feature, you have a convenient way of sharing the latest version with your team.

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      3. Audible

        Ever wondered where entrepreneurs get their ideas from? Surely, they aren’t born with them! Any established entrepreneur you come across is probably very well-read. Hint: Take a chance at reading books and gaining knowledge to spruce up your mind. To help you do just that on the go, try Audible. It lets you listen to books without having to actually focus on reading while you are out travelling or just doing chores.

        4. TripIt: Travel Planner

          Being an entrepreneur means a lot of travelling. It gets hard to keep track of travelling schedules and bookings. With TripIt you no longer have to worry, because it organizes your travels by forwarding your booking confirmations to an email address.

          5. Lastpass

            “Errr…so what was the password?” With so many things on your mind, it can be cumbersome to remember passwords that are usually a combination of various letters and numbers. With a freeware version available for PCs and Macs, Lastpass is your personal-password manager, and form filler, that frees you from remembering your passwords. It costs $12 for the premium version that is available to download on your mobile device.

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            6. Any.Do

              Want to enter tasks on your iPhone? Use Any.Do. With its simple interface, you can add tasks either by speech or typing. If you’re logged on to your Facebook account, you can even share tasks with your contacts. Want to be alerted about a task? Add an alarm, and highlight it so that it takes precedence over other tasks. You can also add further notes and put them in a personal or work folder. The app also allows syncing with other devices to make sure you are always at the top of your game.

              7. CamCard

                Entrepreneurs attend several conferences during the year where they meet useful contacts. Exchanging business cards is the norm in conferences, but it is also very easy to lose a business card and, ultimately, a  business prospect! Don’t let this happen to you. With CamCard, you can take a picture of your business card and have all the details automatically uploaded into your phone contacts and other email accounts. Because of its accuracy, you can be assured of flawless scanning. The best part is that you can sync data across other devices too. The app is usually free for iPhone, but its cost on other mobile phones is $3.26.

                8. Flowdock

                  A mix of chat and inbox tools, Flowdock is a convenient way of collaborating with team members on various projects. The best part is that the app works on most browsers and mobile platforms, and it gives you features such as drag and drop, file uploads and activity streams. Your team members can get instant updates about any change on the project to which they can respond through chat messages.

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                  9. Instapaper

                    The Internet is filled with blogs and articles. Amp up your creativity by reading new posts at a time that suits you. Through Instapaper, you can save an interesting article to read at a more convenient time and in a reader-friendly format.

                    10. Expensify

                      While travelling, you probably want to keep your receipts to claim office expenses once you get home. But why go through the hassle of keeping all these receipts when a smartphone can do the same for you? By using your phone’s camera, you can take pictures of your receipts as a digital record in chronological order. Expensify also lets you log mileage, meal expenses and other business-related travel costs.

                      11. Upwork

                        Screening through resumes and tracking applicants can be cumbersome. You want to hire the best possible people for your company without wasting too much time scanning resumes. So use Upwork to help you perform these tasks; the app helps you manage the entire hiring process. This allows you to spend more time hiring instead of doing manual paper-work sorting out resumes.

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                        The app is also online so it receives all resumes in one place and tracks each candidate’s progress through application stages.

                        12. Zoom

                          Probably the most effective method for remaining in touch with all your employees, Zoom has become an office norm for instant communication and connectivity. With its app version available for mobile phones, connectivity has taken a new form by allowing entrepreneurs to schedule and attend important business conference calls on the go.

                          Bottom Line

                          By using these productivity apps, you have a better chance of organizing a systematic approach for performing tasks. There are many entrepreneurs who are striving for success. However, only a few stand apart on the basis of their work ethic and capacity to grow by incorporating smart apps in their routine.

                          Allow yourself a competitive edge by incorporating these handy productivity apps to enhance your company’s growth.

                          More Tips for Entrepreneurs

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