When new managers are appointed, employers often evaluate their technical skills or industry-related experience before hiring them.
However, managers need other valuable skills to effectively lead teams to do their jobs, as well.
Interpersonal skills are on top of this list, as a good leader needs to be able to communicate with, motivate and discipline employees.
This is a list of interpersonal skills that every effective manager needs.
Whether you are looking to hire a new manager for your firm, or you are a new manager looking to improve, consider which areas you need to work on to be more productive.
Verbal communication is key when leading a team.
Managers must be able to speak concisely, professionally and to the point.
They must have the vocabulary required to make themselves understood; otherwise their staff will not be able to complete their tasks.
They must also know technical jargon to effectively speak to both clients and colleagues.
Nonverbal communication, although often overlooked, is often more important than verbal.
This includes tone, pitch, volume, facial expressions, hand gestures, clothing choices, etc.
A leader who constantly crosses his arms in front of him when addressing his staff may seem uncomfortable or standoffish.
A manager who can’t hold eye contact during a conversation will seem bored and uninterested.
Listening skills are necessary for effective leaders.
This requires truly listening in a one-on-one conversation or in a meeting to make sure all questions, concerns and comments have been heard and addressed.
Effective listening can ward off potential mistakes and screw ups, and can greatly impact the communication process.
Negotiation skills are often employed by the manager when dealing with staff, clients etc.
You may need to negotiate a better deal on your water delivery to save the firm money, or will be required to renegotiate a contract with a customer who is not happy with the current rates she is paying.
Problem-solving is essential for any leader as issues at work come up constantly.
Whether a software programme is malfunctioning, a key team member didn’t come into work on the day of an important presentation or a huge mistake cost an entire order to be returned, a manager needs to calmly and effectively deal with these problems to keep the ball rolling.
If you don’t feel that you have mastered these skills, you can read books or attend classes to improve your interpersonal skills to be a more effective manager.
Head of Training and Development
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Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.