Managing a team can be difficult, particularly as we often don’t receive any formal training on how to be a great manager. So we’ve put together a list of 5 key skills every manager should have.
Skill 1: Communication
Good communication skills are essential to be successful in almost any role but it’s particularly important when you’re a manager.
As the manager of a team there are several areas you could focus on:
- Setting tasks: How you’ve outlined what you’d like your staff to do will ultimately determine the quality of the outcome. So check they’ve understood you by getting them to outline what they’re going to do.
- Running meetings: Meetings are notorious for wasting time, so clearly communicate the purpose of the meeting and what you’d like to achieve by the end of it, then it’s just a matter of keeping the meeting on track.
- Providing feedback: Being able to give constructive, helpful feedback is key. Make time to provide your staff with regular feedback, advice and discuss any training they might need to thrive in their role.
It’s important to combine your communication skills with great listening skills too! Your team need to know that their opinions are heard and valued. It also helps avoid misunderstandings and assists in building trust with your team.
Skill 2: Delegation
A top priority for any manager is delegation. No matter how skilled you are, there’s only so much one person can do in the hours we have each day. With a team behind you, you can achieve so much more and that’s why it’s so important you delegate effectively!
Successful delegation starts with sharing the big picture with your team. Take them through your strategy or plans as it’ll allow them to see where the work you’re delegating them fits in.
Delegation is all about matching people and tasks – is there someone who wants to upskill in a particular area or has a natural ability that perfectly suits another task.
Skill 3: Motivation
A big part of a manager’s role is motivating their team! To truly be successful as a motivator it’s important to understand that different things motivate different people.
You want your team to be able to perform to their full potential, so you need to understand them and effectively adapt your management style to match.
Here’s an overview of common personalities you might find in a team and how to motivate them:
- The healer: Healers are imaginative idealists who are concerned with the personal growth of themselves and others. Motivate them by pushing them to find an alternative way to solve a problem or complete a task.
- The visionary: Visionaries want to analyse, understand and influence other people, and they enjoy challenging ideas. Motivate them by giving them challenging tasks that perhaps others don’t believe can be done.
- The provider: Providers are sensitive to the needs of others, eager to please and like to work in a cooperative environment. Motivate them by showing them how a task will improve something and provide them with structure and organisation.
- The supervisor: Supervisors are hardworking, keen to be in charge and like rules. Motivate them with a clear list of outcomes for projects and tasks, and encourage them to pursue management roles.
- The inspector: Inspectors tend to be introverted and concern themselves with ensuring standards are met. Motivate them by telling them the completion of a task relies entirely on them and help them create their to-do lists.
- The performer: Performers are spontaneous, energetic, talkative and they like to be the centre of attention. Motivate them by telling them how impressed others will be if they complete a task and allow them to be spontaneous in the workplace.
Skill 4: Development
Teams are made up of people who have different goals and abilities, and are at different stages of their careers. Some may be very driven and look for opportunities, while others may be unsure and need guidance.
As a manager a very important part of your role is understanding where each person in your team is at and how you can help develop them.
If you can help your team become better at what they do, your team’s performance will increase which will benefit your business overall.
Some effective ways of developing your team are:
- Giving regular feedback to each of your staff so they can see where they’re doing well and where they need to improve.
- Providing opportunities for development. A model that works well is the 70:20:10 model. This suggests that 70 percent of learning happens through experience, such as daily tasks, 20 percent through conversations with other people, such as coaching, and 10 percent through traditional training courses.
- Having regular performance reviews to discuss progress, create goals and build a clear career path.
Skill 5: Organisation
The ability to organise is key to being a great manager! You need to remain organised and create ways to help your team stay organised too. To stay organised you need to:
- Have systems. This is all about deciding how you want to handle things so when they come up you know exactly what to do.
- Be mindful about time. Time flies, especially if you’re not aware of how you’re using it. Keeping a schedule of your commitments and tasks helps keep you in check so you’re using your time wisely.
- Be flexible. Often things don’t go exactly to plan. If you’re flexible it’s easy to adjust your schedule or plans without collapsing into chaos.
- Cut out what’s unnecessary. Clutter has no place in the organised life. Ensure your desk is tidy and you’re clear-headed by planning ahead and focussing on one thing at a time.
Do you have all 5 skills? If not, make it your goal to improve in one of these areas so you can become the best manager you can be!