6 Top Interpersonal Skills All Managers Need
Managers must be able to lead people. This will mean leading people and teams through good times and challenging times. The challenging times can be tough, but in these situations, it is the manager’s responsibility to see the challenging situation as it is and not exaggerate its seriousness. It also means the manager must stay focused on what they do have control and influence over and acting on it.
Promoting a more collaborative approach to work and allowing others to express their views will require patience from the manager to allow the space and time for the team to do this. To build trust in the team, the manager must be patient and allow the individuals and team to work through their challenges and find solutions, which creates ownership of those solutions.
There will be times when a manager needs to be assertive and express opinions and requirements clearly and calmly in a way that ensures others understand and take notice. Remaining calm when expressing yourself ensures that responses from others do not affect the message. There are clearly times when managers need to be assertive in order to get work done but this is not the same as being aggressive; assertiveness is about being firm and direct.
Effective managers need to balance the needs of the task, the team and the individual. The need to ensure smooth and effective teamwork is a key skill and may well involve using the skills above. It may also involve diplomacy and the handling of conflict situations in order to ensure team relationships develop and trust within the team is built. It will also be about communicating information about plans and allocating work to individuals in the team. Managers must not shy away from difficult situations and allow them to get worse but must deal with any conflicts which arise within a team.
Being an effective listener and displaying empathy supports both the building and maintaining of effective working relationships. By taking the time and effort to listen carefully managers can develop insight into potential challenges they face. It can also begin the process of building trust within the team.
Reflecting and reviewing
A manager will need to reflect on and review the work being done. This will not only inform decisions about operational actions but will also support the ability to effectively communicate with the individuals and teams for which they are responsible. The manager’s own awareness to be able to reflect on this so that they can get it right next time will mean that communications will be better in the future. It will also demonstrate to the team and the affected individuals that the manager is prepared to work to develop their own skills and lead by example so that the individuals and teams develop their skills too.
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