Management Skills: Examples and Definition

Management Skills: Examples and Definition

Management Skills: Examples and Definition

One manager is not like the other. That's not surprising since every manager is a different person. Your management skills depend on what you can do, what you've learned, and who you are. It's precisely the unique combination of these three aspects that makes you a manager like no one else.

Good management skills are essential for every business. After all, a manager must encourage, motivate, develop, and activate other employees. Only in this way can a company's goals be achieved. But you need to have the right manager in the right place. Someone with good management skills can still not perform well in the wrong role.


Management skills

To understand this, you need to know what management skills are precisely. The difference between management skills, management qualities, and management capacities is also important. We provide you with a definition of these terms and explain the biggest difference between these three things.

You can define management skills as the skills someone needs to have to function well as a manager. Since these are skills, it means you can learn them. Just as you can become skilled at driving by taking driving lessons, you can learn management skills during training.

In addition to your management skills, you also need managerial qualities. These qualities are related to your character traits. You can't change these, they are inherent to you. Think, for example, of someone who is naturally focused on development and innovation but may struggle with keeping a systematic overview. Or someone who is highly systematic but may overlook innovations and changes. By training matching management skills, someone can grow in areas they naturally find difficult.

By combining management skills and managerial qualities, you arrive at managerial capacities. These are both the skills you've learned and the qualities you have naturally. This combination determines where you can be a good manager.

Management skills list

Management skills are largely learnable. Just as not everyone learns to drive or park equally well during their driving lessons, you can also have more or less talent for certain skills. But what falls under management skills?

According to American psychologist Robert Katz, you can classify management skills into three categories: technical skills, conceptual skills, and human skills.

The first category, technical skills, includes the skills a manager needs to achieve their goals. This can be about working with specific machines or marketing skills. The exact skills that fall under technical skills are very industry-specific.

Conceptual skills encompass the knowledge needed to conceive a concept, maintain an overview, and come up with creative solutions. These skills help a manager predict and overcome obstacles.

The last category, human skills, is about how the manager interacts with their employees. This can involve motivating staff, as well as communication within a department. This is crucial for project success.

To give you an idea of what management skills fall within the three categories mentioned above, we have compiled a list for you. These are by no means all the management skills out there, but they provide you with a good indication.

  • Motivation: Without good employees, you are nowhere as a manager. Only with motivated staff can all plans be executed successfully. Therefore, motivating your employees as a leader is extremely important. Some people do this naturally, but there are techniques to learn that can help your employees motivate themselves.
  • Communication: Clear communication, without room for misunderstandings, is of great importance as a manager. By using certain professional communication techniques, you always convey a message clearly.
  • Providing and Receiving Feedback: As a manager, you should not be afraid to point out people's mistakes or areas for improvement. The way you do this makes a big difference in how it is received. Fortunately, giving feedback can be learned. How you handle feedback yourself is also important as a manager, and this can also be learned.
  • Planning: Good planning is essential for the success of any project. As a manager, you need skills to create a feasible plan, as well as the ability to adjust the plan if necessary.
  • Taking Responsibility: A manager makes dozens of decisions in a day. Sometimes these are big decisions, but sometimes they are small or unconscious ones. It is important as a manager that you take responsibility for the decisions you make and communicate them effectively.
  • Delegation: Delegating work is an important task as a manager. It can be tempting to do as much as possible yourself to maintain control. However, delegating is necessary for efficient task execution.

As you can see, management skills are quite diverse. Fortunately, as a novice manager, you don't really need to have all of these skills just yet. By attending the right training courses, you can learn a lot.

List of Management Skills

Furthermore, you don't need to possess all the skills for every position. So, take a good look at which skills are really necessary in your (desired) management role. Do you need to work closely with other employees? Then your interpersonal skills are crucial. Are you mainly involved in overseeing the company's strategy and keeping an eye on the big picture? In that case, conceptual skills are much more important.

