Managerial skills you need to be a great boss

We often discuss management skills in the abstract, but what are they, really? In the broadest sense, management skills are nearly anything that enables you to manage others effectively. This could include communication skills, interpersonal skills, general leadership skills and more. While some abilities will vary based on your industry, there are several key skills that will help you become a successful manager in nearly any work environment. Let’s explore some of them.


Managers who can motivate their employees are true assets to their companies. Interacting with team members in a skillful, professional way doesn’t just increase productivity and employee satisfaction — it sets a good example as well.

Hiring managers look for leaders who can spot employees’ strengths and encourage them to develop their skill sets. A great manager has a sharp eye for areas that could be improved and knows how to approach issues diplomatically. You want to encourage workers to make productive changes, rather than discouraging them by focusing on their shortcomings.

Another important part of motivating employees is the ability to set clear, achievable goals. Tracking employee progress and celebrating wins will help employees focus and understand how their accomplishments contribute to the company overall.

Motivational people management skills will serve you well in almost any management position. Important skills in this area include:

  • Empowering employees to take ownership of projects
  • Creating an energetic and highly motivated workplace
  • Showing proper appreciation for employee accomplishments
  • Supporting coworkers who are under stress
  • Providing rewards and incentives for outstanding performance


The right skill set empowers managers to identify, face and overcome various problems that might arise in the workplace. This requires outstanding attention to detail. Top managers spot emerging problems before they’re apparent to everyone in the company and identify the root of the trouble.

Analytical skills will also help you solve problems throughout your career in management. You should know what data is most relevant to your industry, how to gather it and what the resulting numbers mean.

Highlight these problem-solving skills on your resume:

  • Demonstrating resourcefulness in the face of a problem
  • Anticipating potential issues before they arise
  • Identifying factors contributing to problems
  • Interpreting critical industry data
  • Troubleshooting quickly and efficiently


Good managers hold themselves to the highest standards so that their employees have a clear example of what they should strive for. Integrity, honesty and professionalism are crucial skills for strong managers. As a leader, it’s better to show rather than tell when it comes to work ethic and demeanor. Hiring managers look for job applicants who adhere to a strict moral code and set the right example for others.

Qualities that exude professionalism on a resume include:

  • Providing exceptional customer service with a professional attitude
  • Identifying diplomatic solutions to workplace issues
  • Exhibiting strong moral values
  • Showing initiative
  • Attending professional development seminars


One of the most important responsibilities that managers have is effective communication, both with the employees who work under them and with other managers throughout the company. They’re part of an intricate web, and must act as a strong connection point that bridges the gaps between lower level employees and top brass, or between various departments.

You should be ready to flex your communication skills in both verbal and written form. Typo-riddled memos or rushed, confusing meetings won’t do. The best managers are always able to send a clear message and share valuable, understandable information that will help get the job done. And having the emotional intelligence to get a read on your employees’ needs and concerns will allow you to keep your team strong and productive.

Include these types of communication and people skills on your resume:

  • Drafting clear and concise training materials
  • Maintaining open lines of communication with co-workers
  • Negotiating successfully to resolve employee disputes
  • Encouraging communication among reticent employees
  • Leading efficient meetings that are both productive and sensitive to time constraints

Technical skills

Technical skills are more important for low-level managers than for those at the top of the chain. If you’re angling for your first managerial spot, it’s crucial that you demonstrate a keen understanding of the organization as a whole. Many companies promote their managers from within for this very purpose. You can’t oversee a team of IT professionals if you’re lost when it comes to navigating your company’s programming systems. No sales manager can be effective if he doesn’t know how to close a sale.

Your industry knowledge and experience should guide all those you oversee, helping them to achieve higher levels of success. Managers are often called upon to provide training and coaching for their employees. You should be able to impart useful wisdom and handy trade secrets that will help your team excel.

Make sure hiring managers are aware of your expertise with resume phrases such as these:

  • Providing customer support
  • Handling data security
  • Generating reports and drafting presentations with Microsoft Office
  • Managing website content, social media accounts, or marketing campaigns
  • Offering technical support to employees and/or customers


Innovation is a keyword for nearly every company. Your competitors are always striving to develop the best new products and services ahead of you. Businesses that innovate well stay at the top of the pack, netting new customers with their fresh offerings and keeping existing clients happy with a continuous selection of upgrades.

Good managers will need to keep up on industry news, empower their employees to share good ideas and demonstrate a high level of conceptual thinking skills themselves. Hiring managers have a keen eye for new hires who will bring different perspectives and new ideas to the company.

Highlight your ability to innovate with these skills:

  • Developing innovative solutions for customers’ needs
  • Identifying key shortcomings in manufacturing and drafting solutions to boost production
  • Constructing research models to test new product ideas
  • Generating fresh ideas for timely marketing campaigns
  • Redesigning systems for increased productivity or functionality

Good management skills lead to success

Including any of the above-mentioned skills on your resume will position you for success in management. This applies both to those who are actively pursuing a managerial position as well as those who are applying for lower level jobs. Highlight all your applicable managerial skills on your resume, no matter what job you’re after. Having the solid qualities of a good manager will position you for success at any level of the company.

Management skills are important for many reasons. They position you to act as an effective leader who can make good decisions, an effective communicator with the soft skills necessary to inspire a team, and a problem-solver who can bring clarity to any situation. Work on honing these skills and watch how they can impact your job performance and opportunities.

This article originally appeared on CareerBuilder and is reprinted with permission.