The 8 most important skills you need as a manager


Being a manager is a tough job. Becoming a good manager takes to master 8 skills and a lot of practice. Here are 8 skills with tip for each of them how to develop them.

1. Self-awareness 

Without understanding yourself, you can’t improve yourself. Self-awareness leads to self-regulation which is one of the 5 components of emotional intelligence according to author Daniel Goleman. It also helps you develop empathy and both are key traits to ability to positively influence those around you. 

It helps you make decisions which as manager you’ve got to be able to do well and quickly. It also helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses which will help you focus better your time and energy. 

2. Trustworthiness

According to Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy, author of the book ‘Presence’, when people first meet you they ask two questions:

Can I trust this person?
Can I respect this person?

You’ve got to be able to your team that they can trust you and you do that by showing them you trust them. Give them space and freedom to do their work, so avoid micromanaging. 

TIP: Here’s what I want you to do, Open up and share your personal stories and show vulnerable side to yourself. Spend more time with them. 

3. Empathy

As a manager, you’ve got to know your team to lead them well, to make them effective and productive. And to know your team, you’ll need to develop empathy to understand them. 

Only when you are empathetic to your team and they feel you understand them, only then they will respect you. 

According to research conducted by Centre for Creative leadership, ‘study found that leader who show more empathy to their team are viewed as better leaders’.

TIP: Here’s what I want you to do, Listen twice as much as you speak. Relate to problems your team faces, understand what they might be going through on daily bases. 

4. Delegation

It’s hard to delegate because it means giving up the control but it is crucial to get trust and respect from your team. If you trust them, they will trust you. 

If you fail on this one, the result will certainly be damage to the morale of your team and that is very hard to repair. 

People need freedom to do their job, apply their own initiative and ideas, find the best way for them to complete tasks and see the progress their making. 

TIP: Here’s what I want you to do, Avoid telling them how to do their job and trust they know or will figure it out and be ready to offer guidance and support. Remember, you don’t have all the answers or all the right answers. 

5. Giving Feedback

This is one of the hardest things to get right. When giving feedback, focus on the behaviour not the person, be specific and clear and give feedback in the real-time. 

TIP: Here’s what I want you to do, Be clear, open, honest and direct, avoid going around the circles. Use one-to-one meeting to do so for privacy. 

6. Receiving Feedback

If you’re giving feedback, you also need to know how to receive it. Whether it is feedback from your boss or your team. 

Avoid getting defensive and reacting negatively. 

Receiving constructive feedback is the best way to grow and learn in your new role and as a person. 

TIP: Here’s what I want you to do, Let your team know that you are open to their feedback. Don’t defend yourself, just listen and then ask follow up questions to understand it better. 

7. Communication skills

Some of the biggest issues in the workplace come from lack of communication and some of the biggest problems and misunderstanding come from  miscommunication. 

TIP: Here’s what I want you to do, Speak clearly and slowly and check in with receiver that they understand your message. Watch your body language and tone of voice. 

8. Consistency 

According to study conducted by Michigan State University, ‘employees with unpredictable managers were more likely to be stressed, dissatisfied, and emotionally drained at work.’

You need to stay consistent with what you say and do, and how you treat each member of the team, otherwise your trust and respect will start to disappear. 

So would you say, you’re demonstrating all 8 skills within your role? Which one do you struggle the most? Which one do you feel, you need to improve on? I’d like to hear from you in the comments below.