Are you a workplace solutions Manager or troublemaking Manager? Management skills are something that you hear a lot about in the abstract, according to CareerBuilder; yet you may find you’re at a loss to define what the term really means. In the broadest sense, management skills can be nearly anything that enables you to manage others effectively. While some skills will vary based on your industry, there are several that are universal across nearly every work environment.
Zenger and Folkman came up with a ranking of the leadership skills that are most important for success. Here are the top-10 as shared from CareerBuilder.
- Inspires and motivates others
Great leaders create a vision of the future which is vivid and compelling, and that motivates employees to want to achieve it. Everyone wants to work for a company that makes a difference in the world. As a leader, you are best able to help the members of your team connect what they do to the impact it has on customers and communities.
Managers who can motivate their employees are true assets to their company, points out CareerBuilder. This type of interaction not only increases productivity and employee-satisfaction, but also sets a good example as well. Hiring managers look for leaders who can spot employees’ strengths and encourage them to develop their skill-sets.
The best managers have a keen eye for areas that can be improved, and know how to approach these issues diplomatically so workers feel encouraged to make productive changes rather than be discouraged by their shortcomings.
Important skills in this area include:
- Empowering employees to take ownership of projects
- Creating an energetic and highly-motivated workplace
- Showing proper appreciation for employee accomplishments
- Supporting co-workers who are under stress
- Providing rewards and incentives for outstanding performance
- Displays high integrity and honesty
Great leaders are honest and transparent, and have high integrity – they do what they say they are going to do, and they walk their talk. As Umpqua Bank CEO Ray Davis said in his book ‘Leading Through Uncertainty’: “I always tell our people that they’re entitled to get answers to every question they have. … That doesn’t mean they’re going to like the answers. But it’s going to be truthful, and I know they can deal with the truth. This might create additional questions, but we’ll get through them. And we do”.
- Solves problems and analyses issues
Ultimately, leaders are recruited, trained, and chosen to solve organisational problems, and to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. This requires not only excellent analytical abilities, but also above-average people skills. The right skill-set empowers managers to identify, face, and overcome various problems which might arise in the workplace.
This first requires outstanding attention to detail. Top managers can spot emerging problems before they’re apparent to everyone else in the company and identify the root of the trouble. Analytical skills are also important in management. You should know what data is most relevant to your industry, how to gather it, and what the resulting numbers mean.
Highlight these problem-solving skills on your resume:
- Demonstrating resourcefulness in the face of a problem
- Anticipating potential issues before they arise
- Identifying factors contributing to problems
- Interpreting critical industry data
- Troubleshooting quickly and efficiently
- Drives for results
Some people are happy to sit back and watch the world go by, while others aren’t unless they are making things happen in their organisations. Great leaders have a higher level of perseverance, stick-to-itiveness, and drive than almost anyone else – and they can be counted on to get things done.
- Communicates powerfully and prolifically
Great leaders communicate with their people often, and in a variety of different ways. Whether it’s by means of one-on-one conversations, team meetings, blog-posts, email messages, phone or Skype calls – or any other such medium, leaders don’t talk about communicating: they just do it.
One of the most important responsibilities that managers have is communicating effectively, both with the employees who work under them and with other managers throughout the company. They’re part of an intricate web, and must act as a strong connection point that bridges the gaps between lower level employees and top-brass; or between sales, marketing, and production departments.
People skills are crucial. You should be able to communicate effectively in both verbal and written form. Typo-riddled memos or rushed, confusing meetings won’t do. The best managers are always able to send a clear message and share valuable, understandable information that will help get the job done – this is expressed by CareerBuilder.
Include these types of communication and people-skills on your resume:
- Drafting clear and concise training materials
- Maintaining open lines of communication with co-workers
- Negotiating successfully to resolve employee disputes
- Encouraging communication among reticent employees
- Leading efficient meetings that are both productive and sensitive to time-constraints
- Builds relationships
Business is built on a solid foundation of relationships and trust. Without these two things, you can’t have a business – or at least not a successful business. Take time every day to build relationships with the members of your team, your customers and vendors, your boss and your boss’s boss, others in your industry, and your community. The stronger your relationships, the better a leader you will be.
- Displays technical or professional expertise
Most leaders start out in business with a specific skill – such as selling, or accounting, or designing software. The best leaders build on their technical and professional skills over time, becoming valuable experts in their field and skilled at leading their team.
Good managers hold themselves to the highest standards, so that their employees will have a clear example of what they should strive for. Integrity, honesty, and professionalism are crucial skills for strong managers. As a leader, it’s better to show rather than tell when it comes to work ethics and demeanour. Hiring managers look for job applicants who adhere to a strict moral code and set the right example for others.
Qualities that exude professionalism on a resume include:
- Providing exceptional customer service with a professional attitude
- Identifying diplomatic solutions to workplace issues
- Exhibiting strong moral values
- Showing initiative
- Attending professional development seminars
- Displays a strategic perspective
Great leaders have a long-term vision of the future, and they avoid getting bogged-down in the here and now. While they can be tactical when necessary, they maintain the strategic outlook necessary to guide their businesses to the best future possible.
- Develops others
Just as they work to continuously develop and build their own technical and professional expertise, the best leaders set aside time (and money in their budgets) to develop their workforce. They look for the most promising employees and provide them with the training they need to become their company’s next generation of great leaders.
According to General Electric’s 2012 Global Innovation Barometer, which polled 2,800 senior executives on the state of innovation around the world, 92 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “innovation is the main lever to create a more competitive economy”. The ability to innovate is a key skill for every great leader.
Innovation is a keyword for nearly every company. Your competitors are always striving to develop the best new products and services ahead of you. Businesses that innovate well stay at the top of the pack, netting new customers with their fresh offerings and keeping existing clients happy with a continuous selection of upgrades. Hiring managers have a keen eye for new hires who will bring different perspectives and new ideas to the company.
Highlight your ability to innovate with these skills:
- Developing innovative solutions for customers’ needs
- Identifying key shortcomings in manufacturing, and drafting solutions to boost production
- Constructing research models to test new product ideas
- Generating fresh ideas for timely marketing campaigns
- Redesigning systems for increased productivity or functionality
Bonus: Champions change
It’s no secret that the business environment for most companies is changing faster than ever before, which requires people and the organisations they work for to change right along with it. Great leaders see the changes coming on the horizon, and they constantly push their organisations to be in the right place when those changes happen.
Are you a workplace solutions Manager or troublemaking Manager?
Daniel Adjei is a | Management Consultant | Spint Consult Limited | firstname.lastname@example.org |