9 Good Management Skills and How To Improve Them

Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.

1. Building good working relationships with people at all levels. Recommended by 79.9% of managers surveyed. The most important management skill, the survey found, is the ability to build good relationships with people at all levels. For example, an approach to relationship building described in the book focuses on creating “high-quality connections” through respectful engagement.

2. Prioritizing tasks effectively for yourself and your team. Recommended by 79.5% of managers surveyed. “All of us have a huge number of things that we want to do or have to do,” Birkinshaw says. “The demands can often seem overwhelming, to us and the members of our team. This is why prioritization is the second most important management skill.” A particularly useful approach to this the book recommends is called the Action Priority Matrix.

3. Considering many factors in decision-making. Recommended by 77.8% of managers surveyed. Weve all seen how bad decisions can be when theyre rushed or when financial concerns are the only criteria used. This is why it pays to use a formal, structured process to think a problem through thoroughly, including analyzing risk and exploring ethical considerations. The ORAPAPA framework—which stands for Opportunities, Risks, Alternatives and Improvements, Past Experience, Analysis, People, and Alignment and Ethics—is a good example.

4. Knowing the key principles of good communication. Recommended by 77.7% of managers surveyed. “Management is about getting things done by working with people,” Manktelow says. You can do this only if you communicate effectively. This is where the 7 Cs of Communication—clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, courteous—can help you get your message through more clearly.

5. Understanding the needs of different stakeholders and communicating with them appropriately. Recommended by 75.8% of managers surveyed. As you spearhead bigger projects, it becomes increasingly important to manage the many different groups of people who can support or undermine the work you do. This is where its important to develop good stakeholder analysis and stakeholder management skills.

6. Bringing people together to solve problems. Recommended by 75.0% of managers surveyed. “Its often tempting to try to solve problems on your own,” Birkinshaw says. “But there are very many reasons why it pays to bring together a team of experienced people.” Gathering people for brainstorming sessions is a good start, but it also pays to understand structured problem-solving processes, know how to facilitate meetings well and be skilled in managing group dynamics.

7. Developing new ideas to solve customers problems. Recommended by 74.4% of managers surveyed. A vast number of products and services now sell based on customer ratings and reviews. To get top reviews, you need to provide something that meets the needs of customers exceptionally well. Approaches like design thinking and ethnographic research can help you develop highly satisfying products, and customer experience mapping can help you deliver a satisfying customer journey.

8. Cultivating relationships with customers. Recommended by 73.6% of managers surveyed. “The way you do this depends on whether you serve consumer or business markets,” Manktelow says. “When youre dealing with consumers, youll get great insights into customer groups by segmenting your market and by developing customer personas representing these different segments.”

9. Building trust within your team. Recommended by 73.3% of managers surveyed. When people dont trust one another in a team, they waste a huge amount of time politicking. By contrast, people in trusting teams work efficiently and well, and they can deliver wonderful results. To build trust, you need to lead by example, communicate honestly and openly, get to know individuals as people, avoid blame, and discourage behaviors that breach trust.

10. Using emotional intelligence. Recommended by 72.1% of managers surveyed. “All managers need emotional intelligence to be effective,” Birkinshaw says. “This means having the self-awareness, self-control, motivation, empathy and social skills needed to behave in a mature, wise, empathetic way with the people around you. Emotionally intelligent managers are a joy to work with, which is why they attract and retain the best people.”

“Even if you already feel like you have some of these skills, know that there is always more to learn, and the results will show in your improved leadership,” Manktelow says. “Practice them until they become effortless, and, in time, not only will you perform better, youll get better results from your team and stand out as a talented leader within your organization.”

Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.

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

Examples of good management skills

Good management skills are usually related to communication, respect and value for the individuals on the team. Here are some examples of good management skills:


Patience is the ability to tolerate delays, mistakes and miscommunications without responding angrily or emotionally. Patience is crucial for managers since they often train new employees and mentor current employees. When a manager is patient, they show other employees they can grow and learn without fear. This can improve the relationship between the manager and those they supervise.


Empathy is the ability to understand what others experience. When a manager has empathy, they can better understand what their employees need, treat them more kindly and create a more hospitable work environment.


Resourcefulness is the ability to find the answer to a question or challenge by consulting the right resources and people. Managers use resourcefulness to answer their employees questions, even when they dont know the answers right away, and develop new methods or ideas to complete a project by its deadline.