Managerial Competencies

Which competencies does a manager really need? That depends on the type of manager. There are managers who only need to lead one employee, and there are managers who oversee a large department. There are even managers who are not responsible for people but for a product (product manager). Depending on what or who you need to manage, you need different competencies.

Someone who struggles with interpersonal skills, for example, can be an excellent product manager, but it might not be a good idea to put them in charge of a large group of employees. And someone who excels in strategic thinking is not suitable for an operational management role. So, it's not necessary to possess all management skills and qualities to be a good manager. It also depends on the role you are in.

Character Traits of a Good Manager

The character traits of a good manager, just like management skills and qualities, depend on the specific role they hold. For an operational manager, you want someone who is good at planning, controlling that plan, and interacting with employees. For a strategic manager, it's more important for someone to maintain an overview and come up with innovative and creative solutions. Different character traits are needed for these roles.

Character traits cannot be changed. You either have them or you don't. By acquiring skills, you can compensate for certain character traits, but it's not possible to completely acquire a new character trait.

If you already have a certain character trait but find it difficult to apply in practice, it's possible to further develop this trait. By taking certain training courses, you can develop a core quality. You will also learn to recognize and prevent your own pitfalls. This way, you can use your character traits more effectively in your role as a manager.

Some character traits that can help become a good manager include:

  • Assertiveness: a manager should know which direction they want to go and be willing to make necessary decisions.
  • Self-discipline: if you want to make progress with a team, you need to set a good example yourself. It requires self-discipline.
  • Sense of responsibility: good managers have a strong sense of responsibility. They want to succeed and are aware that they are responsible for it. This also includes admitting mistakes and taking feedback from others to heart. It involves self-reflection as well.
  • Delegation: a manager who wants to do everything themselves will quickly lose track. A good manager can delegate tasks to other employees while still taking responsibility.
  • No people-pleasing: as a manager, you may need to make decisions that won't necessarily make you popular with others. So, you shouldn't mind not being liked by everyone. People-pleasing behavior won't get you far as a manager.
  • Empathy: while a manager needs to be decisive and assertive, empathy is also important. You need to understand the impact of certain decisions on employees or customers.

Of course, there are many more character traits that a good manager can use. Think of adaptability, stress resilience, persuasiveness, and creativity, for example. However, the extent to which you really need all these character traits depends entirely on the role and situation you find yourself in. Placing the right people in the right positions is always a matter of importance.

If you want to become a good manager or are already a leader and want to further develop yourself, it's important to focus on both your management skills and your character traits. By further developing these and combining them effectively, you can become the best manager within you. There are various training courses available for this purpose. Find out which one suits your situation best and lead your company to great success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are management skills?

Management skills: essential for effective leadership. Management skills are essential skills that a manager needs to function effectively. These are skills that can be learned and developed. Good management skills enable a manager to motivate employees, achieve goals, and improve team performance.

What are some examples of management skills?

Management skills can be categorized into three categories: technical skills, conceptual skills, and human skills.

  • Technical skills include specific skills needed to accomplish tasks and goals, such as marketing skills.
  • Conceptual skills are necessary to maintain an overview, predict obstacles, and come up with creative solutions.
  • Human skills relate to how a manager interacts with employees, such as motivating staff.

Examples of management skills include:

  • Motivation
  • Communication
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Planning
  • Taking responsibility
  • Delegating

What makes a good manager?

A good manager possesses a combination of management skills and character traits that fit the role and situation. Some important character traits of a good manager include:

  • Assertiveness: making decisive and resolute decisions.
  • Self-discipline: setting a good example and showing discipline.
  • Sense of responsibility: feeling responsible for the team's success.
  • Delegation: being able to delegate tasks to others.
  • No people-pleasing behavior: being willing to make decisions that aren't always popular.
  • Empathy: understanding the impact decisions have on employees and customers.

A good manager has the right mix of management skills and character traits and effectively applies them to lead the team and organization to success.