Most managers focus on their soft skills to the detriment of their managerial technical skills. What I mean by this are all those skills and abilities required to be more effective in your role that organise and coordinate work, help to solve problems and issues and are those skills that enable managers to perform very specific tasks.
These management technical skills are essential for you to perform to the best of your ability. Soft skills are just not enough for the modern-day manager. If you can couple both sets of skills, then the sky is the limit as you’ll be able to be more effective in your role and at the same time get the best out of your people.
Most Management Skills Training focus on soft skills so here’s a list of the most vital 17 managerial technical skills you can have and then we’ll go into what they are and why they are important to you.
• Digital & IT skills
• Managing risk
• Problem solving and decision making
• Time management
• Critical analysis
• Emotional intelligence
• Emailing writing
• Report writing
• Data analysis skills
• Organisation skills
• Finance skills
• Commercial awareness
• Project management skills
• Compliance skills
Are you confused by any of the items listed above? If so, don’t panic. Each of the most important managerial technical skills is discussed in more detail below.
It doesn’t matter what kind of team you lead, from sales to customer service, every manager needs digital and IT (information technology) skills.
You’ll struggle to stay connected to your team if you don’t understand how to use basic computer systems and apps (such as email, video conferencing, project management software, etc.).
These skills are critical for those leading remote or hybrid teams. Without them, keeping everyone on the same page will be challenging, which can hinder productivity and employee engagement.
All leaders need research skills.
Marketing managers must know how to research their target audience to decide what kinds of campaigns they should run. HR managers must know how to investigate the latest onboarding technology to ensure they’re adequately supporting new hires.
These days, endless amounts of information are at our fingertips. However, you’ll struggle to meet employees’ needs if you don’t know how to find that information, assess its accuracy, and apply it to your specific situation. As a result, your performance will take a hit, and you may fall behind your competitors.
Managers must know when to take a risk and when to play it safe. Without good risk management skills, managers might make decisions that come with severe consequences.
These management skills include identifying risks and creating plans to minimise them. For example, say an organisation wants to manufacture and sell a new product. It must first conduct a thorough risk analysis to evaluate the cost of manufacturing a new product and the potential returns it’ll enjoy if the product sells well.
Leaders should be able to evaluate different situations thoroughly, note the risks, and make calculated decisions about which ones are worthwhile and which ones are not. They should also be willing to create plans to avoid unfavourable outcomes.
Whether you lead a team of two or 200, being a manager always involves solving problems and making difficult decisions.
Managers must know how to spot issues and evaluate them to get to the root cause. Once they see the source of the problem, they can create a detailed plan not only to solve it but prevent it from occurring again.
For example, let’s say an HR manager has noticed an increase in the company’s employee turnover rate.
They must first research to find out why employees are leaving. Then, they need to connect with other higher-ups to create a plan to improve job satisfaction and increase employee loyalty.
As a manager, you have a lot on your plate.
If you don’t have good time management skills, you’ll struggle to be productive and get things done on time (without sacrificing quality). Time management skills don’t come easily to everyone.
If you find that you’re consistently completing projects late or taking too long to respond to emails, consider implementing a time management strategy like the Pomodoro method or the Eisenhower Matrix.
Leaders should consistently evaluate themselves, their team members, and their work quality.
Regular evaluations ensure everyone is always firing on all cylinders. They create a culture of accountability that encourages all employees (including you) to put their best foot forward. Objectivity and open-mindedness play critical roles in effective evaluation.
Team managers must be willing to hear feedback from others and assess their performance based on that feedback. They must also remain objective when evaluating team members and projects to provide honest and actionable feedback.
The ability to think critically and analyse various situations will come in very handy to leaders of all kinds, regardless of their department or the number of people they oversee.
Critical analysis helps leaders to see situations from other people’s perspectives. It also ensures they’re continually learning (rather than assuming they have all the answers) and allows them to come up with the best solutions to their team’s problems.
For example, suppose a team leader is conducting market research to learn about the company’s target audience.
In that case, they must be willing to look at several sources and fully understand a particular demographic. They can’t jump to conclusions and assume that information from one source is accurate.
