Management is a broad term. It speaks to management skills, management style, and management philosophy. It also includes functions, processes, principles, and techniques. Management is a subject that has intrigued the minds of historians for centuries.
You might be a manager and not even realize it. You manage your time, stress, and personal relationships daily. In the workplace, you might manage projects, finances, security, and general systems.
Do you think about your management skills often? You need to brush up on them regardless of whether you’re a manager at work or just in your interpersonal skills at home.
Today, we give you ten essential management skills so that you can be a more effective manager, in work and life, right away.
Why are Management Skills Important?
So why do these essential skills matter? Well, management involves using your resources properly so that you can accomplish various goals.
This is true in any personal environment, but most importantly as a team member on a larger scale within your communities, business or organizations.
We’re sure that you want to succeed. That’s pretty much the essence of life. But it’s hard to succeed when you’re blinded by bias.
For example, you probably think you are a good manager. And we’re sure that you are. But do you want to be the best?
It’s hard to criticize ourselves objectively. So take a look at these skills and see if some of them need improvement.
Management is just like any other profession in the sense that you must constantly improve and learn new things in order to earn your position, maintain it and get better each day.
Learn these and you will impress the right people and yourself.
The 3 Basic Types of Management Skills
There are different types of learners. By the same token, there are different types of management skills.
There are visual learners, tactical learners, auditory learners, and countless more. So don’t feel bad if you read through these different skill sets and think: “I’m not good at any of the technical ones.”
First of all, we are our own worst critics. You probably are apt at least one in every category. But everyone can improve. We never stop improving until we stop trying.
Technical skills are a tool you use to reach your goals.
Let’s take a broad example. You may not like to tinker under the hood, but you can recognize when your car needs an oil change. You might not be a specialist in computer sciences, but you can tell when your computer is infected with a virus.
They’re also a part of the management process. Technical skills are those that use your knowledge, via a variety of techniques, to reach your goals.
They might include the use of software operations to produce content or any other effect. They also are the skills you need to employ to increase revenue, come up with ideas that generate new products or services, and the way you position and market those products or services.
While technical skills are usually more left-brain centric, conceptual skills are more right-brain centric.
Conceptual skills allow you to create new and innovative ideas. They play off of abstract thought and creative thinking.
A manager who excels in conceptual skills is able to see the big picture. They can look at a problem or idea and come up with a comprehensive solution. They do this proactively before the problem even arises.
Interpersonal skills reflect good communication and vice versa.
How do you interact with people in your everyday life? Let’s say you go to make a return at a retail store. Do you communicate what you need to the sales clerk and leave feeling like you achieved what you set out to do?
How do you work with your sales reps if you’re a sales manager? When they have an issue, did you have a feeling that would happen? If you do, are you able to relate to their experience and effectively communicate empathy while you solve it together? If you do, you probably already fixed the issue before it escalated.
The Essential Management Skills You and Your Team Need
We can break down those three basic levels of management skills into even further subsections.
Each of the following 10 essential skills are byproducts of the above three.
After or while you read this, take notes as objectively as possible on how you can improve as a manager. If you are a business owner, think about if your team has top management right now or if they fall behind. If you are a sales rep and you want to see if you are being managed as effectively as possible, do the same.
Effective Leadership Style
You have to be an effective leader to motivate your team. Motivated teams drive revenue and get results.
But what motivates your team? Everyone is different. Everyone develops differently, too. Your leadership style can’t be a static approach to everyone.
There are many different management styles out there. Let’s take a look at some of them.
On a broad spectrum, there are three main types: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire managers.
Autocratic consists of those who want to be the sole decision-maker. They do not value employee input about anything. They like to have the utmost authority on their team.
Democratic is made up of managers who encourage employees to contribute their ideas. At the end of the day, though, the manager still makes the ultimate decision. Here is where we start to see communication skills develop throughout the chain of command.
Laissez-faire is definitely a more modern approach to management. These managers almost wash their hands of decision-making. They are there to supervise the decisions, but they value freedom in the workforce.
How do you lead? Is it effective for the well-being of your team and company?
Entrepreneurship and Ownership
Entrepreneurial skills are those that allow you to take initiative. What are your ideas? Do you work tirelessly to bring those ideas to fruition?
To cultivate these skills, make sure you don’t put yourself in a box. Step out of it. Break boundaries. Be innovative.
The best entrepreneurs value their ideas and introduce them to the world with a sense of ownership. This is how they succeed.
