The top 10 leadership skills for managers

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Over recent years, the task of managing people in the workplace has become more challenging than ever. Demands for greater work flexibility, the prospect of remote environments, and the increased risk of mental health in employees all add to a manager’s long list of responsibilities. These include keeping up to date with the needs of customers, monitoring time and expenses spent on projects, and managing employee performance and development.

Having to take care of these responsibilities means that managers and directors are in the unique position of knowing the professional needs, goals and background of each individual employee. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to invest in leadership initiatives so that they can develop the essential management skills they need to lead. But what are these skills and how can leaders build them effectively? Keep reading to discover the answers.

Why is it so important to develop leadership skills for managers?

The perception that employees have of their managers is a crucial element that heavily influences the level of their commitment to an organization. That commitment, in turn, has a knock-on effect on many other aspects of the company, such as productivity, employee satisfaction, and turnover rates. The risks faced by an organization with low levels of engagement among its employees are easy to foresee. However, how do you measure the success that a company could have achieved if only its managers had been more prepared?

According to Gallup, only 3 out of 10 managers worldwide feel committed and enthusiastic about their work, which, although a low number, is higher than the same statistic for employees in general. These low figures are a result of the fact that few companies pay proper attention to management practices within their walls. The reality is that if they wish to increase workforce engagement, companies must prioritize making managers’ jobs as efficient, engaging and satisfying as possible. They must also actively promote initiatives that can help managers develop the skills they need to lead in an ever-changing work environment.

The key skills that every manager needs

To solve the problem of engagement, managers, and directors need more training in areas such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership. And while there are many strategies that can help improve management skills, it’s crucial to first identify which are the most fundamental for leadership. Below, we share the key leadership skills for managers:

1. Emotional intelligence: understanding and managing emotions

Emotional intelligence is essential for any director, manager or leader. This skill involves the ability to recognize and manage both your own emotions and those of others. Managers with high emotional intelligence know how to shape a positive work environment, nurture empathy, and strengthen interpersonal relationships within a team. This not only improves cohesion between employees, but also makes the processes of conflict resolution and decision-making much easier.

2. Effective communication: clear and persuasive interaction

Effective communication is, naturally, key to good leadership. Managers must always be able to convey their ideas clearly and persuasively. This includes both verbal and non-verbal communication. The ability to communicate effectively can help to motivate teams, manage delicate situations, and avoid misunderstandings that could prevent growth.

3. Delegation: trust and empower your team

Knowing how to delegate is a key skill that allows leaders to leverage their teams’ various strengths. By assigning responsibilities according to individual skills, managers can not only alleviate their own workload, but also accelerate development and build confidence within their employees. This allows them to focus more intently on strategic decision making and the general duties of leadership.

4. Motivating others: inspire and encourage your team

Motivation is essential if you wish to keep a team productive and committed. Managers must regularly recognize achievements, provide positive feedback, and offer opportunities for growth. A motivational leader knows how to inspire a sense of purpose and belonging in their team, which improves the quality of the work environment and reduces turnover rates.

5. Strategic thinking: proper planning and visionary leadership

Strategic thinking involves the ability to plan for the long term and anticipate changes in the market. Strategic leaders know how to identify opportunities, design effective strategies, and guide their teams toward specific goals. This skill is vital if you want to foster sustainable growth, see improved productivity and ensure the long-term success of the organization.

6. Integrity: building trust and leading by example

Integrity is an essential quality for any leader. Managers who act with integrity generate trust and respect within their teams. Leading by example and maintaining high ethical standards is the key to building a culture of trust and responsibility throughout a company.

7. Flexibility: adapting to change and managing uncertainty

The modern business environment is constantly changing shape, and leaders must be ready to adapt quickly and calmly to new circumstances. Flexibility and a clear willingness to learn and evolve both inspire confidence in the team, and also help to create an air of innovation. Flexible leaders know how to handle challenges with resilience, ensuring that their organization continues to move forward despite the possibility of change.

8. Problem-solving: facing down challenges and finding solutions

The ability to solve problems is key to facing the daily challenges that arise in any organization. Managers must have the ability to analyze situations, identify any problems and find effective solutions. This skill not only improves wider operational efficiency, but also strengthens the team’s confidence in the leader’s ability to handle tricky situations.

9. Conflict resolution: mediate and resolve disputes

Although conflict is inevitable in any professional environment, leaders must know how to handle disagreements with both empathy and diplomacy. This prevents internal tensions from developing into something worse, and strengthens the bonds between team members. Developing the skills that help leaders to resolve conflicts constructively is fundamental to maintaining a harmonious and productive work environment.

10. Decision-making: make timely and informed decisions

Finally, making informed decisions at the right moment is a critical skill for any leader to possess. Managers must be able to analyze available data, evaluate risks and opportunities, and make firm decisions that drive the growth and sustainability of the company. Making effective decisions is key to guiding the organization towards its strategic objectives.

Why opt for training programs to develop leadership skills for managers?

The secret recipe for creating strategic, empathetic and motivational leaders is not a lengthy list of complicated ingredients. Instead, it’s quite simple – a mixture of the right skills and tools to help develop them. This process, however, is not an automatic one – it requires commitment and effort.

For this reason, training programs are a strategic and worthwhile investment for any company. They provide a solid framework for developing valuable and specific skills such as time management, emotional intelligence, problem-solving and more, which have a marked benefit on both leaders and their teams.

Offering managers attractive training programs that are fully adapted to the latest learning formulas – such as microlearning, video learning and gamification – is vital if you want to maintain their interest and motivation. Another key measure is to ensure that you provide inclusive and accessible training, which responds to the needs of all types of employee profiles. Want to learn more about how to train leaders who motivate and inspire? Take a look at this article, which gives you the keys to leadership training.

If you’re looking to maximize the talent of your leaders, then isEazy Skills offers you the market’s most complete catalog of agile, interactive and accessible soft skills courses – built with a 100% practical methodology that lets you develop skills through a multitude of high-quality experiences and resources. Eager to learn more about the leading solution for soft skills development? Request a demo today!

Frequently Asked Questions about leadership skills for managers

Management skills are important because they allow leaders to guide and manage their teams in the best way possible, raising productivity and building a positive work environment. Without these skills, problems such as a lack of direction and low morale can arise and quickly spiral, negatively affecting the company.

Managers can improve their leadership skills by participating in professional training programs, working with coaches or mentors, conducting regular self-assessments, continually studying leadership, and applying what they’ve learned to real-life situations.

 

For new managers, the most important skills include: emotional intelligence, to help them manage emotions; effective communication for conveying ideas clearly; delegation for distributing tasks appropriately; motivation to inspire employees; and problem-solving to face challenges with confidence.

Management skills influence productivity by motivating employees, facilitating clearer communication, resolving conflicts, and ensuring that tasks are delegated correctly. A good leader knows how to improve team cohesion and ensures that everyone works in synchronicity towards common goals.

Management skills can be learned and further developed over time. Although some people have a natural talent for leadership, many skills can be picked up through education, practice and experience, supported by good ongoing training and feedback. The best way to assist this process is through practical, interactive soft skills training courses, like the ones you’ll find in the isEazy Skills catalog.

Elizabeth Aguiar Chacón

CONTENT CREATED BY:

Elizabeth Aguiar Chacón

Content Marketing Specialist at isEazy

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