What Are The Top 7 Competencies Of A Great Manager?


Being the ideal manager and achieving job satisfaction come high on many managers’ wish lists. So, what competencies do you need to master to be a great manager? Here are 7 top competencies for a manager to develop and work on and some additional resources at the end to help you further.


1. Communication

Being able to communicate your own ‘vision’ to the team is so vital for any manager. The team need to know what direction you are going and that you are determined to proceed in that direction. Once this has been established regular contact with each of your team members will help you to understand them and what progress they are making. Even if your team are based in a different place to you or at home, make the effort to maintain a supportive working relationship with them. This can be a great motivator for teams and individuals alike. Improve your interpersonal and communication skills by attending some Communication Skills Training.

2. Delegation

As the manager of the team, you are unable to achieve all your objectives by yourself. The greatest managers know how to tap into the power and strengths of people in their teams. They are then able to delegate effectively to those they know will get the job done. All delegation must be clear and supported by the manager. Delegation is not abdication and the manager must always have a back-up plan in case things do not turn out as expected as they are still ultimately responsible.

3. Motivating Others

Each person is motivated in different ways. The skill of a great manager is finding out what motivates every single person and using that knowledge to get the best out of them. It’s one sure fire way of boosting team morale. Whilst we can have a good guess what this is, one of the best ways is to ask them!

4. Organising & Task Management

As a role model for your colleagues, you need to find an efficient way of organising and prioritising the work. Even if this is not necessarily your strong point, build systems and procedures for your team to follow. Know the best organisers in the team and utilise their strengths to make the team work better. All task management systems must work for the individual manager if they are to be successful. Think back to what has worked best for you in other areas of your life and transfer these skills to gain similar results. Attending a Management Development Programme can really help you with this.

5. Patience

People do not always behave as expected or as you would like. Developing patience and getting to know people will reap rewards in the long term. Sometimes people just need time and space to develop their own ways of doing things. Just because you have developed one way, does not mean this will be the best for your employee. To develop a level of tolerance just beyond your normal patience levels to give people the chance to develop.

6. Building Effective Teams

Understanding that all teams must work towards a common goal is the main lesson for any manager. By helping teams to achieve joint success, as well as their own job satisfaction, will help them to realise that they need each other to really succeed. Every person from the lowest paid to the most senior person has a part to play in the overall goal and each person should be valued equally. Praise good work regularly in front of the team and ensure that any constructive feedback is given in private. Be mindful of the pitfalls of managing a team by looking at Lencioni’s 5 dysfunctions of a team model. This helps to create a positive atmosphere in the team. Why not take the team out on Team Building Days?

7. Self-development

No manager is the finished article. Constant personal development and flexibility of behaviour will help ordinary managers to be great managers. Be open to a variety of opportunities to learn new things. You may find that the people within your team provide many learning situations. Getting involved with local voluntary and community groups enable you to pick up more experience and how management skills can be practiced in different circumstances. It’s also an ideal way to give back and contribute to your own community. This is a great way to set an example to others who might be considering this option. We also recommend that you focus on improving your management coaching techniques so you can develop your people more effectively and at the same time develop your own skills.

Practice and develop these seven competencies and you will be well on the way to being a great manager.

Additional help for managers…

For further management competencies please check out the links below. It will provide you with all of the additional information that you’re looking for to complete your research on this topic. You can also download a free coaching guide with 400 coaching questions that you can use with your people.

management skills list
coaching questions for managers

If you want to develop your skills further please check out our face to face Management Training solutions and our Online Management Training solutions. 

We also have a very popular FREE Online Management Course which is a 5-part programme. At the time of writing this article the course been taken by 50,000 managers worldwide.

Many thanks



Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy by Satit Srihin of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Updated on: 24 June, 2013

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