But didn’t someone once say that “with great power comes great responsibility?” That applies here, too. When you generate ideas as an entrepreneur, you also own up to any mistakes you might make.
You also have to manage other people’s ideas. That ownership is part of the package deal when you sign up to be a good manager.
Conflict happens. It will always happen. It’s perfectly natural.
If you are a sales manager for a large business, for example, you probably have a pretty big sales department. That means there are a lot of different personalities, opinions, feelings, and so on.
Top management understands and predicts conflict to stay ahead of the curve. Then when it does arise, you can de-escalate and form a lesson or training opportunity out of the conflict.
Do not be subjective during these situations. You need to remain as objective as possible, understand all sides of the story and weigh out the end result as fairly as possible.
If you do, you have a team that trusts you and comes to you before a problem happens.
Money doesn’t grow on trees. As it turns out, neither does managerial success.
You need to work for it. This is when negotiation comes into play. Negotiation is a crucial management skill to reach your goals. Whether you negotiate with a client, a coworker, a higher-up or a vendor, you develop the power of persuasion.
Persuasion, respect, and compromise are all elements of negotiation.
Also, use it in your personal life and you will find that negotiation becomes easier, almost like a second nature, in your professional life.
Strategic thinking is multi-faceted. To do it, you have to incorporate communication skills, analysis, leadership and more. However, you don’t have to create a complete strategic plan every time you embark on a new journey or make a new business decision.
Here’s a scenario: imagine a Scrabble board. Your opponent puts down letter tiles, you put down letter tiles, the score is close and you want to bring home the win. How do you win, though?
At the beginning of the game, you don’t plan out your entire win, play by play. That’s not possible. You don’t know what letter tiles you will draw and you don’t know which ones your opponent will, either.
Instead, you think about your next move as it comes. You draw on past experience. You take risks, but they are calculated risks. The next time you play a game of Scrabble, you get even better because you can reference the tactics you used the time before. The cycle continues.
This is strategic thinking in action.
A project could be just about anything. But let’s narrow it down to some specific examples:
- An article you have to write
- Rolling out a new software system for your company
- A budget you have to propose
- A new training process you want to implement
Those are just a handful. You probably start new projects in your everyday life, too. What might those look like?
- A renovation in your house
- Updating your laptop
- Organizing your kitchen
- Compiling a big to-do list
According to Oxford Languages, a project is “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.”
In management, you need to understand and use project management skills to succeed. Project management allows you to structure and lead all professional projects. You have to be organized, clear in what you expect, and observe concrete progress so that you can know where to improve.
High-Level Time Management and Prioritization
Time management isn’t effective without proper prioritization.
It’s great if you show up at 9 a.m. on the dot for work every morning. But what do you do while you’re actually at work?
Don’t procrastinate. If you do, you add stress to your workload. That throws everything off balance. As a manager, the rest of your team feels that imbalance and it reflects in their work as well.
Indeed lists some of the vital time management skills you should work on:
- Stress management
We talk a lot about communication. But why is it important?
You probably have somewhat of an idea. But let’s be specific here.
If you don’t communicate, everything else falls apart. Even if you don’t know how to do it for any given situation, you should try. It shows people that you care about results and you want them to, also. Others reflect that communication and it forms the building blocks to a cohesive team.
What does your business need? What does your team within the business need? Do you communicate those needs on every level?
Get straight to the point with your communication skills. Don’t leave any room for guesswork.
Relationships and Dynamic Team Building
As a manager, you don’t work as a single individual. That goes against the fundamentals of management. You manage a team.
Have you ever felt left out? Maybe like the responsibility all laid on your shoulders? It’s not a pleasant feeling.
If you don’t focus on interpersonal relationships and team building, the rest of your department will feel that way, too.
If you do, you create a powerful team with multiple perspectives, open communication, and a chance for everyone to learn.
Coaching and Delegation
Don’t stop perfecting your management skills after everyone is trained and onboarded.
To be a good manager, you have to continue the learning process. You do this when you coach and delegate.
You cannot do everything on your own. Once you communicate and actively listen, you get an idea of who is responsible. Use this knowledge to see who you can delegate different tasks to.
And don’t leave them to their own devices. Ensure that you coach them often. It gives you a solid look at the success of each project and the success of each employee. It also encourages those employees to take initiative and tells them that you want them to progress.
If you want to perfect your management skills and you just don’t know how, book a 20-minute intro call with us. We know how to ensure you are properly trained. And we know how to make it last. At Selling Revolution, we know you are more than just a cog in the machine. You can help your business prosper and we know how to get you there.