If you are a manager of a company, you have a lot on your plate. Aside from the usual responsibilities and daily tasks, you also need to have specific, shining qualities and lead others. Effective leadership can only be achieved through building the right management skills.
For this, we have provided you with a list of the 5 most essential time management skills; it’s never too late to work on them. Keep in mind they might take time, but are also a never-ending process of constant improvement.
You may never be perfect, and that’s okay. However, you will learn to efficiently manage: your team and projects, your own time and behavior, your business goals, and much more.
Your job involves planning, organizing, motivating, handling crisis, acting fast, adapting to change, delegating, and so on. This article is here to help you make sure you get it all done smoothly and effectively. Below are the skills you should focus on building next in order to become the best manager your company has ever seen!
5 Essential Management Skills
1. The relationship between leadership and management skills
As a manager, you’re building business and guiding anyone involved in the right direction — that’s no easy task, generally requiring you to unleash the leader within, which involes making firm decisions and doing it fast. It involves being objective, making compromises and sacrifices, but also always keep your priorities straight and have the end vision in mind. To top it all off, all of your actions and decisions must be aligned with the company's growth.
Good management skills marry determination. Other personal qualities of a leader to be benefitted from are courage, integrity, humility, and focus. So when both leadership and management skills are combine, they create a strong asset for the business, regardless of what obstacles the company will face.
2. Effective management through communication
Communication must be crystal clear at every stage of a project, and in every department. If you let communication get out of control, there will be chaos in the organization. Oftentimes, employees will be working on the wrong thing, or instructions will be misunderstood due to lack of direct communication or monitoring.
In order to assure that everyone knows their role and work is effectively getting done on a daily basis, you should follow this list of objectives to meet:
- Carefully outline every project.
- Ask questions when you’ve given instructions to test how well the people in your team understand the task at hand.
- Provide them with the right resources for the job.
- Describe the outcome you’re after in detail and let them create a picture of it in their mind.
- Have a discussion and encourage them to contribute with ideas. This makes them feel involved. Plus, they are more likely to remember everything and be motivated to do their best.
- Don’t forget that your body language, eye contact, intonation, etc. are all things that affect how well your message will be perceived.
- Follow the 7 C’s of communication: clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, courteous.
Good communication skills lead to good management skills. You’ll save yourself and your team a lot of trouble (and time) down the road if you prepare for new projects in advance and find the most suitable way to both give instructions and share goals.
3. Respect through honesty
You will only see results and dedication from your employees if you gain respect. Without respect, you won’t achieve much and won’t even be taken seriously. This means that they won’t listen to you actively, won’t go the extra mile, they won't be eager to complete projects on time or take up new ones, and you’ll end up fixing more issues than you’d like.
The best approach is to first win their trust. To begin, you can earn their trust through honesty. There is no need to hide what’s going on behind the scenes of the company from the team— as they care about it as much as you do and deserve the transparency.
Make sure you ask for feedback on anything and everything— give them the power to express their opinion freely. In the long-run, this means they will report problems to you first; then, you can tackle them as you see fit.
By being direct with your and putting everything on the table, you’re also creating a more collaborative and friendly working environment. Such an atmosphere leads to better productivity. Plus, you are demonstrating good leadership and management skills.
4. Master problem solving
It’s easy to provide effective management when things are running smoothly.
However, what happens when something unexpected comes up, or someone makes a (fairly large) mistake?
That’s when a leader would gather all of their good management skills and come up with a quick solution. Then, they would be able to handle the whole situation and make it beneficial to anyone taking part in it.
Don’t wait for something to go wrong.
Carefully monitor every aspect of a project to see if something’s going in the wrong direction. You can be well prepared for almost any issue, but it's much better to find any issues as soon as you can.
It’s key to embrace adaptivity — the ability to be resourceful no matter what happens, and act immediately.
A clear mind is necessary to find creative solutions (not just one) in a stressful situation. You can’t just depressively sit down and delegate the task to someone else. You have to be strong. You have to carefully think the problem through, write down the possible steps to take, and decide which will be the most effective one.
5. Brush up on your time management skills
Good management skills start with personal time management.
To be in an effective management position, you must have found the best way to spend the workday a long time ago, and have built some discipline and productivity habits along the way.
However, now is your time to help others do just that and effectively manage their time as well.
Mastering the art of delegation is key here. Assigning tasks to the right team members and specifying exactly what the person is expected to do are two huge time-savers. During the process, though, you should be in even more control of how the work is structured.
Everything must be planned in advance, broken down to small tasks and steps, and planned to be completed within a fixed amount of hours.
Your arsenal of leadership and management skills should also involve prioritizing.
As an effective manager, you are the one to delegate what’s most important and what should be tackled first. Sometimes, this may mean having to leave other, less important, activities for later, or leaving behind a particular project — as a manager, it's your call.
These decisions are tough and you might be judged for your choices. However, good time management skills are built upon the foundation of doing what’s right, and that won’t necessarily appeal to all other people in the company.
Are you looking for just a couple more techniques for creating the best team ever? Great! Here is a video by the wise Daniel Marcos, CEO of the Gazelles Growth Institute, on how to intensely (and instantly) increase your team's productivity.
You are now equipped with all the skills necessary to make your team great! Can you think of anything else effective management consists of? Let us know in the comment section below!