Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (2023)

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (1)

You've put in the effort, you've honed your skills, and you're finally a manager. While this is great news, being competent at your job doesn't necessarily mean being a great manager. When you lead people, you are responsible for inspiring, motivating and encouraging them. It's no longer just about you and what you bring to the table - you need to get others to bring everything they can to the table, too.Basically, being a leader is about more than just hard skills. If you look at the qualities of a good manager, you will find that not all of them can be proven and measured. Some of the qualities that will take you from a good manager to a great leader - these are called 'soft skills' or 'interpersonal skills'.

These skills are valuable in part because they are harder to learn. You evolve over time as you observe, interact, and collaborate with your teammates to help them become more productive. Soft skills are critical to effective leadership and performance management.

Research suggests that of all the qualities of a good manager, soft skills are the most important.SHRMfound that employers care more about soft skills like active listening, communication and flexibility than technical skills.

Other sources state thisHard skills are useless without soft skills. Soft skills allow us to build relationships, connect with people, and encourage others to succeed. With the continuing trend towards continuous performance management and regular coaching conversations, soft skills are becoming an essential part of a leader's arsenal.

Below we examine the qualities of a good manager - specifically 13 soft skills that make managers great.

1. Transparency

It used to be acceptable to keep things with your employees on a need-to-know basis. The times have changed.

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (2)

Employees expect you to be transparent with them. They want to know what's going on with their company and how they're doing. They want direct and honest feedback on a regular basis and a manager who will not patronize them by glossing over the truth or hiding difficult realities from them.

Your employees are adults; You don't have to protect them. They want the truth, and good managers know how to be transparent, authentic, and direct. Transparency and the ability to be honest and openSkills every manager and HR manager needsimprove employee engagement.

(Video) 5 Management Skills Every Manager Should Have

2. Excellent communication

Managers need to be great communicators, which means maintaining regular contact with everyone on their team, giving and delivering feedback frequentlyrewards and recognitionfor excellent performance.

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (3)

Communication isn't just face-to-face—it happens through email, chat applications, body language, and more. Managers need to communicate with their employees in a way that makes them feel comfortable. It's about getting to know your people and understanding what they need to do well - it's not just about communicating in a way and on a schedule that suits you.

Good managers should let their employees know that they can discuss anything work-relateda regular cadence. Consider implementing an open-door policy if you haven't already, and integrating tools and technologies that can provide real-time feedback. Managers should also make it clear that their employees are free to communicate openly and honestly – employees should not feel that their jobs are at risk if they wish to raise a grievance or ask for help.

3. Listening Comprehension

When we hear the phrase "good communicator," we tend to think of speaking or writing rather than listening. But when it comes to the qualities of a good manager, listening is just as important. Employees want to know that their opinions and insights are being heard.

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (4)

Take the time to focus on your employees and what they are saying. Ask for their insights if they don't readily offer them. When you receive valuable feedback, make a conscious effort to take action based on it. This shows your employees that they can make a difference in their work environment if they speak up.

4. Appreciating and promoting teamwork

Companies that encourage teamworkEnjoy improved efficiency, work results and individual development. Managers should encourage collaboration at every opportunity and mitigate toxic behavior and unhealthy competition.

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (5)

Workplace processes can be customized to complement this approach. For example, some companies still use a "stacked ranking" system popularized by General Electric decades ago. This system ranks employees and the poorest performing employees are kicked out. Employee rankings in general have beenhave a demotivating effect on employees. In addition, ranking employeesversusmutually creates toxic relationships and reduces the likelihood that employees will help each other when given the opportunity. Organizations implementing this system should consider removing it.

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (6)

5. Consistency and Reliability

Employees need to know that their manager is stable, safe and reliable. They will come to you for clarity on organizational goals, perspectives on their work, and advice. And more importantly, employees should feel comfortable turning to you when they have problems and need help. Employees need to know that their manager is a level-headed person who doesn't get out of hand immediately. Otherwise, they won't feel able to open up to you and their trust in management will be weakened. This brings us to our next point:

6. Trustworthiness

Good managers are trustworthy and respect confidentiality. Employees must have confidence in their leaders and know that their managers have their employees' best interests at heart. When your employees feel like you're not supporting them, it creates a toxic work environment, limited collaboration, and unhealthy competition in your workplace. Employees also need to be sure that management is telling them the truth. Your trustworthiness is based on respecting your employees' privacy and offering honest advice that best suits your company's goals.

(Video) 11 Habits Of Highly Effective Managers! (How to improve your MANAGEMENT SKILLS!)

7. The drive to set goals

The new trend in goal setting isEmpowering employees to set their own goals. This gives employees more ownership of their goals, resulting in more work getting done (and to a better standard).

