What are management skills?

If you thought it is just the elite members at top managerial positions who require the management skillset, you might want to re-think. Management skills, in one way or another, are vital for all kinds of employees across all domains and positions. We will discuss the importance of management skills and more in this blog. Keep reading!

What are management skills?

Simply stated,

Any ability that helps you accomplish a task or deal with people efficiently is a management skill.

It is a misconception that only certain management skills are ‘desirable’. It might be true that Leadership and Organizational Ability are core management skills, but so are Effective communication, Network Building, and Teamwork. So, it must be kept in mind that each skill has its own importance, and it is the right combination of such skills that hiring authorities are looking for while shortlisting candidates.

Now, let us have a look at what these management skills are.

Types of management skills

There is no end to the number of management skills that can be enlisted. However, a broad classification of management skills includes:

  • Technical skills
  • Conceptual skills
  • People management skills

An effective combination of all three broad skills is essential in a sought-after manager. Here are some specific skills that come under these broad categories:

1. Strategic thinking

An organization’s survival and growth are based on the creation and implementation of strong and effective business strategies. Naturally, being able to think strategically and aligning the team’s goal with the organization’s goals is an essential quality expected in a manager.

Strategic thinking means considering the current scenario and planning for the future accordingly.

Naturally, for this, an individual must be technically sharp and have business intelligence to anticipate any kind of problems or threats that may come up. Innovation plays a key role too. To be able to look at the bigger picture and come up with new ways to promote future growth is something that comes naturally to a brilliant strategic thinker.

2. Team building and delegation

In an organization, there’s no room for working solo. Teams are the life force behind the working of a company and ensuring that the team is effective falls upon the team lead. Team building is intimately linked with the delegation of tasks and involves multiple aspects including,

  • Selecting candidates with complementary skill sets.
  • Allotting key members with major roles and training other members for providing support.
  • A chain of command in case a team lead or key member is absent.
  • Allotment of tasks keeping in mind each team member’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Delegating optimum workload on each member, neither too less nor too much.
  • Keeping all members updated and trained regularly.
  • Regular reporting and feedback from all members about work progress.
  • Keeping a progressive, win-win environment in the team.

3. Leadership

Where there is a team, there is a leader. In order to operate an organization, strong teams providing efficient working are a necessity. For that to happen, employers are always on the lookout for capable leaders to coordinate and take charge of various teams.

Leadership, however, cannot be learned off books alone. It is an ability that sets a person apart from the herd.

Leadership involves building a rapport with the team. A leader is adept at identifying the key skills in his team members and ensuring that the best possible output is provided. Keeping track of team members’ issues and difficulties, providing timely assistance, suggesting improvement in team coordination and functioning, and most importantly, maintaining the team spirit are all part of a leader’s role.

4. Motivation

Bringing together people with diverse skill sets is no easy task. It requires convincing them to work towards a common goal. When the going gets tough in the form of deadlines or increased workload, the performance of the team tends to fall. Motivation works to raise the team spirit in such cases.

Effective motivation includes stimulating the team through various means to ensure that the team works as one with a common focus. The desire for money, recognition, success, and promotion are some of the best motivators. It falls upon the team lead to identify the best factor that can boost the team’s performance.

5. Troubleshooting and decision making

Problems do not come with a warning, and in a complex organization, there’s no shortage of them. An effective manager must be quick-witted and flexible enough to provide accurate solutions to any problems that may crop up without warning.

Troubleshooting is a skill that develops through experience and careful observation. In addition, the manager also needs to be updated about the history of likely problems and known ways to tackle them in the industry.

Along the same lines, to ensure that workflow does not stop due to any unforeseen event, the leader must be sharp enough to think on his/her feet and make quick decisions. The ability of prompt decision making has its roots in deep knowledge, leadership, and a progressive attitude. If the leader possesses troubleshooting and effective decision making, the progress of his/her team is inevitable.

6. Business communication

In an organization, nothing works without communication. Written (especially, email writing ) as well as verbal communication are essential skills to master. Right communication is the key to securing new businesses and in growing established ones.

Communication also needs to be smooth within the team and between teams. The role of a team leader/manager becomes paramount in this case as it falls upon him/her to act as the central channel of communication. The team lead is also expected to provide mentoring and training regarding efficient communication to the entire team. In fields such as sales, marketing, and customer support, the role of communication skills is above all else.

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