Management Skills List and Examples

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Management basics: Theory of management

Management is the art of planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling. Management is planning what you will do; organizing to ensure that it gets done; staffing to provide the necessary people who will do it; directing so that they follow the plan by working together with common purpose and common sense; control which provides constant feedback on progress made and problems encountered.

The greatest managers understand that, in the end, their success will be largely determined by how well they develop the management skills necessary to achieve that success. You can take a look at our Top 20 Skills Every Manager Must Have for more information about what it takes to succeed as a manager.

Management Skills: Management is all about getting things done through other people and therefore, as a manager, you need to develop the following skills:

1. Communication Skills:

This is one of the most critical management skills for managers because it is how they influence their employees and drive results. Managers should be effective at communicating verbally and in writing as well as listening actively. They should be able to handle group and one-on-one conversations. The best managers will also include their employees in the larger conversation about the company’s vision, goals and plans so that everyone understands them and is excited about achieving those goals.

2. Understanding People:

Managers must understand the strengths, weaknesses, motivations and emotions of all the different types of people on their team. They should be able to motivate each individual and harness that person’s skills for the good of the group as a whole. So managers need to know how to provide direction and coaching, address performance problems and recognize an employee’s achievements both big and small. This also includes understanding how employees work together as a group and how the group dynamics change when a new person is added.

3. Leadership:

All managers need to be leaders in some fashion, but the greatest managers will also become strong leaders of their teams and of the company as a whole. This means they should be able to clearly communicate and share a vision for where they want to take the organization and how employees can be part of that success. It also means leading by example. The best managers develop trust with their superiors, peers and direct reports through integrity and the way they do their job.

4. Decision Making:

Making good decisions is one of the most crucial management skills for managers because there are always competing factors and trade-offs to be made. Managers need to know how, where and when to make these decisions, which means they must understand the various options available, what outcomes are likely associated with those options and the level of risk involved.

5. Problem Solving:

All managers will face problems on a regular basis-problems involving their employees, problems with other departments and even problems with customers. Great managers understand that there is a process to solving these problems and they will follow that process in a logical, timely way that gets the problem solved efficiently. They will also know when not to solve a problem-when it may be better left for someone else or when doing so would create a bigger problem.

6. Detailed Work:

Managers must be detail-oriented and thorough. They have to review all of the details so they know what’s going on within their team, department and company as a whole. This means knowing how things work from the ground up so that they can understand the big picture as well. They also have to be good at paying attention to the details related to their employees, including how they are performing, what their strengths and weaknesses are and if their goals are being met.

7. Strategic Thinking:

We live in a fast-paced world where managers must be able to quickly move between tactical initiatives for short-term goals and longer term strategic initiatives for success in the future. This means knowing when to focus on doing things fast versus taking time to do them right, understanding what resources are available now versus those that will be available in future, knowing which skills can currently deliver results versus those that will need development first.

8. Ownership:

Managers always need to take responsibility for the actions of their teams. They must own both successes and failures because they are responsible for building, leading and motivating individuals into groups that can accomplish great things. This means recognizing when things are going well-and not so well-and taking steps to improve them. It also means being accountable regardless of whether the problem is due to something the manager did or didn’t do, and owning up to that.

9. Communication:

The ability to communicate effectively with employees and other stakeholders is a crucial management skill. Managers need to be able to clearly ask questions, provide information and feedback and explain decisions in ways that are both actionable and understandable. They should also be able to listen well and take what they hear for feedback for other stakeholders so that teams can work together more smoothly.

10. Teamwork:

Great managers will know how to build strong teams, bring out the best in them and collaborate effectively with other leaders throughout the organization. They understand that developing employees is part of their role and use this understanding to build strong relationships with them through encouragement, positive reinforcement and clear goals.

11. Collaboration:

The ability to collaborate effectively is also a key management skill. This requires getting people from across the organization-and outside of it-to work together toward common goals in an effective way that allows for input and ideas. Great managers will know how to initiate these conversations, keep them on track and ensure that everyone stays committed throughout the process. This could include customers, vendors or other departments within their own company.

12. Decisiveness:

All managers need to make decisions both large and small every day-and great managers make them quickly. They understand that in order for their teams to stay on track, they must be decisive and make decisions when needed. They also know when not to make a decision-when to pass it up the chain or wait for more information-and how to do this respectfully.

Great managers who demonstrate these critical skills will build high performing teams-and have an easier time recruiting people for their teams too.

Key Management Concepts:

Vision, Mission and Objectives of the Company

The vision is an image of the future that guides the organization in achieving its goals. A good vision tells us where we want to go, why we want to get there and how well we are progressing toward our destination.

For example; “The Vision of Seagate is to be the world’s preeminent storage solutions company by offering customers innovative hard disk drive systems with superior quality, high performance and exceptional reliability at a competitive cost.”

Reporting Lines/Line of Authority

A reporting line is a path that starts with the top manager in an organization and ends with one or more employees below that person. All staff members report to someone at their level, for example managers working in retail have staff who report to them, who in turn report to another manager.

