Management Skills: Definition And Examples

Updated 15 September 2023

As you advance in your career, gain experience and grow your professional abilities, you might consider taking on management opportunities.

Management roles often include the responsibility of managing projects, leading a team of people or a combination of both. When an employer promotes or hires you for a management position, they trust you to make important decisions and help build and execute plans that would affect company outcomes. Developing a set of managerial skills can help you be successful in these responsibilities.

Whether you are preparing for future leadership roles or you are a manager seeking to grow and improve your abilities, the following information, tips and examples of managerial skills can help.

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What Are Managerial Skills?

There are two types of skills you require to excel in your career: hard skills and soft skills. To be a successful manager, you require to develop both. Hard skills are technical, teachable abilities you learn through school, training and job experience. For example, if you are a software engineer, one of your hard skills may be proficiency in programming languages. As a manager, it is important to develop these abilities so you can effectively lead others in honing the same skills.

On the other hand, soft skills are applicable in any role or industry and are often even more important for management than technical proficiencies. Generally, soft skills are developed over time through managing your responsibilities and interacting with others. Problem-solving, time management and verbal communication are all examples of important soft skills.

While hard skills are key when completing specific tasks, soft skills are essential when directing people, overseeing projects and making informed decisions.

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples

Four Sets Of Important Management Skills

The most effective management skills you require to develop, regardless of your department or industry, can be grouped into four primary categories: organisational skills, planning and strategy skills, communication skills and people management skills.
Here is a breakdown of each category with several examples.

1. Leadership skills

As a manager, you would likely be responsible for overseeing the work of others and motivating a team towards a common goal. You might also be responsible for leading meetings, assigning workloads and supporting collaboration across teams and departments. Well-developed leadership skills would help you coordinate tasks and direct all parties to ensure work is completed according to plan and finished on time.

These are also the skills you would require to adequately handle leadership duties such as employee evaluations and professional development.

Leadership skills examples:

  • Decisiveness

  • Dependability

  • Conflict-resolution

  • Constructive criticism

  • Delegating tasks

  • Empathy

  • Empowerment

  • Integrity

  • Mentoring

  • Motivating

  • Patience

  • Relationship management

  • Task delegation

  • Team building

Related: How To Demonstrate Leadership Skills At Work: A Guide

2. Planning and strategy skills

Whether you are managing people, projects or a combination of the two, the ability to prepare a vision for the future and strategise solutions is essential to good management. Planning skills help when setting goals and determining the most efficient path to meet objectives. A strategic manager is someone who can spot inefficiencies and quickly identify solutions to challenges. They can also recognise the steps each team member is required to take to overcome obstacles and complete projects.

Planning and strategy skills examples:

  • Adaptability

  • Brainstorming

  • Business development

  • Conflict resolution

  • Critical thinking

  • Decision-making

  • Flexibility

  • Logical thinking

  • Problem-solving

  • Strategic thinking

Related: A Quick Guide to Operations Management Responsibilities

3. Communication skills

To effectively lead people and projects, you are required to be able to understand the needs and goals of the business and convey this information to others through simple and straightforward instruction. Well-developed communication skills would ensure you are able to translate the most accurate information to the right people at the right time. Great communicators actively listen, retain information well and pass it on efficiently to others.

Communication skills examples:

  • Active listening

  • Building relationships

  • Collaboration

  • Interpersonal communication

  • Interviewing

  • Negotiation

  • Persuasion

  • Public speaking

  • Verbal communication

  • Written communication

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

4. Organisational skills

As a manager, you would require to balance many tasks at the same time. Often, this means overseeing multiple project timelines, deadlines and calendar events such as meetings, conferences and presentations. Excellent organisational skills would help you stay on top of your work, reduce stress, prevent you and your team from missing critical dates and ensure you can find information when you need it most. Staying organised would improve your workflow and ensure you are able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible. It would also set a great example for any employees who may report to you.

Organisational skills examples:

  • Deadline management

  • Event coordination

  • Filing

  • Goal setting

  • Office management

  • Project management

  • Record keeping

  • Scheduling

  • Time management

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definition and Examples

Three tips for succeeding in a managerial role

Taking on a management position can be a rewarding opportunity to meaningfully contribute to an organisation. Take on new responsibilities and grow your professional career. Whether you are applying for your first management role or you have been in a leadership position for a while, growing your skills would help you achieve success.
Here are three things you can do to develop the managerial skills listed above to ensure you are ready for the challenges of a new role.

1. Seek opportunities to lead

Like all professional abilities, managerial skills take practice. To help prepare yourself, look for opportunities to lead within your current position. For example, volunteer to manage projects and lead meetings. This can help you identify and improve upon your areas of opportunity. For example, the experience of leading a project may help you recognise that you lack experience in team goal setting. Once you have highlighted potential weaknesses, you can spend time working on them.

Additionally, taking small leadership opportunities in your current job would help you demonstrate your abilities to your supervisor and other senior personnel who may be seeking managerial candidates.

Related: Conflict Management Skills: Definition And Examples

2. Find a role model

Look for great leaders both inside and outside your organisation and take time to observe how they interact with others. Pay close attention to the character traits they exhibit, how they behave under pressure and what they do when faced with complex challenges. Consider asking another leader to mentor you to help nurture your managerial talents. While it takes time and experience to become a successful manager, an accomplished leader’s advice can help you understand the obstacles and circumstances you may face leading a team.

Related: 14 Qualities Of A Good Manager (And Why They Are Important)

3. Ask for feedback

While self-evaluation is important, hearing feedback from others can help you identify areas to improve that you may have otherwise missed. Next time you have an employee evaluation, ask your supervisor for feedback on your organisation, planning and strategy, communication and people management skills. Once you know your strengths and weaknesses in these areas, you can continue developing your best attributes and work on areas of improvement. This would help ensure you are well prepared for the demands of a leadership role.

For many professionals, achieving a management position is a turning point in their career. Having leadership experience on your resume or CV can increase your earning potential and help you earn more senior roles. Additionally, developing your managerial skills today would better equip you for handling a variety of responsibilities and overcoming challenges you face in your current job even if you are not yet in a position of leadership.

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