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Effective Management Skills: What Qualities Make
a Successful Manager?

By CJ Liu,

Remember all the advice you got as a kid about playing fair at recess, sharing in the classroom, and doing your homework on time? Being a good manager requires pretty much the same set of leadership skills. The only difference is that this time around you get to be the captain of the kickball team. Here are seven effective management skills to help you learn how to become a successful and good manager.

7 Effective Management Skills

Be yourself. As a successful manager you want to be authentic. Know your managerial strengths, your skills and what you stand for. Your job is then to make your actions, thoughts and words line up with who you are. Your employees will appreciate your consistency.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Do the right thing. No one wants to follow a manager they don't trust. One of the most effective management skills you can learn is gaining your team's trust. Trust is earned by walking your talk. If you want employees to be on time to meetings, do it yourself first.

Be nice to others. Believe it or not, you can treat your employees respectfully and see big profits at the same time. When your team stays late to hit a last-minute deadline, take the time to acknowledge them and offer some comp time as a reward. They'll be more likely to stand by your side and less likely to complain.

Use your words. Clear communication is the key to being a successful manager. Make sure that your employees understand the team's goals and what success looks like. Everyone should know who is responsible for which tasks and what the deadlines are. This employee communication method keeps finger-pointing to a minimum and reduces the chance that things will fall through the cracks.

Clean your room. There will be times when you have to do things you don't like to do.  Saying "no," firing someone and delivering difficult employee feedback are tough tasks for any manager, but they are also key to building effective management skills. Before pulling the trigger, make sure you have all of your facts straight and aren't acting impulsively. Instead, act for the good of the whole workforce. That way you'll have better luck sleeping at night.

Follow the rules. Just like the playground, your organization has both stated and unstated rules of employee conduct. Pay attention to your employees so you know which behaviors are considered out of bounds. Is it going to be career suicide if you don't play hoops with the boys on Fridays? Will wearing heels and pearls help or hurt your chance at a promotion?

Pick a winning team. Similar to picking sides for kickball, you want the most skilled employees with the best ability to produce results. Choose employees who compliment your management strengths and make up for your shortcomings. If you're good at staying organized but struggle to come up with fresh ideas, be sure to hire at least one employee who is creative and can help you dream big.

C.J. Liu is a certified professional coach, who helps professionals define success on their own terms. C.J. offers leadership training retreats and also has taught for the University of Washington.

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