You might be the best at your job. But if you lack management skills, you limit your work to what you can do alone. And that is so not the definition of a good leader.
Are you thinking of making a change? Stop considering management skills as a personality trait. Nobody is a born leader. And it’s never too late to polish your soft skills for the best. Your natural talents can never limit you- everything can be taught.
Years ago, we all underestimated the value of soft skills. Well, here are some things that we noticed:
88% of workplaces experienced better workflow and increased productivity among employees who were the most interactive with each other.
76% of employees who organize their day meet deadlines the fastest.
92% of customers get satisfactory results from companies that encourage communication and collaboration among their staff.
65% of corporate employees retain to their workplace despite less pay if they work under empathetic managers.
84% of workplaces demand flexible staff who can adapt quickly and deliberately.
Knowing how to perform your job is just the starting point. And there’s no point in neglecting even a teeny tiny bit of skill that you can learn. It doesn’t matter who you grasp it from- your seniors or a newly appointed staff.
One doesn’t have to hold a designated position to execute their management skills– it works equally well for all. A better hold in it results in a better workplace.
That’s all for the pep talk. Now let’s dig a bit deeper into it.
How Do Management Skills Improve Quality Of Work?
When you communicate with your team better, stay optimistic and patient, and encourage them to think out of the box, they start replicating your behavior. Every employee clears their doubts and queries more often, drops honest suggestions, and performs their assigned tasks more enthusiastically.
These are just the basic skills- to name a few. Wonder what difference would it make if you possessed all the soft skills that an organization would require.
As a matter of fact, people with better communicative and management skills, on average, are 38% more productive than their peers.
But here’s a thing- there’s not a perfect set of skills that work for all. But apart from the soft skills that everyone might be aware of, are we missing anything?
Management Skills That Matters For All
But Goes Unrecognized
Did you not already know the importance of being a team player and a communicator? Let’s skip past all that generic b.s. We have all added it to our CVs already. Here’s a list of skills that make all the difference. Look for the ones that you possess to give a pat on your back.
With that said, let us all focus on building the soft skills that we lack, shall we?
1. Creative Collaboration
Collaboration is a skill that facilitates a person to work with others. Creative collaboration takes it a step ahead. It involves introducing various games, activities, and staff to get the team to start communicating with each other.
Remember, not everyone knows how to participate with their peers. Even an extrovert might refrain away from activities specially organized by their workplaces, let alone encourage others to take part.
Do you know how to go creative in your workplace and encourage your colleagues to participate in it? Congratulations, you are responsible for 50% of friendships among your colleagues. After all, it is not enough to be a communicator all on your own. One must know how to pass the legacy.
2. Good Listening Skills
One might be a great orator with a mic but may never ever build strong personal relationships due to the lack of LISTENING skills.
Communication is a two-way street, and it involves two people speaking and listening. Unfortunately, only a few of us understand the importance of the latter. People frown and cease to express their thoughts in front of their peers who interrupt their sentences. Would you like your colleagues to stop sharing their opinions with you?
Management skills are more than just being able to manage stuff on your own- it is more about your ability to bring everyone forward as a team. When you are all ears, people feel appreciated and valued. It encourages them to speak up their mind whenever and wherever deemed necessary.
3. Body Language & Communication
There’s nothing that kills a relationship more than the tone of your voice and body language. It adds meaning to your words and may send messages that you don’t want to.
Your words may not sound angry while texting, but your tone and crossed arms may indicate otherwise. Having a perfect body language and communication tone is one heck of a rare soft skill- I know. But it’s even worse to have your team pick up on things that you never said.
You may appear too rude or too cheesy in your team’s eyes. They may develop a cognitive bias towards you. It is very toxic for a team to function in the long run, with people disliking each other for no reason. Try a few things- keep your phone away when speaking, don’t look at your watch, keep eye contact with people, smile more often, etc.
Optimism is a choice. And whatever you choose makes you. It is no brainer that the people around you reflect your behavior. Then why not give them something to cherish and adapt?
Optimism is a virtue. And no, you don’t have to stay positive in every possible scenario. But if you manage to stay strategic and focus on solving an issue instead of getting a panic attack, you already possess one of the rarest management skills.
