If you aspire to be a top executive someday, you must have the requisite management skills. Managers are precious assets to a company as they take charge of challenging tasks like supervising employee performance, planning budgets, allocating resources, streamlining business operations and project processes to meet deadlines, hiring/terminating employees, building relationships with industry leaders, clients, and business partners, and creating a productive work environment, among other things.
Naturally, management roles demand a finely-tuned skill set along with domain knowledge, commercial awareness, and business acumen.
Typically, management skills encompass a wide range of skills within a broad umbrella, pertaining to managing resources, business processes, and employees in a company. While some skills are unique to the industry, others involve general business administration and management skills that apply to all sectors.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about the must-have skills for management roles. If you wish to know more about the top-trending management skills, keep reading till the end!
Top Management Skills
1. Interpersonal and communication skills
Most management roles are highly people-centric – they involve meeting with people from diverse backgrounds and liaising with them to build valuable business relationships. Managers who motivate employees, listen to their challenges, solve them, and act as role models for their colleagues’ command respect from every employee, both above and below their position.
Thus, managers must have excellent interpersonal skills to effectively deal with people both inside and outside of the workplace.
As a manager, it is essential to make genuine efforts to know your colleagues and employees personally and professionally. This is where team-building activities can help earn respect in the workplace while maintaining proper professional boundaries.
Since managers often act as the communication link between frontline employees and senior management, they should be master communicators and negotiators. A successful leader must possess the right balance of written, verbal, and listening skills. Learn more about the importance of communication skills.
2. Encouragement and motivation
You’ll know you succeeded as a manager and a leader when your employees feel comfortable around you – they should feel at ease to share any relevant information with you. To establish this kind of trust and rapport, you must follow an open-door-policy and be there for your employees for any support and guidance they might need from you.
Make your employees feel valued by being approachable to discuss any issues or concerns they may have. Also, while talking, make sure you are genuinely invested in helping them.
The idea is to keep a positive attitude to create a healthy and productive work environment. Simple gestures of encouragement go a long way in making your employees feel that their efforts are truly appreciated.
Recognize their achievements, successes, and failures and guide them accordingly. These little things help create a happy and motivated workplace where employees feel an inner passion for their work.
3. Organization and time management
Managers often juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities on a daily basis. From managing their duties to supervising junior employees’ performance, attending meetings, reviewing company policies, and identifying new business opportunities – a manager has to do it all! This is why a manager must possess commendable organizational and time-management skills.
As a manager, you must effectively organize your responsibilities and projects while delegating appropriate work to employees according to their expertise area. Delegation speeds up the work, thereby allowing you to prepare the deliverables before the deadline. This will not only help streamline business operations, but it will also set forth an example for others to follow. Read more about time management for employees.
4. Decision-making and problem-solving
Managers must identify problem areas, business challenges, and obstacles as they perform their daily duties. Although they work under pressuring conditions, their job demands dedicated attention to detail and creative thinking.
A manager must proactively solve any issues as and when they arise. They need to devise innovative solutions that can maximize team productivity, streamline business processes, reduce costs, and boost ROI.
One of the most important aspects of a manager’s job is decision-making. Every day, managers have to make several business decisions that can make or break the company.
Apart from making well-planned long-term decisions, managers must be able to think on their feet – you never know what challenges may come your way! Organizations value managers who can weigh the pros and cons of the situation at hand and make actionable decisions in real-time.
5. Strategic thinking
A manager must always consider the bigger picture. While planning short-term goals is pivotal, it is also essential to create S.M.A.R.T goals for the future, keeping in mind the company’s objectives and vision. This is where the strategic thinking skills kick in – they must always plan to be a step ahead of the competition.
As strategic thinkers, managers should also participate in helping different teams get on board with the evolving company policies and business strategies.
Training programs can help employees upskill and enrich their domain knowledge, thereby enhancing their productivity and professional value. When managers are genuinely invested in their teams, it inevitably boosts workplace morale and encourages employees to do better.
6. Business acumen and commercial awareness
Recruiters regard commercial awareness and business acumen as two of the most crucial business skills, especially for managers and top executives. Candidates having a deep understanding of the marketplace, how businesses operate, and how to perform market/ competitor research are best suited for managerial posts. These soft skills are acquired through years of learning and experience.
A manager must be aware of the company’s aims, objectives, and vision. They must understand the socio-economic and political environment that the business functions in. They must also know how to identify the competitors and how to outsmart them to stay ahead in the game.
