I get asked by business owners and managers what are the skills they need to look for in a great manager, either to develop in themselves to be a better boss or to hire someone to oversee the everyday goings on in their business. So I’ve put together my Top 10 Business Management Skills I recommend developing to become a great manager:
- Communication – on a daily basis we all have to communicate with others. As a manager you must communicate with employees, upper level executives and/or owners, vendors, customers – and the list can go on… I tell managers to define clear communication as knowing the other person understood and was receptive to what you said or wrote. The best way to make sure this happens is to be sure YOU understand and are receptive to what the other person is saying to you. It doesn’t necessarily mean you agree, but true communication only occurs in an atmosphere of respect, where the other person is valued equally or greater in your eyes and treated as such.
- Decision Making – Each hour you will be making decision for the business. It may be related to which vendor to purchase parts from, or how to handle a dispute. Being able to evaluate, discern, and act upon the information you receive in an efficient manner is an important part of managing a business.
- Planning – Great decision makers often have a long-term plan in place that helps make those decisions for them. Whether it’s a strategic plan for the growth of the business over the next 5 -10 years, or a work plan for the next week of service calls, the less you are doing it “on the fly” and the more you are planning your time wisely, the more productive everyone will be.
- Organization – Is your desk constantly in disarray? That doesn’t concern unless you cant find important documents quickly. Are you always late? Missing important meetings because you forgot? Failing to get employee evaluations done when expected? Then your organization skills need improvement. Some of it may be time management skills; you may need to develop better standard operating procedures for your role.
- Delegating – A great managers knows what to delegate and how to direct and train employees to be successful in the duties that have been assigned to them.
- Oversight – Delegating doesn’t mean disappearing! By maintaining oversight you are able to make sure all departments are working well together, identify inefficiencies and correct them, and keep an eye on employees who have taken on new roles to make sure they are able to meet expectations.
- Problem Solving – Each day has it’s own set of challenges. A great manager is able to think outside the circumstances of a challenge to find a resolution that works for everyone. They are also not afraid to implement difficult solutions – like firing a customer that disrespects the employees on a consistent basis.
- Coordinating – The larger the business, the more vital it is to make sure all departments are coordinating efforts to fulfill the needs of their customers. Is the front-line customer service rep clear on what the timeframe is for completion of work from the service or production department? Are there any issues in accounting holding up the sales department? Teaching everyone how intricately every department affects the others will help coordination efforts and reduce any “us/them” attitudes.
- Motivation – Your team is looking to you to determine the atmosphere in the building. By providing a positive, motivating attitude to your role and sharing that same attitude regarding everyone else’s you can build a culture where employees encourage and motivate one another.
- Technology/Computer Skills – This is the most concrete skill on this list. There is absolutely no excuse for a manager to not have significant technology skills today. From writing up employee evaluations and standard operating procedures to tracking and reporting weekly KPIs to upper management – to setting appointments on a shared calendar via a smartphone – technology skills are mandatory. Find a free or low-cost class in your community if needed and get your tech skills where they need to be today.
Need a boost in some of these skills? For a free one-hour consultation contact us today.