Management Skills: Definition and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 3 September 2022 | Published 12 June 2021

Updated 3 September 2022

Published 12 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're in a leadership role at your organisation, it's important to have certain abilities and attributes to perform your duties successfully. Typically, your management skills need to involve your ability to supervise your team and avoid crises in the workplace. Knowing the different types of management skills can help you develop them for the benefit of your team and your own career. In this article, we define management skills, list strong management skills, provide you with the steps for building your management skills and explain the different skills you need as a manager.

What are management skills?

Management skills are a series of attributes or abilities that help you effectively lead a team of employees with an organisation. These skills also help you complete your executive duties as a manager, whether you're avoiding a crisis or solving a problem. Management skills help you understand, develop and assign tasks to a group of professionals in your workplace. Having these skills can help you relate to your colleagues, help you manage your subordinates and help your organisation achieve its goals and overall mission.

Related: How To Manage People Effectively in 6 Steps (Plus Tips)

What are strong management skills?

A combination of both hard and soft management skills can help your organisation run more efficiently. Here are some of the most effective management skills you can apply to a leadership role:

Leadership

Leadership skills refer to your ability to organise and motivate people to complete various tasks according to a set schedule. Managers use these skills to lead meetings, assign workloads and support collaboration across a company's teams and departments. Strong leadership skills can help you coordinate tasks to ensure all parties complete the required work.

Related: 10 Types of Leadership Styles

Communication

Communication skills give you the ability to successfully interact with other people. As a manager, it's important to have strong written and oral communication skills in order to lead people and projects. This skill also helps you understand the needs and goals of an organisation and helps you convey accurate information to the relevant parties at the right time.

Related: How to Improve Communication Skills (With Definition and Examples)

Organisation

Organisation skills refer to your ability to balance many tasks at one time. Having this skill also ensures you stay ahead of your work and that you can keep your team updated on everything going on with the department and company. Your organisation skills as a manager can improve the overall workflow of your team, ensure the efficient completion of tasks and reduce stress.

Time management

Time management is your ability to prioritise your tasks in order to complete them by a certain deadline. Proper time management prevents procrastination and can give you enough time to perform other tasks. Managers use time management to create a routine, create time estimates for greater productivity and to divide big projects into smaller and more manageable tasks.

Strategic thinking

Strategic thinking is your ability to analyse various factors that may influence a company's long-term success. Managers use their strategic thinking abilities to spot inefficiencies and to identify solutions to various challenges. This ability also helps you plan ahead and execute your duties more successfully.

Problem solving

Problem-solving skills refer to your ability to identify the cause of an issue and how to resolve it. As a manager, you need strong problem-solving skills to provide solutions to challenges that arise in the workplace. Having this skill helps you develop a better solution for problems in your organisation, can improve your confidence and can help you earn trust from your team.

Planning

Planning refers to your ability to think about the future and develop the right way to complete a task or reach a goal. As a manager, your planning skills help you organise activities and set guidelines according to your company's available resources.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is your ability to perceive and regulate various emotions. This skill helps you connect with your employees effectively. It involves your ability to identify your emotions while also understanding the emotions of others on your team.

Transparency

Transparency is your ability to act in a way that helps others see and understand how you operate. Not only does it give employees faith in you, but it also establishes trust, holds you accountable and creates a different level of communication with your team. Having transparency also leads to improved interactions with your team.

Motivation

Motivation is the ability to inspire and encourage an individual or a group of individuals. Managers use their motivational abilities to create the desired behaviour from their teams. Depending on your company and team culture, you can use a variety of motivation tactics.

Decision making

Decision making refers to your ability to make strategic choices by identifying a decision. Managers use this skill to create definitive solutions and courses of action for different situations. Before deciding on a course of action, you need to focus on the direction that your action may take rather than the end goal.

Delegation

Delegation is your ability to assign a task to another person. As a manager, you use your delegation abilities to run your team or department. This involves not only assigning tasks, but also knowing an employee's strengths in order to give them a job that aligns with their abilities.

Teamwork

Teamwork refers to your ability to successfully collaborate with others in the workplace. Managers use their teamwork abilities to ensure their subordinates work well as a group toward a common goal. Knowing each employees' strengths and abilities can help you ensure effective collaboration.

Presentation

As a manager, it's important to have strong presentation skills when leading in-office meetings. Not only does this involve knowing how to use slideshow software, but it also involves public speaking and engaging the audience in a way that prompts discussion.

Mentoring

Mentoring is your ability to coach or train another individual. The goal is to provide the mentee with growth, learning and career development. As a manager, it's important to guide your team and ensure that they know what's expected of them. Having this skill can help improve the quality of your team's work.

How to build management skills

As a manager, it's important to keep building your skills to benefit your career, your colleagues and your company. You can improve your skills through learning and practical experience. Here are different ways to improve and develop your management skills:

1. Shadow a manager

Ask your own manager if you can shadow them during your lunch break or free time. Let them mentor you and gain as much knowledge as you can from their daily activities. Having this insight can help you know how to approach your own management role.

2. Work on your time management

As a manager, it's important to make efficient use of your time. Plan your days and review your schedule ahead of time. Establish time management skills in your own life in order to transfer these skills to your management position. Developing this skill, in particular, can help you improve your other management skills more easily.

3. Get to know your team

Whether you're in a new role or you've been in your managerial position for a while, get to know the people on your team. Assess their strengths, skills, motivations and weaknesses. Knowing who they are and how they work can help you effectively lead them. It can also create a positive work environment.

Consider connecting to your team through team-building activities or an informal meetup. Since you often work with your team in a professional capacity, speaking outside of work can help you converse in a friendlier manner.

4. Maintain open communication

Once you establish a relationship with your team, establish trust and make them feel comfortable coming to you with questions. Creating a positive environment where they can share their ideas and receive constructive criticism can help you know how to help them as their manager.

Consider setting up regular meetings to check in with the individual members on your team. Knowing what's going on in the workplace can help you improve and execute your managerial skills such as your problem-solving or strategy skills.

5. Set clear goals

Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based (SMART) goals and share them with your team. Sharing SMART goals ensures an understanding of what the team needs to achieve collaboratively and why it's important. You can use this same approach when setting individual goals for your team.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition, Template and Examples

What skills do managers need?

Managers need different types of skills in order to perform their jobs successfully. Here are the three basic types of skills managers need:

Technical

Also known as hard skills, technical skills are the field-specific abilities you need to complete certain physical or digital tasks. They're often practical skills that involve mathematics, science, information technology or mechanics. The technical skills you need as a manager often depend on your industry and role.

Related: What Are Technical Skills?

Conceptual

Conceptual skills refer to skills that help you identify and solve organisational problems through other courses of action. These skills arise as you formulate new ideas. Through your conceptual skills, you can view an entire concept, diagnose the issue and develop a creative solution. These skills can help you predict future problems your company or department may face.

Interpersonal

Interpersonal skills refer to your ability to communicate and interact with other people. Having these skills as a manager can help you motivate your team to achieve better results. Strong interpersonal skills can also improve your relationships with your team and can lead to a positive work environment.

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