Managers are top executives with multiple teams and staff working under their supervision. It takes years of experience to reach the managerial position, and once you’re there, you must pass that knowledge to your subordinates to help them excel and grow.
A manager must guide, mentor, and coach juniors. The idea is to share your knowledge and skills to be the most prominent driving force behind your team. Your industry knowledge should guide those who work under your supervision.
Professionalism is one of the most important and fundamental work ethics. As leaders who guide employees, managers must set high standards in the workplace. Managers must instill and encourage employees to build core professional values – integrity, honesty, and passion for work.
They must continuously show this through their actions as they go about their daily business. When your employees see that you practice what you preach, they will be determined to put 100% for the organization.
How to acquire the right management skills?
Developing managerial skills isn’t rocket science – you only need to know the right places to start. Here are three proven ways of acquiring managerial skills:
Taking up internships is a great way to venture into the job world and test your knowledge and skills. During internships, you learn how to perform and manage different tasks, learn new things, and gain real-world experience. Internships with reputed companies often open up networking opportunities.
You meet people from various backgrounds and sometimes even make lifelong connections. Plus, completing one or two internships can help spice up your resume! Learn more about the importance of internships.
2. Part-time work
When aspiring to climb up to managerial positions, any and every experience counts. By taking up part-time jobs, whether it is waiting at a restaurant or working as an assistant in a retail store, you gather practical experience.
All positions require some level of discretion, decision-making, problem-solving, and sometimes even juggling multiple responsibilities. It is the real-world learning experiences that make you a competent professional.
3. Professional certifications
Today, professional certifications are highly valued by companies and organizations globally. Since these certifications usually require extensive learning, they are proof of one’s competency and domain knowledge. For instance, upGrad’s Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) course is the perfect choice for aspirants who wish to develop practical managerial skills.
Offered in partnership with BIMTECH, it includes four specialization tracks – Business Management, Retail Management, Banking Insurance & Finance Service, and Information Technology. Apart from theoretical concepts on relevant matters, candidates must complete a case study and dissertation to achieve the certification. Completing this certification course will give you an upper hand over your competitors.
If you are keen on upgrading your career with a Management course, upGrad is offering the upGrad’s Job Linked Management Program in collaboration with the PGP from IMT Ghaziabad with post-program placement opportunities.
You can also opt for upGrad’s IIT Delhi Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation, Digital Marketing and Business Analytics designed for freshers, management professionals, and senior executives who are looking to leverage data-driven strategies to develop progressive business models with a focus on customer-focused digital marketing trends. Students benefit from 1-on-1 interactions with IITD faculty and industry experts as well as avail dedicated career support and job placement assistance from upGrad mentors. Apart from providing access to rigorous live sessions, doubt resolution on Q&A forums & WhatsApp groups, and case-based projects, upGrad’s learner base of over 40,000 opens doors for networking opportunities with industry experts & peers for management aspirants to excel in their careers.
Looking for more information? Explore the IIT Delhi program here.
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Q1. How can you become a product manager?
There is no one definite path that can help you become a product manager. You can rise the ranks and switch over to the product management role as you gain work experience in a specific industry. However, going for an MBA from any of the premier business schools can significantly boost your career as a product manager. Doing an MBA and then moving on to become a product manager adds not just credibility but also the necessary academic qualifications that will set you apart and help you progress. Besides, an MBA will also boost your earning potential as a product manager.
Q2. Can you do an MBA in digital marketing?
The demand for efficient digital marketing professionals has significantly skyrocketed in this digital era. Digital marketing has become an integral part of not just digital companies, but across all other sectors, from education and healthcare to beauty, finance, fitness, entertainment and more. This massive demand for knowledgeable digital marketing professionals has resulted in specialized courses like MBA in digital marketing. In this course of 12 to 24 months, you learn about all the different branches of digital marketing like social media marketing, promotion, branding, advertising, etc. An MBA in digital marketing is now very popular and is offered by top universities across the world.
Q3. What skills do I need to become a sales manager?
A sales manager plays a vital role in an organization because they can directly influence the operations that generate company revenues. Sales managers help a company's sales representatives meet their sales quotas, lead sales teams towards achieving company financial goals, mentor and train new sales team recruits, run and forecast sales reports, etc. To carry out these diverse activities, sales managers need to be experts at financial data analysis, strategic planning, delegation, motivating and managing people, collaborating, and working under pressure with a calm mind. They must be able to handle different kinds of people and have excellent communication skills.