Managers with stronger skills in multiple areas have greater chances of becoming successful. As a manager, you need both hard skills (e.g. business or project management) and soft skills (e.g. leadership skills) to be effective. I would argue soft skills are more important than hard skills as you get more senior in your career. If you have a range of soft skills, you can facilitate enhanced adaptability, successful collaboration, and become far more valuable for your organization. Here are 4 soft skills every manager needs to possess in order to become successful in the modern business environment.
1. Leadership and People Management Skills
As a manager, you are required to attract, retain, direct, motivate, train, and manage a high performance team. Considering the increased workplace diversity, it is also important for you to learn to manage people from different cultures with different working styles. It is important to treat team members as individuals, take time to understand their strength, development areas, and career goals, and devise customized ways to motivate each to their highest possible performance.
To learn more about how to become a better people manager, read What Makes a Good Manager – 7 Qualities
2. Communication Skills
Communication is a critical skill that every manager must possess.
- Communicating your ideas with senior management and other key stakeholders is important to get support to implement effective strategies and achieve long-term business goals.
- Communicating clearly with your team will ensure each team member understand the overall company and group direction, and how their individual roles and ownership fit within it.
- Communicating effectively with cross-functional partners will help you build relationships across the organization and help your company be more effective.
Communication skills include both verbal and written communication skills and can be used in formal and informal settings. For more tips on how to improve your communications and interpersonal skills, read these two articles
- Communication Skills – 5 Tips to Increase Career Success
- Interpersonal Communication Skills – 5 Tips
3. Conflict Resolution Skills
Conflicts can happen all the time at work. For example,
- Conflict between difficult personalities on your team
- Conflict in business direction that causes a difficult situation for your team.
In either case, you as a manager are responsible for helping your team resolve these conflicts once they are escalated to your attention. Additionally, it’s in your interest to coach your team members on how to resolve conflicts on their own in the future. You can teach them about
- How to Deal with Difficult Personalities – so they can work well with anyone on the team or a project
- How to Deal with Difficult Situations – so they can devise the best win-win outcome for all parties involved
The more you can coach your team members to resolve conflicts on their own, the more high performing are you and your team.
4. Networking Skills
Developing good networking skills is key to your career success at every level. This skill is especially essential for your success as a manager. Once you transition to manager level, you will need to expand your knowledge and relationships beyond just your team and immediate group. As a manager, you are most likely going to work with many divisions of the organization and cross functionally.
Learn to proactive network with other managers and senior executives across your organization. This will help you build personal relationships before you need to work with them on specific business issues. Anyone can learn how to network effectively. Start today and practice often. You will be a pro in no time.
Your comments: What is the most difficult soft skills for you to learn? How can I help? Leave your comments and questions below. Let’s have a discussion
New to this site? Start here – How to Succeed as an Executive using Soft Skills
Best wishes to your success. I am always in your corner.