Coaching & Counseling

5 Skills Worth Investing in for Managers

A manager addresses his team during a meeting.

There are some skills that managers need to invest in for their growth. Learn more about these must-have abilities to be a good leader.

Leadership skills are often thought of as some innate set of abilities or personality traits that will wow anyone and win over rooms full of people. More often than not, however, they’re really just learnable skills!

You can easily pick up on many of the most sought-after skills and the best characteristics of a leader, learning to improve your day-to-day professional and personal habits in the process.

Any manager working in today’s hyper-competitive, hyper-aware world, should focus on the following skills and practices:

1. Development for yourself and your team

You only stop learning when you die. In a world that is continuously progressing, technologically growing and moving forward, and always evolving, there’s no moment when you’re not learning.

And the makings of a great leader are precisely these abilities to grow. Developing your knowledge and skillset and your employees’ growth helps you be a better manager, keeps your skills and knowledge up to date, and prevents stagnation.

2. Innovative thinking and planning

Innovation is a cornerstone of true success, and without it, your management style is likely to fall flat. You should focus on being fresh, innovative, and experimental with your approach, which can lead to better growth and ideas. Plan and strategize using these innovative thinking methods, and don’t be afraid to play with the norm.

An executive works at her desk, typing on her laptop.

3. Ethical, conscious decision-making

Beyond being a manager, being an ethical manager is crucial. Staying fair, protecting your employees, their interests, and their development while making decisions that align with not only company sentiments but humanistic values too. Be wary of your business decisions and their social and environmental impact, and try your best to stay honest to your principles.

4. Patience and empathy toward your team

These are not virtues but rather skills that we build over time. As a manager, you should be mindful of your employees’ struggles, and know where their weaknesses lie and help them overcome them rather than leaving them to cope on their own. You don’t need to be their therapist or counselor, but rather a mentor who can provide them with insight, tips, guidance, and more.

5. Time management and effective communication

Communication skills are vital for managers—and no, sending out overly cheery emails and making small talk during lunch doesn’t count. To be an effective communicator, you should help your employees feel heard by actively listening, hearing and validating their concerns, and responding appropriately.

Time management is another skill every manager should possess because it’s what keeps you from going off the rails and missing work/life balance. You’re not only responsible for yourself when you’re in management, and knowing when to finish and getting done then is a gamechanger.

It’s no longer enough to show up and maintain the status quo. Take control of the system you’re in and create a healthier, more productive, and positive work culture. Invest in these leadership skills for life and showcase your talents and abilities in the best way possible. Check out our leadership skills content and our leadership training to make a positive change for the future.

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