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (7)

While employees should be in the driver's seat, managers still play an important role in goal setting. Good managers must be able to formulate motivating and realistic goals and then steer the process in such a way that it aligns with the company's goals. These goals must also be challenging, so leveraging these soft skills is a delicate balance that managers must maintain to keep employees engaged and motivated.

8. Make decisions (and take responsibility)

New managers sometimes have trouble making decisions—especially important ones. Some suffer from a concept known as “Analysis paralysis’ (thinking about a decision) or ‘bike waste' (concentration on insignificant details). Other managers obsess over possible negative outcomes, no matter how unlikely, and some may make a decision without having the right information.

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (8)

Managers have to make decisions for the benefit of their team and their company, approach the decision-making process in a structured, logical and cool-headed manner.

Managers must also be able to make difficult decisions related to performance issues. Employees need to believe you're on their side, but you also need to step on the gas as a manager. When an employee exhibits behavior or performance problems, managers must have the confidence to step in and risk being seen as "the bad guy."

If there is a problem, it needs to be addressed. It is possible to resolve issues amicably and productively, but managers should not shy away from confrontation when warranted.

9. Empathy and sensitivity

Emotional intelligence, which includes sensitivity and empathy, is a soft skill that all modern managers must possess.

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (9)

Emotional intelligencecan mean the difference between an engaged employee and a burned out, frustrated and unmotivated employee. Managers need to recognize signs that an employee is pushing too far, which can lead to problemsBurnout, anxiety, depression and demotivation. In most cases, good managers anticipate signs of these conditions before the employee approaches them to discuss the situation.

Sensitivity is certainly required when it comes to issues such as fear. Managers need to be able to make the right arrangements. This could include introducing flexible working arrangements, understanding mental disruptions and addressing fears during the goal setting process. Such measures show the employees that they are not alone - and that the company can and wants to help them.

(Video) Qualities of a Good Manager

10. Rewarding and Recognizing Employees

Employee recognition is not only a good idea in terms of employee morale; it is also a significant oneDrivers of employee engagement. A good manager knows the importance of rewarding and recognizing employees.

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (10)

Employees don't just work for a paycheck. It takes a lot more than that to align employees with your company goals and to go the extra mile. Employees need to know that their work—and more importantly, their efforts—is recognized and valued. Managers need to be vigilant in this area and take the time to reward and recognize employees where appropriate.

11. Willingness to change

The world of work is constantly changing. The way we operate in relation to technology, employee motivation and performance appraisal are processes that are constantly changing. Your business will look different from year to year - and that's a good thing. It means you stay relevant and competitive, which means you'll be there for years to come.

Seasoned managers stagnate, while good managers are adaptable and flexible. They are ready for and planning for change, seeing disruption as an exciting challenge rather than a burden.

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (11)

12. Conflict resolution (instead of conflict avoidance)

Conflicts in the workplace are an ongoing issue in most companies. This can occur for a number of reasons, with personality conflicts being a major cause. Good managers not only need to be aware of conflict and recognize signs of rudeness and bullying, but also eradicate it. Leaving such problems alone is terrible for employee morale and performance. Face-to-face with these situations allows managers to find a solution before it escalates and becomes unbearable.

13. Strengthening and motivating your team

Every generation and every individual is motivated by different things. Good managers can relate to each member of their team, which helps them understand how to empower and motivate employees to get the best out of them and help them get the best out of them. This can take the form of sales SPIFFs, contests, or simply recognizing employees for their hard work. Whatever motivational technique you use, make sure you understand what motivates your team and give them incentives to work toward.

Qualities of a good manager: Forward looking

Now that you have a better understanding of the soft skills you should master in your leadership role, it's time to take action. Take these 13 tips and incorporate them into your daily work routine. Take notes on how effective the implementation of these skills is, make sure to make adjustments as needed, and consult with your team members often. You will be surprised how quickly your team changes for the better.

Qualities of a good manager: 13 soft skills you need (12)Stuart Hearn is the CEO and Founder ofClear review. Stuart works with companies to improve relationships and communication between managers and employees.

(Video) Management skills | 10 Management skills every manager should have.

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What are the soft skills for manager? ›

9 essential soft skills for a leader
  • Energy and time management skills. Properly budgeting your time will help you stay productive and prevent burnout. ...
  • Interpersonal communication. ...
  • Attention to detail. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Decisiveness. ...
  • Patience. ...
  • Self-motivation. ...
  • Emotional intelligence.
Oct 13, 2022

What are the 10 requirements of a perfect manager? ›

Top 10 Qualities of a Good Manager
  • Leadership Skills. In order to be an effective manager, you need to be able to lead your employees in an efficient manner. ...
  • Professional Experience. ...
  • Good Communication Skills. ...
  • Knowledge. ...
  • Organization. ...
  • Time Management Skills. ...
  • Delegation. ...
  • Confidence.

