Team Management Skills: Examples and Improvement Strategies
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 9 December 2022
Published 11 October 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.
Managing a team requires more than industry expertise and administrative knowledge. Effective managers use a variety of personality traits and soft skills to build rapport, improve collaboration and leverage individual strengths for collective achievements. If you aspire to be an excellent team manager, it's beneficial to know the vital skills required to manage people and resources for maximum efficiency. In this article, we discuss team management skills, provide examples and outline tips to help you improve these capabilities for enhanced workplace results.
What are team management skills?
Team management skills refer to qualities managers require to oversee a group of people for effectiveness and productivity. These skills include the ability to provide clear instructions, emotional intelligence, goal-setting and delegation. Having the traits to lead a team effectively can help a manager identify the strengths and weaknesses of each team member and assign them to tasks that suit their expertise for improved productivity and efficiency.
Examples of team management skills
There are several skills leaders can use to oversee their teams for optimal results. While some people have these skills naturally, others develop them with practice. Here are examples of skills vital to providing quality team leadership:
Effective communication is a vital instrument for leading teams to achieve optimal results. The best team leaders have exceptional communication skills, which they use in a wide range of areas. Part of managing a team is providing people with clear instructions that show them their tasks, how to achieve them and feedback for improvement.
Besides communicating instructions on deliverables, effective team management involves listening actively to understand the concerns and contributions of members. Successful team managers are also adept at reading nonverbal cues from their teams, and this can help them better manage relationships and deliver results.
Effective team leadership involves making decisions. As a team leader, it is important to have the analytical and intuitive abilities to weigh the pros and cons of each option your team chooses instead of an alternative. Being able to evaluate the costs and benefits of actions and the potential impact on the company is a desirable trait in management positions.
Team leaders require excellent organisation skills. They oversee several activities, including creating and implementing budgets, delegating tasks, tracking performance and setting deadlines and milestones. Team managers also meet with stakeholders, provide feedback and implement revisions to the original plan. These activities require a high level of organisation for success.
Setting goals is one of the attributes of successful leaders. The ability to set goals and outline the steps and activities required to achieve them can help boost productivity. This trait can also link team members' actions to tangible results, giving them a sense of purpose to stay motivated and committed to their tasks.
Strategic planning skills
Besides setting goals, strategic planning is another competency that can improve the effectiveness of leaders. Strategic planning is a powerful instrument managers use to create specific processes and procedures to achieve long-term goals, which makes it a force multiplier for results-driven leaders. This skill encompasses several competencies, including resource allocation, delegation, talent acquisition, financial planning and performance tracking.
Time management skills
Being an effective leader requires adept time management skills. Since teams have a finite number of hours to plan, execute and deliver projects, successful team managers know how to allocate time effectively to improve each team member's productivity and reduce delays. To do this effectively, managers use several tools, include deadlines, milestones, priority lists and other time management techniques.
Leadership positions require emotional intelligence because you're working with people who have unique personal behaviours and characters. Being emotionally intelligent involves dealing with your team members with compassion, patience and understanding. Emotionally intelligent managers aim to see things from other people's perspectives. They also try to understand other people's thought processes and emotions and use that knowledge to control their interaction with them. Doing this can help prevent conflicts and create a cordial atmosphere that promotes teamwork and cooperation.
The ability to solve problems is another great attribute of effective leaders. These professionals can identify, evaluate and analyse issues to have a deep understanding of how to solve them. They're also proficient in trying and implementing novel ideas to provide better results for their organisation. Leaders that possess this trait can help improve efficiency at their workplace through timely resolution of issues that can cause delays and budget overruns.
Effective team management involves being creative. Creativity can influence how you complete tasks, solve problems and develop new processes and procedures. Besides being creative themselves, successful managers also create an atmosphere that encourages teams to be innovative through effective delegation.
Successful team managers excel at delegation. They have a deep understanding of their team members' core strengths and give them responsibilities to enhance those qualities. Effective delegation not only helps individuals achieve peak performance, but it can also boost innovation, leadership qualities and job satisfaction.
The ability to adapt makes it easy for team managers to achieve optimal productivity and performance in diverse working conditions. Adaptable team leaders can take the initiative, and they also encourage their people to learn and develop skills to meet new realities. This type of leaders don't shy away from new challenges; they analyse each project or environment to identify how to achieve results for their organisation.
Being personable is a vital attribute for successful team management. Interpersonal skills allow managers to interact effectively with different levels of employees in an organisation. Like emotional intelligence, these skills allow you to be considerate when talking with people, understand their feelings and take responsibility as their leader.
How to improve team management skills
Here are seven strategies you can use to become better at managing teams:
1. Identify your current skills
One way to improve your team leadership skills is to identify your current management capabilities. By identifying areas where you excel, it becomes easier to pinpoint skills you can improve upon. To improve your results, try to identify those skills that can help improve your career development. That way, you can link their improvement to tangible career goals, which helps to boost your desire to develop them.
2. Improve your delegation skills
Most of the work of team managers revolves around delegating duties and responsibilities. So, if you can delegate effectively, you're likely going to enhance your team leadership qualities. Areas to work on include identifying individual skills for effective task allocation, time management, accountability, prioritisation and performance evaluation. It's also important to set boundaries when delegating and know when to say no to tasks to avoid overburdening yourself and the team.
3. Set professional development and improvement goals
Once you know areas that need improvement, set goals to develop and enhance those skills and outline a plan to achieve your objectives. To improve your results, set a specific timeframe to accomplish the goals and create a system to track your progress. It's vital for your goals to be connected to a specific career or professional outcome, so you have something to motivate you to succeed.
4. Ask your team for feedback
Sometimes, it can be difficult to be objective when assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Asking your team to provide feedback on your conduct as a leader can provide valuable insights into areas where you can improve. For this to work, it's important to have a cordial relationship with co-workers so they can provide honest feedback that can help you grow professionally.
5. Practise your skills
Besides identifying and developing skills, you also want to practise them consistently. Take every opportunity to practise your leadership skills in and out of the office. For example, if presentation is difficult for you, you can decide to ask or answer more questions in meetings to build your confidence and public speaking skills. If your colleagues complain about the language you use to provide feedback, try to read about more positive ways to evaluate employee performance.
6. Be open-minded
Be flexible and receptive to new ways of thinking and doing things. Being open to constructive criticism as honest feedback can also help improve your communication and interpersonal skills. Work on the way you interact with people so they're free to open up to you about how they feel about your leadership style. Doing this not only creates a more cordial atmosphere, it can help promote camaraderie among the team members and improve your ability to motivate them to stay committed to projects and company goals.
7. Prioritise team development
A great way to improve as a team manager is to invest in your team's professional development. Whether by encouraging them to acquire in-demand industry skills or certifications, organising training workshops or providing tools and resources to improve their productivity and efficiency, supporting your team's career advancement can help develop trust and commitment. It also demonstrates that you value your team members and are actively working to make them better at their jobs.
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