Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
There is a first time for everything, and managing other people can be scary first.
Granted, some people are natural leaders who can quickly get up to speed.
However, most need some help developing important manager competencies.
Manager competencies can improve management skills and influence the behavior of others – which can result in a positive impact on the bottom line.
Competency is defined as “the quality of being competent; adequacy; possession of required skill, knowledge, qualification, or capacity.”
Organizations should have defined competency requirements for their leadership team.
This allows the organization to be managed with a consistent competency model.
It is common for large organizations to have required competencies that are aligned with management development training programs.
These organizations often have the resources for an in-house training department that is focused on developing employees by training in all competency areas.
Smaller organizations should spend some time thinking through desired competencies and identifying appropriate training options for managers and supervisors.
Some competencies come naturally for people, while others need to be learned and practiced.
12 Leadership Competencies
1. Supervising Others
Managing others can be a challenge for a new supervisor without management experience.
Training new managers on what to do and what not to do can help minimize issues related to supervising others.
For instance, when an employee is promoted to supervisor and then is put in the position to manage those who were peers, they must learn how to make that sometimes difficult transition.
Learning how to navigate this sensitive situation can help the new supervisor be successful.
2. Conflict Resolution
Conflict in the workplace is an inevitable reality.
It is important to manage this conflict because unresolved conflict can affect relationships between people and groups of people.
Leaders should be able to manage conflict and create win-win situations for those involved.
This can be done by identifying the source of conflict and working with both parties to negotiate and collaborate to resolve issues.
3. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a skill that can be learned and is a mark of professional maturity.
It can take years to develop and a lifetime to master.
There is an ongoing debate about whether EI is a natural or trained ability.
Regardless, it is an important leadership competency that every manager and supervisor needs to perfect.
4. Communication Skills
Managers must have good written and verbal communication skills to manage employees effectively.
Additionally, there needs to be a structured communication process to filter information throughout the organization.
For example, can you answer these questions:
- Is it a priority to communicate with employees?
- How often is information shared?
- What is the process for communicating new information to employees?
Consider these questions and the impact sharing information can have on a work team.
5. Manage Performance
To do this successfully, managers need to do the following:
- Set clear expectations for job assignments.
- Write and monitor employee goals.
- Hold employees accountable for job responsibilities and achieving goals.
- Reward employees for doing a good job.
- Mentor, coach, and discipline employees when necessary.
Create a system to manage performance and be consistent with its administration.
6. Interviewing Skills
Having the ability to identify the right person for open positions helps to ensure the organization secures the best talent for the job.
Leaders and managers need to have basic interviewing skills. This includes:
- Being prepared for interviews.
- Becoming familiar with the job that the candidate is interviewing for.
- Reviewing job candidate resumes and job applications.
- Identifying the best questions to ask in the interview.
The secret is preparation. If you need to hire a new employee, prepare for the interview to hire the best person for the job.
7. Team Building
Leaders need to build strong teams with a shared goal and rally around the organization’s mission and vision.
This necessitates managers to develop basic team leader skills that help them develop teams, minimize team conflict, and manage team dynamics.
Anyone who has ever managed projects understands the importance of delegation.
Delegating helps develop employees by gradually increasing job responsibilities and accountability.
Effective delegation is the result of forethought and strategy.
Successful delegation is knowing the people you work with and is an innate understanding of what others can do – if given the chance.
Learning to trust and develop others to perform tasks takes skill and practice.
However, once learned, it can be very liberating for a manager and allows them to perform higher-level tasks.
9. Change Agent
Organizations are being forced to make dramatic improvements to products and services not only to compete but to survive in today’s economy.
Progressive organizations understand that change is constant and that to move forward, there needs to be a continuous process of improving what and how work is done.
Consequently, leaders must be change agents and lead continual change initiatives.
Learning to be a good coach can be one of the most rewarding aspects of managing others.
Inexperienced employees need to be coached and can benefit from a manager who takes the time to share their experience, lessons learned, and tacit knowledge.
An effective coach will help others learn to build on their strengths and improve their weaknesses – an important aspect of professional development.
11. Problem Solving
Managing people and processes requires problem-solving skills.
Problems come in all shapes and sizes. A good manager must learn to solve problems with employees, work processes, or product or service quality.
Managers must be able to identify problems, understand basic problem-solving techniques, and facilitate a process to solve problems and resolve issues within the work environment.
12. Motivating Others
Since we are all motivated differently, leaders must understand what inspires and motivates their employees.
Develop a motivation strategy.
There are many different motivation models that can be incorporated into a manager’s strategy for motivating employees.
Find the model that works with your culture and create a strategy and plan to motivate employees.
The trick is to identify what motivates employees and develop systems and processes that support those motivators.
This is merely an example of leadership competencies. Invest the time and resources to identify specific competencies for your organization, and you can create a work environment that motivates, develops, and successfully manages employee performance.
What leadership competencies does your organization operate with?