What do you think are the essential skills of a manager?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Randell1234, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I was thinking about the skills/knowledge needed to be a manager and thought, "What do you think are the essential skills of a manager?"

    I would say:
    Project Management skills
    Ability to motivate people
    Conflict management skills
    General soft skills
    The ability to perform a quality performance review and outline areas for improvement

    What else can you add to the list?
  2. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

    Knowing when to delegate.

    Empower your subordinates.

    Know that you do not have all the answers.

    Most importantly do not lie to your subordinates. If you promise something do it. Because if you promise something and then don't deliver on that promise, your credibility and ability to manage is gone.
  3. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    This should be a given in all walks of life, but unfortunately it isn't. Integrity lost is often never regained.
  4. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I bring limited management experience to this thread- some, but limited. From the perspective of one who has been managed more than he has managed, there is one soft skill I value more than any other:

    Don't be unpleasant.

    I really hope I don't have to explain what I mean by that.

    No matter how strong you think you are, this never comes off as anything other than personal weakness (arrogance, narcissism, insecurity, mommy/daddy/marital issues, etc). If people dread being around you, then that is one part of their job you have made harder than it needed to be. Good employees will still succeed despite you, but will never be quite as productive or reliable as they would if you would drop your nasty attitude.
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    This is a great point. The people that work with/for you are not dumping grounds for your issues. When I have had a bad day or weekend and I go to work I have said, "Just so you know, xxx happened last night/this weekend so I might be a jerk"
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I am not a manager and so the people that I report to are "middle managers." I think of them as being translators. They translate information up the ladder and they translate info down the ladder. Be a good translator. If, suddenly priorities change and project z becomes project a then I want to know why. All my previous work is being thrown away? What happened? I'm entitled to a decent explanation, not just "corporate changed their minds..."

    If I have a good idea I expect it to be translated up the ladder and I expect to get the credit. Middle managers steal credit all the time Slimy bastards.

    Complete routine tasks routinely. If I put in a vacation request then I expect it will be processed immediately. When I see you standing around talking about your weekend golf outing and then later you tell me that you were unable to get around to that "little detail" it makes me think of slashing your tires.

    I've never had a supervisor who was better at my job than me. I don't need to be instructed (although sometimes I need to be directed) and I don't need to be motivated. Some managers just get in the way and actually impede progress. If things are going well then stop looking over my shoulder. If things are not going well then provide solutions, not just criticism.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Don't be unpleasant, indeed. Basically, Wheaton's Law:

  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I just had this conversation with someone this week! I asked, "when you submit your expenses, you want me to approve them in a timely manner - right? ; when you request vacation time you want me to approve it in a timely manner - right? ; when you request parts be ordered for a repair you want to approve the purchase - right?" Of course the answer was "YES". I then asked why he does not complete the administrative tasks I ask for....nothing but crickets...
  9. Amber424

    Amber424 New Member

    Well, I found six skills that a manager must essentially have. These are:

    This is the ability to prioritize the tasks, delegate them to the right people, and motivate these persons to do their best.

    Basically, this is how a manager talks and spends time with his teammates. He or she is open to any shared ideas and suggestions.

    Being able to work with different kinds of personalities.

    The ability to think logically and to look for appropriate solutions when the need arises.

    Can budget the financial resources. Being able to spend wisely.

    A manager must possess the knowledge of the given tasks or projects. This is knowing the objectives, roles and responsibilities of the assigned person.
  10. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    What do you think are the essential skills of a manager?

    In what context?

    - With employees that report to you?
    - When working with other managers toward a common goal?
    - When managing a project or program?
    - When managing people up or personnel out?


    I've been a manager for day or two, and I can tell you each one of the examples I've mentioned requires a different skill set; some of which you might be better at then others.
  11. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Yes to all - that is what makes a great manager!
  12. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    The ability to coach...and put the "team" first.
  13. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Difference between a boss and a leader: A boss says "Go!" and a leader says "Let's Go!".

    I think management and leadership are two different (but sometimes related) skills.
  14. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I stand by this statement. Leadership and management are two different modalities completely. My first management gig out of the military entailed managing union personnel where the leadership was not allowed so to speak. It was culture shock to me because I hated the management mentality (still do) but I learned that both have their place in the big picture given circumstances beyond your control.
  15. BMWGuinness

    BMWGuinness New Member

    How about have a foundational knowledge of the skillsets you are managing.
  16. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Great addition-
  17. MISin08

    MISin08 New Member

    The ability to identify what people are really good at and tie it to what you need from them. The ability to keep your own manager from meddling in your efforts.

  18. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Functional skill sets depends on the industry your dealing with; each industry requires a different skill set so to speak, so you need to be more specific.
  19. mouhanad_alramli

    mouhanad_alramli New Member

    A good manager is a leader not a boss:

  20. meryberry

    meryberry New Member

    To be conflict-free person.

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