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6 Must-have Skills to be a Great Manager and Leader

A great manager or leader is not born but is made. Managers have an extremely essential responsibility to manage or drive a team to success. People management is an art, and it can be practised by anyone with the right skills, enhancing their panache, repute, and value in an organisation. Managers of today are highly agile and flexible because that is the need of the hour. However, some skills are evergreen and are expected in every great manager.

Let’s take a close look at all these skills below:

  • Communication

Communication, either verbal or written, is a prerequisite at varying hierarchical levels in today’s world. But for a manager, this skill is not to be missed under any circumstances. A manager drives the team ahead, and for that, assertiveness and clear communication channels are desired and preferred.

This skill is not only used with subordinates but also comes in handy for upper management or client-facing roles. As a leader, you are expected to deal with a variety of people and that needs impeccable communication skills to present your thoughts clearly and concisely. Negotiating, initiating, and participating in conversations are the daily tasks for any leader, and for that communication is going to be the ultimate key.

  • Leadership

There is a clear distinction between a manager and a leader. A manager is good at delegating tasks and getting them done within a specified time frame. On the other hand, a leader leads by example and allows the team to glide through their tasks, to achieve a common goal. A great leader is someone who avoids micromanagement as that only leads to friction and resistance.

Leadership can help the team to get coached in a way that doesn’t feel like working with a dictator. A leader believes in their team and allows them to make decisions. This creates an amazing bond and allows the team to prosper and grow, both internally and externally. Undoubtedly, leadership is an amazing skill to hone and practice.

  • Motivation

Motivating people requires different tactics because what works for Monica might not work for Sarah. Thus, good leaders must understand how and when to motivate the team when needed. There are various kinds of motivation like reward, achievement, power, fear, etc. Generally, all great leaders use a mix and match of varied motivation techniques to push the team to perform better.

Every leader needs to understand people in order to exercise the different types of motivation. They need to interact with the team, understand the bottlenecks, and help/motivate the individuals to get over the hindrance. Encouraging people to push their limits needs skills like motivation.

  • Knowledge

Hands down, knowledge is a must-have skill in any leader. Imagine you are great with words, but you don’t know anything about the project you are handling. The team is never going to listen to your solutions, forget implementing them. A leader always has a deep knowledge of the process and can guide the team members through difficult phases of the project.

Technical skills and problem-solving are important to have if you want to work as a team, with maximum capacity. It also helps to level up yourself and the team because new ideologies are getting implemented, allowing everyone on board to learn new tactics that you pass on to them. This makes knowledge a secret, yet highly relevant skill for good leaders.

  • Collaboration

Managers are required to collaborate with other team members to drive innovations and deliver results. Thus, mastering the art of collaboration is an essential skill to have. Collaborating with others requires patience and confidence. A healthy partnership within the team comes with the right kind of delegation and direction

A leader with the right collaboration skills can maintain the right synergy needed within the team. If we look at this broadly, collaborating with cross-functional teams also comes under managers. With the right potential, a good manager can bring together various teams to achieve a common goal.

  • Adaptability

There is no place for being static in a leading role. As the times are changing and uncertainties are looming, the approach of management needs to be adaptable and agile. Companies are extensively moving towards employee-centric approaches thus, older methods at times don’t work. Adaptability is one of the key skills a manager can have.

Adaptability goes hand in hand with creativity. Thus, if the leader or manager shows openness to it, the team automatically follows suit. Adaptability is directly proportional to creatively handling difficult projects and getting success.

There can be numerous other skills to master as well for any great leader, depending on a variety of factors – be it industry or team type. Some other highly appreciable skills in a leader can be understanding finance, project management, and innovative ideologies. Leaders need to constantly upskill and add new learnings to their skillsets, making their shoes the toughest ones to wear.