What are the main 3 skills of the perfect manager? ›

Robert Katz identifies three types of skills that are essential for a successful management process:
  • Technical skills.
  • Conceptual skills.
  • Human or interpersonal management skills.

What are the 7 essential soft skills? ›

7 essential soft skills in demand
  • Teamwork. With effective teamwork, teams are more productive, deadlines are met, relationships with your team members are stronger and knowledge is shared. ...
  • Problem solving. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Interpersonal.

What are the 9 skills of management? ›

What are management skills?
  • Leadership.
  • Project management.
  • Planning.
  • Delegation.
  • Coaching.
  • Negotiating.
  • Empathy.
  • Interpersonal skills.
Nov 4, 2022

What are the 13 roles of a manager? ›

Managers perform multiple duties beyond serving as the leader for their department.
Here is a list of 13 of the most common roles in management:
  • Resource allocator. ...
  • Leader. ...
  • Spokesperson. ...
  • Trainer. ...
  • Negotiator. ...
  • Representative. ...
  • Mentor. ...
  • Liaison.
Mar 8, 2021

What are the 14 characteristics of management? ›

  • Henry Fayol's 14 Principles of Management. ...
  • Division of Work. ...
  • Authority. ...
  • Discipline. ...
  • Unity of Command. ...
  • Unity of Direction. ...
  • Collective Interest Over Individual Interest. ...
  • Remuneration.

What are the 10 roles common to the work of all managers? ›

The ten management roles are:
  • Figurehead.
  • Leader.
  • Liaison.
  • Monitor.
  • Disseminator.
  • Spokesperson.
  • Entrepreneur.
  • Disturbance Handler.

What are the five key skills managers need to succeed? ›

  • What are Management Skills? ...
  • Management Skills #1: Relationship Management. ...
  • Management Skills #2: Planning. ...
  • Management Skills #3: Prioritisation. ...
  • Management Skills #4: Critical Thinking. ...
  • Management Skills #5: Industry Knowledge.
Aug 5, 2021

What are the six must have managerial skills? ›

Bottom Line. Management skills are a collection of abilities that include things such as business planning, decision-making, problem-solving, communication, delegation, and time management.

What is your strength as a manager? ›

Problem-solving. Many managers have the ability to find creative and practical solutions to workplace issues. They can analyze a situation and identify the best approach for resolving it. Their problem-solving strengths allow them to think of new ideas and approaches to traditional problems.

What 5 things should a manager do? ›

Here are five things new managers should keep in mind:
  • Make it your priority to build and cultivate relationships. ...
  • Get aligned with your team on what success looks like. ...
  • Invest in developing your team. ...
  • Guide more, and do less. ...
  • Own your authority.
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What are the top 10 in demand soft skills? ›

Top 10 Soft Skills Employers Love (For Any Profession)
  • Time management.
  • Communication.
  • Adaptability.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Teamwork.
  • Creativity.
  • Leadership.
  • Interpersonal skills.

What are the 8 essential skills? ›

The eight essential skills are listening, speaking, problem-solving, creativity, staying positive, aiming high, leadership, and teamwork. The skills cover communication, creative problem solving, self-management, and interpersonal skills.

What are the 8 core skills? ›

Communication, Identifying and Understanding Feelings, Balancing Emotions, Problem Solving, Coping and Resilience, Conflict Management and Resolution, Self-Perceived Competence, and Diversity Awareness & Respect.

What are the 7 core functions of management? ›

The 7 functions of management are as follows:
  • Planning.
  • Organising.
  • Staffing.
  • Directing.
  • Coordinating.
  • Reporting.
  • Budgeting.

What are the 7 features of management? ›

In short, the characteristics of management, which this blog explains in detail.
  • Management is Universal. ...
  • Management is both Science and Art. ...
  • Management is an Intangible Force. ...
  • Management is a Dynamic Function. ...
  • Management is a Group Activity. ...
  • Management is Goal-Oriented. ...
  • Management is Continuous. ...
  • Parting Thoughts.
Jan 24, 2023

What is management class 13? ›

“Management is defined as t he process of planning, organising, actuating and controlling. an organisation's operations in order to achieve coordination of the human and material. resources essential in the effective and efficient attainment of objectives.”

What are the 8 roles of a manager? ›

Different roles of managers.
  • Figurehead Role of Manager. ...
  • Leadership Role of Manager. ...
  • Liaison Role of Manager. ...
  • Monitoring Role of Manager. ...
  • Disseminator Role of Manager. ...
  • Spokesman Role of Manager. ...
  • Entrepreneurial Role of Manager. ...
  • Disturbance Handler Role of Manager.

