While there is no specific recipe for management success, managers who cultivate the following qualities, or “soft skills,” may be better prepared to lead, manage conflict, and cope with problems. Successful managers are:
- Clear. It’s important to communicate a strong sense of direction and purpose. Your team should know your expectations and understand the goals that have been set for them, their direct reports, and the company as a whole.
- Empowering. Demonstrate a commitment to helping each team member grow in their abilities and fulfill their potential. Encourage an open-door policy and honest, mature handling of mistakes and problems.
- Confidence building. Build and sustain the self-image of your team, both individually and as a whole. Recognize and celebrate successes and present unsuccessful efforts as learning opportunities. Remind each member of your team that they are key to its functioning.
- Fair. Don’t play favorites or put one particular team member above others. Make decisions based not on personal preferences, but on what is best for the team and organization.
- Trustworthy. Respect each individual’s privacy and personal information.
- Organizational perspective. Balance the needs of your team or individual team members with the company’s overall goals.
- Professional role model. Demonstrate the values of your organization and the behaviors you want your team to emulate. This is sometimes called “walking the talk.”
- Patient. Weigh the demands of business against reasonable expectations for productivity and performance.
- Involved. Take the time to understand your team’s day-to-day experiences and support their efforts to complete their work. Pitch in and help when “all hands on deck” are needed.
- Respectful. Recognize the value that each member of your team brings to the workplace.