Being a good manager requires more than just having a fancy job title and desk in glass box in the corner.
As well as being good at facilitating environments that foster productivity and allow people to be their best selves, good managers are always looking to improve and build upon their current skills, so they can get the best out of their teams.
Being a manager will often mean having responsibility for other people, and in order to do this effectively you will need to use a number of different soft skills.
Check out our What are soft skills? page for more information about soft skills
6 Soft skills for managers
Best described as the ability to share or convey ideas easily and effectively with others. Communication skills allow you to both understand people and information quickly and then relay this in a way that is understood by others – a key part of being a good manager. In contrast, poor communication skills will likely leave your team feeling frustrated and undervalued.
As well as being a highly sought work skill, good communication can greatly benefit you in many other areas of life, so it’s worth taking some time to work on growing your communication skills.
Often quoted as one of the key soft skills that employees require from their superiors, the ability to empathise with others, especially when you have the responsibility of managing them, can really help create a good working environment that facilitates success.
In order to show empathy in the workplace, managers should focus on listening to their team and any issues they might have. Being a good listener means paying attention to not only the words being spoken but to non-verbal cues (such as tone of voice and body language) too.
Managers who lack empathy can easily create a closed environment where mistakes are punished or openly criticised and innovation dries up because people are scared of making mistakes.
The majority of good leaders tend to have a certain level of confidence in their own skills and abilities.
Being confident in a leadership role includes being able to quickly spot and admit when mistakes have been made and then appropriately change course, while also acting as a role model and source of motivation/inspiration for others in the business.
4) Motivational skills
Being able to motivate and inspire your team and others around you is one of the key indicators of good leadership. If your role requires managing people to meet a specific goal, then being able to effectively motivate and inspire your team will help you hit that goal much sooner.
5) Conflict resolution
If you are working in a large organisation or managing a team of more than a few people you will likely have to experience some form of conflict in your role.
Conflict at work can take many forms and be something as innocuous as facilitating a heated discussion between colleagues all the way to managing a disciplinary process for something far more serious. Whatever the problem is, as a manager you will need to keep a cool head to solve it.
Often seen as one of the most highly sought soft skills for modern day workers, the ability to be flexible and adapt to any situation is essential. The fast paced nature of technological advancement means that adaptability is more important to management roles than ever.
Being adaptable will allow you to more easily navigate workplace issues, better develop alternative solutions and find novel ways of solving problems, more easily mitigate stress your colleagues might feel with any change that comes about and quickly pick up any new processes or technology.
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