What are the six responsibilities of a manager? ›

But their priority is avoiding that kind of situation. And they do that by focusing on the six key tasks that constitute the foundations of every general manager's job: shaping the work environment, setting strategy, allocating resources, developing managers, building the organization, and overseeing operations.

What is the use of 14 principles of management? ›

What Is the Importance of the 14 Principles of Management? The principles of management allows managers to understand how to run an organisation. It also helps them to accomplish tasks and manage situations as and when they arise in the organisation.

What are the 15 elements of management? ›

15 Essential Elements of Control Process in Management (Explained)
  • Determination of Object and Targets. ...
  • Determinations of Important Centers for Control. ...
  • Establishment of Responsibility Centers. ...
  • Establishment of Checking Procedure. ...
  • Establishment of Standards. ...
  • To Make the Organization Sound.
Feb 11, 2020

What is order in 14 principles of management? ›

Fayol defines the order principle as the systematic, orderly and proper arrangement of people, places and things. In his explanation of the concept of order, Fayol felt that there was no perfect order to anything, but that any form of disorder was unacceptable.

What are 3 responsibilities of a manager? ›

Opinions vary about a manager's specific top responsibilities, but they certainly include leadership, administration and effective delegation.

What is the #1 skill that you need as a manager? ›

1. Good communication. Having good communication skills is probably the most important skill of all for managers to have. Unless you can properly communicate with those you supervise, the rest of the skills really won't matter.

What 4 things do managers do? ›

Managers plan, organize, direct, and control resources to achieve specific goals. In planning, they set goals and determine the best way to achieve them. Organizing means allocating resources (people, equipment, and money) to carry out the company's plans.

What are the 5 basic managerial skills? ›

  • What are Management Skills? ...
  • Management Skills #1: Relationship Management. ...
  • Management Skills #2: Planning. ...
  • Management Skills #3: Prioritisation. ...
  • Management Skills #4: Critical Thinking. ...
  • Management Skills #5: Industry Knowledge.
Aug 5, 2021

What are the 5 soft skills to master? ›

Soft Skills Examples
  • Communication. Why you need it: Both written and verbal communication skills are of utmost importance in the workplace because they set the tone for how people perceive you. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Problem solving. ...
  • Critical observation. ...
  • Conflict resolution. ...
  • Leadership.

Why soft skills are important as a manager? ›

Soft skills are personality traits that make people team-oriented and effective problem-solvers. They include communication, teamwork, leadership, and emotional intelligence. These skills are critical for management as they help employees work well together by coordinating their activities to contribute to team goals.

What do employers say are the top 5 soft skills? ›

Companies have identified the following competencies as key to the success of young workers in the 21st century workplace.
  • Networking. ...
  • Enthusiasm. ...
  • Professionalism. ...
  • Communication Skills. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking. ...
  • Resources.

What are the 10 principles of management? ›

The fourteen principles of management created by Henri Fayol are explained below.
  • Division of Work- ...
  • Authority and Responsibility- ...
  • Discipline- ...
  • Unity of Command- ...
  • Unity of Direction- ...
  • Subordination of Individual Interest- ...
  • Remuneration- ...
  • Centralization-

What are the 7 characteristics of management? ›

In short, the characteristics of management, which this blog explains in detail.
  • Management is Universal. ...
  • Management is both Science and Art. ...
  • Management is an Intangible Force. ...
  • Management is a Dynamic Function. ...
  • Management is a Group Activity. ...
  • Management is Goal-Oriented. ...
  • Management is Continuous. ...
  • Parting Thoughts.
Jan 24, 2023

What are 8s soft skills? ›

Soft skills can also be thought of as people skills. These can include good communication and interpersonal skills, leadership, problem solving, your work ethic, time management, and teamwork. These are characteristics that can be carried over to any position.

Which soft skill is the most important? ›

Which soft skills are most important for employers? The most important soft skills which employers value are: emotional intelligence, communication, problem-solving, collaboration, critical thinking, conflict resolution, flexibility, leadership and interpersonal skills.

What is the most important part of soft skills? ›

Soft skills include interpersonal (people) skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and empathy, among others. They are among the top skills employers seek in the candidates they hire, because soft skills are important for just about every job.

What are the top 5 essential soft skills? ›

The top five most important and sought after soft skills that employers are looking for are communication, leadership, teamwork, flexibility and problem-solving.

What are the top 3 strengths that employers look for? ›

Top 5 Skills Employers Look For
  • Critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Teamwork and collaboration.
  • Professionalism and strong work ethic.
  • Oral and written communications skills.
  • Leadership.


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