The best managers are resilient. They have demanding jobs, but they know how to manage the daily stress they face to prevent it from taking over their lives or influencing the decisions they make for themselves and their teams.
Resilience includes several other essential traits, including self-confidence and self-awareness. Resilient leaders must also be flexible and willing to pivot if a plan doesn’t work out or they receive new information.
An example of a resilient leader is willing to go back to the drawing board if a client says they aren’t happy with the results of a current product. The leader will work with their team to assess the client’s needs, identify the problem, and solve it.
Emotionally intelligent leaders know how to understand, use, and manage their emotions effectively. They’re empathic, good communicators, and can defuse conflict when needed.
It’s much easier to lead a team when you’re emotionally intelligent.
If you can put yourself in an employee’s shoes and understand what they’re experiencing, you’ll have an easier time connecting with them. You’ll also be able to deliver key messages and aid them in achieving their full potential.
As a manager, you likely read and respond to more emails than the average person.
If you aren’t good at communicating via email, you may have difficulty staying connected to your company’s team, clients, and higher-ups.
Good email writing skills include the following:
An understanding of basic grammar rules goes a long way, too. If grammar isn’t your strong suit, invest in a grammar-checking tool or ask someone to proofread important messages before sending them.
In addition to writing emails, you must know how to write effective reports as a manager.
Good report writing, like good email writing, involves conciseness and language discernment. You must also know how to translate complex information into easily understandable language, especially when you’re writing for a less experienced or knowledgeable audience.
You must also use proper grammar and sentence structure when writing reports, whether they’re for your boss, your clients, or your team. Correct grammar adds credibility to your work and shows that you care enough about the report’s contents to proofread.
Data analysis skills help you to interpret the information you’ve gathered and use it to make good decisions for your team.
For example, if you’re a marketing manager, you need data analysis skills to evaluate information on your target audience. Then, you might use this data to decide which social media platforms to advertise on or what kinds of topics to cover in your blog post or video marketing content.
Organisation skills make you a more effective leader.
You hold everybody up when you’re constantly scrambling to find those important documents or remember where you put that report. You impede your productivity as well as your team’s.
You also create much more stress and anxiety for yourself. Your job is hard enough as a manager. Don’t complicate things further by failing to create a solid organisational strategy.
Even if you’re not the leader of your company’s accounting team, you still need basic finance and money management skills.
You should be able to evaluate the cost of various products or services so you can choose the most budget-friendly options for your team. You should also be able to weigh the pros and cons of certain decisions so you can make informed choices that yield the best returns for the company.
Commercial awareness describes one’s ability to understand what makes a company successful. This includes knowledge of the company’s products or services, its target audience, and the current state of the market.
Some also refer to commercial awareness as business awareness and organisational awareness.
No matter what kind of team you lead, you should know how your employees and their projects contribute to the business’s overall success.
For example, if you’re a human resources manager, you should understand how your work (hiring and onboarding employees, managing personnel, etc.) helps the company achieve its long-term objectives.
As a team leader, you must have good project management skills.
Project management skills include effective communication, time management, organisation, and risk management. You must know how to evaluate your team’s work, have difficult conversations, and analyse data to make informed decisions.
Sound technical and IT skills also come in handy for project managers, as they often use software or apps to stay in touch with their team and keep everyone in the loop.
Team leaders also need good compliance skills.
They need to stay in the loop about the latest laws, rules, and regulations that affect their industry, the company’s products or services, and their customers. They’re also responsible for keeping team members informed and ensuring all projects align with the latest guidelines.
It’s worth noting that compliance skills include several other critical skills. For example, someone with compliance skills also knows how to interpret rules and guidelines, conduct risk assessments, and apply new information to their teams.
Are you lacking any of these essential managerial technical skills?
If so, sign up for one (or more) of our Management Courses or Leadership Development Training programmes to fill in your knowledge gaps and improve your leadership strategy. Over 9,000 companies trust MTD to transform managers into inspiring leaders. Contact us today to make an enquiry.
Updated on: 11 January, 2023
Originally published: 19 November, 2019
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