It is very crucial to have a rational approach towards everything that gets thrown at you. And the people who have an everlasting attitude of “we can do it” always lead the lot.
5. Honesty & Transparency
One can’t presumably open up with their colleague who doesn’t open up with them. While we would not recommend 100% transparency, try to tone it down to maybe an 80.
It implies being straightforward to people who ask you a question. Give them an honest answer like, “I don’t know much about it, but here’s something that I learned..”
A few white lies are no harm. But there’s nothing wrong with being honest, so why not? It is a prerequisite to getting non-fabricated responses from them in return. If you struggle in being honest with people because you may hurt their feelings, consider this- you may corrupt their career and future by not being honest with them.
6. Critical Thinking
Do you know how many decisions you make in a day? A study suggests we make 35,000 of them every day!
These decisions range from choosing the color of your dress to making complex business judgments. And every decision that you make affects your day, and ultimately your work. Critical thinking is, thus, an integral part of your work life.
Our mind works like a fork, and we continually decide to choose between various options. People with commendable critical thinking make the best decisions, even in haste.
7. High Work Ethics
Have you ever wondered if you are righteous enough with people? Do you have a set of rules to abide by while working? Have you ever infringed them? I’m pretty sure you already get my point. People with high work ethics are the best managers.
Consider this- you may find an employee ill-mannered and loudmouth but a downright productive and fast learner. While you may praise them for their work, you will probably avoid training them to avoid conflicts. Such kind of behavior is not healthy for a workplace to function.
When polishing your management skills, consider working on your work ethics first. A person with high regard towards their workplace always completes their task for the day, owns their mistakes, treats colleagues equally, and complains whenever deemed necessary.
Things To Avoid
This one is a bonus for all the people who are still reading with me. Now that you understand what you should do- let’s take a brief look at the things you must avoid. After all, some things done can be undone.
Avoid these to avoid negative results and setbacks in your workplace:
A cognitive bias refers to an error in thinking. It occurs when the mind starts to simplify things we see based on our perceived notion of the subject.
While you can’t paint everyone with the same brush, it is also not ethical to look at them with the same glasses. Try to keep your biases aside when making workplace decisions, or you may end up choosing the wrong people for a given set of tasks. Your colleagues’ efforts may start going in vain, and they are bound to feel unappreciated.
2. Negative Self-talk
Being a perfectionist comes with a habit of persistent self-criticism. Appreciate only constructive criticism and try to cut all the other mental clutter.
Negative self-talk is the brainchild of pessimism and self-doubt. Don’t say things to yourself that you’d avoid saying to a good friend. Try to talk to your peers about the things you think you lack. A third-person’s perspective might help a lot. But never take a toll on your mental health.
2. Information Bottlenecks
An information bottleneck is a person who solely handles and responds to all the doubts and queries of their team.
While a person NEVER voluntarily becomes an information bottleneck, the aftermath is disastrous. Everyone becomes dependent on them and takes their work for granted, knowing that they would get assistance whenever they ask for it. As a colleague, learn how to make people take responsibility on their own.
3. Being too Rational
You can’t paint anything black or white- everything comes with shades of grey. While being practical works well for employees in certain situations, you have to remember that you’re working with humans, not robots.
Sure, it is challenging to keep your biases aside while parallelly making sure you don’t become too rational. Management skills are a hard nut to crack. Try to take examples from the people around you, and notice what doesn’t work for them.
5. Lack of Confidence
Confidence is a lot more than how people see you. It is more about how you see yourself.
A confident manager is more responsible, assertive, communicative, and influential to the people around them. They will, more likely, trust you, confide in you, and will never hesitate in coming to you in case of doubt. They will know that you own your faults and would, thus, be more honest with you. And they will eventually start mirroring you.
Now Is The Time To Lead
There are various skills that an organization must inculcate in their staff to generate better results at the end of the day. Remember, your workplace is not led by machines- but by functioning minds who can differentiate between what works for them and what doesn’t.
Work on your management skills to organize your work and your colleagues better. What other soft skills and management tactics work for an employee? Drop your thoughts in the comments. I would love to give it a read.