This creates lines of authority between managers where the person higher up the line has the right to give instructions that must be followed by persons reporting to them, this means they have power over their staff. For example; “Shop floor manager reports directly to head office”

Types of Organizational Structure/Designs

There are five basic designs of organizations: functional, product, divisional, matrix and project. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of how well it is suited to a particular business environment. In addition, each design lends itself to one or more management styles making certain combinations more effective than others.

Organizing Functions, Staffing Techniques and Delegation

Organizing is about making sure that things get done. Not all tasks are equal. Some are clearly more important than others. If you were to ask your staff to describe their tasks in terms of importance, they would likely identify some as critical to the success of the company, while describing other less important duties as “busy work.”

Organizing is about placing people in positions where they can be most effective. In other words, it’s about applying the 80/20 principle to your workforce which says that a relatively small number of tasks account for a disproportionately large amount of results. The greater the importance of a given task, the more you want to make sure it gets done.

Coordinating/Coordination Techniques and the 5 Ps of the Planning Process

Delegating responsibility for task accomplishment is an important part of organizing, but how does one go about this? The first step is understanding the steps involved in making something happen; they are: setting objectives (what), planning (how), doing/executing (what) and checking progress (how well). This process is sometimes referred to as the “5 Ps of Planning.”

Staffing Techniques

The staffing function consists of all the activities involved in getting people on board an organization, making sure they are trained to do their job effectively, and ensuring they work together in a cooperative and coordinated fashion.

Control/Controlling Techniques

As you might imagine, controlling is the “engine” that drives an organization because it deals with measuring performance against plans and correcting deviations from the plan. Even when things go exactly as planned, there is still a need to check results to make sure all went smoothly and no unforeseen problems arose.

Leadership/Leadership Style

A leader is a person who has the ability to get people working together toward a common goal, which requires both influencing others and facilitating their participation in achieving the group’s objectives. There are many different leadership styles that management may employ, each having its own strengths and weaknesses depending on the situation.

Communication Styles and Tools

What does it mean to communicate effectively? There are three key elements: sender, message, receiver. If any link in this chain is weak or missing, communication problems will arise where a message doesn’t get through as intended.

Leadership/Management Roles

In addition to being responsible for the big-picture organizational direction, managers are responsible for a number of specific managerial roles. Two of the most important are those of leader and manager, roles that don’t always go together.

Group Dynamics/Group Development Stages

One way to understand how groups work is to look at their development process. Most groups go through certain stages as they try to accomplish an objective . Understanding these different phases can be helpful in deciding how best to guide a group toward its goal.

Motivation Techniques and Interventions

Employee motivation is the process of generating the necessary level of desire at individual, team, or organizational levels so that employees are willing and able to exert effort on their jobs as appropriate.

Communication Processes and Feedback Strategies

In order for communication to be effective, the message must be conveyed to the receiver in much the same way that it was meant to be sent. There are three key aspects involved: encoding (how you send information), decoding (the manner by which your listener receives your message) and feedback (sharing how your communiqué was received).

Problem-Solving/Problem-Solving Techniques

A common definition of “problem” is that something is either not as desired or expected; to solve a problem, then, means to bring about the desired or expected state. There are four basic steps in this process: (1) recognizing and stating the problem, (2) generating possible solutions, (3) evaluating the relative merits of each solution, and (4) selecting and implementing a course of action.

Organizational Structures and Forms

How an organization is structured will greatly affect how well it performs its mission/purpose. It’s important to choose structures based on what they can accomplish rather than on past practices or tradition . There are numerous structures and countless variations, all of which have their own strengths/weaknesses.

Managing Conflict

Conflict always arises in some form or another when multiple people have to work together on a project. In some cases, the conflict will be beneficial because it helps optimize problem solving and decision making; at other times it can be extremely destructive.

The Manager’s job: Achiving Company Goals

To achieve the goal of a company, manager’s play very important role. They do not only guide their employees towards goals but also help them to complete their work on time and deliver excellent performance. However, many managers feel confused about what they should be doing to make sure that they are making really effective contribution towards achieving goals. This section will try to shed some light on the manager’s role in achieving company goals.

1) A good manager should possess all the tools and techniques which are necessary to achieve an objective. They should be able to use any of these tools, as per requirement. These include time management skills, communication skills, personal traits, analytical skills etc.

2) A manager should be able to prepare a group of people for achieving objectives. This is the most difficult task that managers face because it requires them to guide, motivate and inspire employees. It also requires them to accept challenges which will help in developing professional practices.

3) A manager should have time management skills so that he/she can use time judiciously. He/she should be able to utilize available resources which include human, financial and material resources to a maximum extent possible.

4) A manager can play a crucial role in minimizing risk by making decisions having all the relevant information. This is not always easy but managers must find ways of accomplishing it.

5) Finally, managers play a very important role as change agents. They should not think of themselves as caretakers. They should be keen to bring about changes which will help companies grow and evolve according today’s environment


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