Six Soft Skills that Make Great Managers

6 Soft Skills that make Great Managers

To be a great manager, you must also be a leader. While good managers say “watch what I can do” and get team members to believe in them, great leaders say “let me show you what you can do” and get people to believe in themselves.

Leadership  

Effective leadership is based on empowering others, giving them a say in how they do their jobs and thereby building satisfaction, engagement and productivity.

  • Foster trust through integrity. Say what you’ll do and do what you say. When you exude confidence in yourself, the decision and the people around you, you instill the same feelings in others.
  • Have courageous patience. In between a decision and a result, there’s always a period of uncertainty when you don’t know if the effort will be successful. Stay calm and in control. By believing in yourself, your company and your team, you offer a winning balance of character and competence.

Communication 

Communication is essential to building cohesive teams, managing performance, dealing with customer concerns and minimizing risk.

  • It’s a two-way process. Teams will change behavior and implement ideas more readily if they’ve been involved in their formulation.
  • Listen and provide feedback. Help employees define personal goals that suit them, are achievable, and benefit both the individual and your business.
  • Morale is better when open communication is the norm. People feel more in control when they have all the relevant facts and know where their team and organization are headed.

Listening

Extraordinary leaders solicit feedback, actively listen to others, and act strategically on that intelligence.

  • Earn the trust of those you’re speaking with. Foster an environment where everyone treats each other fairly. Employees won’t offer their true opinions unless you’ve built a relationship with them based on mutual respect.
  • Show genuine interest in what others are saying. Let them talk, and wait your turn before you speak. Look them in the eye. Prompt them and ask questions to move the conversation forward.

Motivation

Motivate your employees by making them feel valued, communicating with them regularly and leading by example.

  • Show respect and you’ll get it back. Behave as you would like them to, for instance, when interacting with customers or other team members.
  • Provide ongoing training and development. Help employees reach their full potential. Get their feedback afterwards.
  • Get to know employees as individuals. They’ll come to know that you truly care about them. You’ll also learn their passions and what makes them tick.

Delegation

Empower your employees by letting them become the experts. Remember, the better your team looks, the better you look.

  • Delegation allows you to perform your own job better. You’ll spend more time managing and less time on repetitive, non-essential tasks.
  • You help develop employees. As you coach others and then delegate duties to them, it encourages them to take on new responsibilities with confidence.

Removing Barriers

To effectively manage, you must destroy barriers to delegation, which may come from you, from team members or from the situation. To cite just a few:

  • Not enough time. You may have the perception that you don’t have time to delegate. This is paradoxical because one of the main benefits of delegation is saving time in the long run.
  • Loss of control. It’s a little frightening to hand off something for which you’re ultimately responsible. But by effectively communicating and checking on progress, you alleviate this concern.

For additional information on this topic and other related management issues, please check out our client resource center full of great advice from Contemporary Personnel Staffing and Professionals Incorporated.

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