Even if you have the right people on your team, you must also work to develop the skill sets that are critical for leading your team to success. Whether you are a veteran manager looking to hone your skill set or an up-and-coming manager just learning the ropes, read on to understand some of the key managerial skills that successful leaders practice on daily basis.
The foundational quality of any good manager is exemplary organisational skills. Day-to-day managerial skills not only aid in timely project management, detailed strategic planning and time management for the manager themselves - these skills also make the manager a proper role model for his or her direct reports.
Typically, managers that excel at organisation are able to create simple structures and tools that help their teams drive towards a goal, breaking the big picture down into measurable tasks and targets. Examples include leading a team to design a new ticketing system or developing a new sales strategy while effectively measuring progress towards deadlines and milestones.
While all good managers have organisational skills, not every manager has strong leadership skills. Organisational skills revolve around planning and process, or 'how" teams get things done.
Leadership skills take it a step further and give team members the 'why.' Why is reaching this milestone important? Why does this strategy make the most sense for the company? When employees feel connected to the vision or the 'why' behind team goals, they are more invested in their work and engaged with the company mission.
Great leaders also focus on developing engaging team building activities on order to increase rapport and trust. Creating opportunities to practice teamwork and problem solving with games (such as a scavenger hunt) not only ensures that team members will have fun, but they will also learn new ways to work together effectively. When team members bond with one another outside of work and connect on a personal level, it makes for a stronger team in the office.
Furthermore, excellent leaders know their current talent is the future of the organisation. They strive to develop future strong leaders internally with activities that help high performers develop the necessary skills to evolve into skilled managers.
Every employee who has ever had a manager that doesn't have good communication skills knows how frustrating it can be. Project teams feel left in the dark without a manager who practices frequent, transparent communication.
Team members that work in remote environments have additional communication challenges to consider. When you don't work in the same building, you can't have in-person meetings to drop by someone's desk to talk. Effective managers leverage tools like chat applications (link to chat apps article), video-conferencing and are strong written communicators.
Great managers are skilled at keeping their team in the know while creating an open environment for communicating with one another. If an employee doesn't understand what the manager has communicated, they should feel free to speak up and ask for clarification.
Communication regarding individual performance and providing constructive criticism is also an essential communication skill for managers. This is a skill that requires sensitivity and an open mind, while also limiting emotion in the interaction. When managers have to give constructive criticism, they do so in a way that lets the employee know they are them to support them and will listen to concerns with without judging.
In any group, team managers have to deal with conflict resolution at some point. It comes with the territory. Strong managers don't shy away from conflict, they hone their problem solving and interpersonal skills to find a solution.
To effectively resolve team conflicts, managers should practice good listening skills and actively listen to both sides without taking one person's side over the other. Team members have to feel they can trust the manager to help them find a solution and taking sides or showing favoritism will never help.
They should also be quick to address conflict before things get worse and a simple problem with a quick resolution turns into a crisis. The manager should meet with each involved team member individually to draw out each person's perspective, show good role modeling behavior by staying calm and coaching the team on how to communicate more effectively while teaching proper coping mechanisms for when conflict arises in the future.
It's well-known that great leaders lead by example, not by barking out orders.
Self-motivation is key for excellent management, but the most successful managers aim to inspire and motivate their team members daily. One important aspect of motivation is that it's very personal. Since every individual is motivated by different factors, managers must get to know their employees on a personal level to decipher what motivates them the most.
For example, Sarah might be motivated by promotion and taking on new responsibilities. Her manager should help her set a career plan that leads to her earning a leadership role.
On the other hand, Chris may be purely motivated by earning more income, and he can get there by doing one thing very well, such as closing sales deals. Chris' manager should develop a compensation and commission structure for Chris that rewards his financial goals and maximises his income if he demonstrates high performance.
A busy manager's plate is full. Along with being a leader and organiser for their team, managers also have their own individual work tasks and projects to complete. Smart managers use tools that help organise the entire teams' work and communicate with one another more effectively.
Samewave is social performance management software that helps managers track progress towards goals and tasks and increases accountability of each team member, all in one transparent place. Managers also have access to custom, detailed reports at the click of a button to instantly track performance and progress of every team member.
Best of all, Samewave is free! Sign up for our software today and introduce it to your team to manage, engage and communicate with your employees more effectively and reach your goals faster.