6 Essential Management Skills and How to Develop Them

Effective managers are critical to the success of any organization. They are responsible for coordinating projects, assigning tasks, and motivating their team to achieve desired results. It requires a wide range of skills to be a successful manager and to ensure their subordinates perform their jobs well. Therefore, it is worthwhile to build a strong skill set in order to achieve your professional goals and advance your career in management. Here are just a few of the most important management skills and helpful steps you can take to develop them. 

1. Clear and Concise Communication

The ability to communicate effectively is an essential skill for any manager. Strong manager-employee relationships are built on the foundation of clear communication. Managers must know how to clearly articulate deadlines, assignments, goals, and expectations so their team members know what is expected of them. Furthermore, they need to be able to communicate corporate announcements, give constructive feedback, and facilitate tough discussions when necessary. Fortunately, communication is a skill that can be learned and developed. Public speaking courses, professional business courses, and plenty of daily practice can go a long way toward improving your communication skills. 

2. Active Listening

Listening is an often overlooked but highly important skill for managers. People in leadership roles often spend much of their time  asking questions and giving out information, but they don’t spend much time listening to feedback. Listening is vital to developing a trusting relationship with your team members. They want to know their ideas are heard and their concerns matter. By fostering your active listening skills, you will build better relationships with your colleagues. You will also have a better understanding of the happenings around you. You can develop this skill by making a point to listen emphatically during conversations. Really concentrate on what the other person is saying rather than preparing your response. Try repeating back what they said to demonstrate that you were listening. 

3. Delegation

It is essential that managers learn how to delegate tasks effectively. Many new managers want to prove that they can handle everything on their own and end up drowning in their tasks. A good manager, however, is comfortable letting other members of their team take responsibility for tasks. Not only is this more efficient, but it empowers employees to take ownership of their work. You can develop this skill by getting to know your team members’s strengths and weaknesses and assigning tasks accordingly.

4. Coaching and Mentoring

No one wants to work for a manager who simply barks orders all day. Rather, employees want to work for a manager who takes the time to teach them. Managers should see themselves as mentors rather than a boss, and work alongside their employees to lead them toward their goals. This skill is developed by making time to focus on coaching and teaching employees. Rather than simply assigning tasks, create a roadmap for helping employees accomplish their tasks. 

5. Conflict Resolution

Conflict is inevitable in the workplace and if it is not addressed, it can turn into employee resentment. Whether it’s disagreements over project assignment or challengings personalities that butt heads, effective managers need to know how to handle conflict swiftly and respectfully. Learning conflict resolution will take some time, but it starts with knowing who you are and what your mission is. It involves showing empathy for others while also taking the initiative to make difficult decisions. 

6. Flexibility

Finally, great managers need to be flexible. Things don’t always work out as planned but that doesn’t mean your response has to be negative. Setbacks are inevitable, but your ability to view these challenges as opportunities to grow will ultimately lead to greater success. You can practice flexibility by having a backup plan in place as well as creative solutions to problems that arise.