Advocacy is the willingness and ability to work for rights, tools, fair compensation and accommodations on behalf of others. A good manager is skilled at advocating to make sure the people they supervise have everything they need to work successfully and live healthy lives inside and outside of their workplace.

Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is the skill of finding the best solution to a conflict, helping others understand the solution and making it easier for the people involved to move past the conflict. Managers can use this skill within their team to help people collaborate more smoothly and encourage their team to get along with internal and external coworkers.


Adaptability is the ability to change behavior based on new feedback, information or updated standards. Managers can use adaptability to help their team quickly adjust to changes in any part of their work. Adaptability can also help a manager more easily modify their behavior or management style when they experience new standards, requirements or environments at work.

Emotional maturity

Emotional maturity is the ability to moderate negative or counterproductive emotions like fear, closed-mindedness or anger. Managers use emotional maturity to react calmly under pressure, communicate well with their employees and respond to challenges or setbacks in a productive and encouraging way.


Independence is the desire and ability to complete tasks individually. When a manager is independent, they can make decisions without the approval of their own supervisor and can manage more efficiently. Independence can also help a manager trust the people they supervise because they can understand how the work at their company is accomplished and trust that employees can complete their work without frequent check-ins.


Curiosity is the willingness and ability to learn new things. A manager who is curious can stay up to date with changes within their company and industry, and they can be more receptive to feedback from their coworkers.

What are good management skills?

Good management skills are specific skills that can help a manager lead an independent, functional and productive team. Management skills fall into three areas:

How to improve your management skills

You might try this process to improve your management skills:

1. Assess your current performance

Consider your personal relationships with different coworkers and how effective you are in those relationships at maintaining an individual connection and motivating others. You might list your biggest successes and failures over the past few months and see if there are any skills you notice that you have or lack. Consider recent feedback from your supervisor, other managers and anyone you manage. These other perspectives can be very helpful in checking whether your self-evaluation is accurate.

2. Come up with specific plans to improve

For each skill you feel is lacking, come up with a specific action plan with measurable results. For example, you might choose to meet up with a coworker who excels at that skill and ask for tips, or you could read a book on the topic. For skills that you feel are weak, you might pursue educational resources while also setting concrete goals for yourself. For each of these skills or goals, set a deadline and record it on a calendar.

3. Track progress

Check your calendar every few days or week to see what progress you have made. You might start with just one or two skills to improve, then work on others once you have finished your project for those. You might talk to a professional mentor or superior about your projects so that they can hold you accountable.

4. Collect feedback

As you progress, check with your mentor or superior for their perspective on your growth. Consider the feedback that you get from anyone you supervise at regular one-on-one meetings or in casual conversations. As you gain progress in one area, consider what other skills you can improve.

Good management skills in the workplace

Here are some tips for using good management skills in your workplace:

Tips to highlight good management skills

Here are steps you can take to highlight your management skills during the application and hiring process:

Good management skills for the resume

On your resume, you can highlight your management skills by including management accomplishments in your bullet point lists for the relevant jobs. You might include a qualifiable number and a management skill to show that your skills have measurable results. For example, you might include a point like, “Led team of 15 to finish cooperative projects 10% more quickly by prioritizing communication and conflict resolution.”

Good management skills for the cover letter

To demonstrate your management skills in your cover letter, try echoing the management skills requested in the job listing. As you detail your management experience, you can use the terms from the listing to describe your style of interaction and the results youve gotten from a team. If you dont have management experience, you might use some management terms to describe mentoring relationships youve had with others or leadership experiences from specific projects.

Good management skills for the interview

In an interview, you can show your management skills in your answers to questions about challenges, professional weaknesses and strengths. If the examples you use for your answers include situations where you manage other employees, you can show a hiring manager that you have experience applying your communication and technical skills to real workplace situations.


What are the 5 keys of management skills?

At the most fundamental level, management is a discipline that consists of a set of five general functions: planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling. These five functions are part of a body of practices and theories on how to be a successful manager.

What are the 3 main management skills?

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 good management skills?

7 skills for a successful management career
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Communication and motivation.
  • Organisation and delegation.
  • Forward planning and strategic thinking.
  • Problem solving and decision-making.
  • Commercial awareness.
  • Mentoring.
  • How do I develop my management skills?

What are the 4 skills of management?

Managers need a myriad of interconnected general management skills to contribute to value creation for their respective organizations, however the four key skills each manager should possess are; Visionary Leadership, Strategy & Development, Negotiation and Conflict Management and Team-building & Interpersonal Skills.

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