By Puneet Sandhu | The Muse
No matter your industry, role, or seniority level, management skills are critical for day-to-day excellence at your job. All professions require us to communicate and collaborate with people, be they clients, prospects, teammates, direct reports, or vendors—and management skills help you work better with all of them, especially when you’re in a leadership position.
We often think of management skills as capabilities required only by senior leaders or managers who have direct reports. In reality, they’re relevant even if you’re just starting out on your career path or think you may never want to become a people manager. You’re probably using management skills daily without realizing it!
But what exactly are management skills? How do you build them up and show them off to potential employers? This guide has all the answers.
What Are Management Skills and Why Are They Important?
Management skills are important at any level to ensure the happiness and job satisfaction of the people around you: your stakeholders, leaders, and teammates. “These are the hands-on skills that help you to plan, organize, rally, and execute on any and all projects,” says Helen Krug von Nidda, an executive coach and trainer who helps leaders and their teams build the careers and cultures they want. “I like to think of management abilities as the wheels on which an organization runs; they guarantee that work is progressing smoothly and your people are happy.”
They become even more essential as you move up the ladder, when your responsibilities start to include managing other people’s careers as a direct supervisor and/or team leader in addition to carrying out the strategic and day-to-day work of your business.
“To me, the biggest thing management skills accomplish is stability,” Krug von Nidda says. “You need to have systems in place within which your team’s day-to-day work life can unfurl,” she adds. “You may not realize it, but you’re likely holding your team or business together by using your management skills.”
It’s safe to say that this skill set became even more mission-critical during the coronavirus pandemic—when organizations were forced to adapt to public health and economic threats and leaned on folks with management skills to help everyone through the crisis. Following a year of blurred boundaries between work and life and burnout from long hours, people are quitting in droves across the country, leading to the rise of the “Great Resignation.” It’s an employee’s market like it’s never been before, and in such a climate, great management skills can help you save the day by retaining your best teammates.