20 Crucial Management Skills and How to Prove You Have Them

Discover the critical management skills necessary for success in any industry and learn how to effectively highlight them on your resume. This article details 20 essential management skills, ranging from leadership and project management to empathy and technical knowledge.
Ben Kill, Chartered MCIPD

  • Leadership hinges on a number of management skills, including project management, communication, and empathy, emphasizing their importance in various industries.

  • Effective management skills help in setting clear objectives, planning strategically, and ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently to achieve organizational goals.

  • There are specific strategies for showcasing leadership skills on a resume, such as integrating them into the "work" or "education" sections with specific examples of achievements.

What, exactly, is a manager? More specifically, what separates the great managers from the not-so-great ones? Depending on who you ask, you might get a completely different answer. Nevertheless, there are some universally agreed upon skills that are critical to success,  regardless of the company or sector.

For example, managers tend to be good leaders and collaborators. They tend to be adept at juggling other peoples’ time as well as their various work outputs. They often have skills when it comes to mentorship and nurturing a positive work environment.

Now, let’s imagine for a second that you’re applying for a position that requires these various management skills. How do you go about showcasing your capabilities on your resume? In this article, we’ll give you a refresher on leadership and management skills while also showing you how to effectively highlight them on your resume.

What Are Management Skills?

The term “management skills” or “managerial skills” refer to abilities and traits required to perform team oversight, such as problem-solving, effective communication, and employee motivation. These skills can be acquired through practical experience or courses, though they can also be learned or refined on the job.

A given management skill might fall under one of several categories. For instance, interpersonal skills are crucial for maintaining good relationships and team morale, while technical skills allow managers to effectively coach newer team members on how to perform their duties. It’s also true that many positive management qualities are the same across all industries, from banking to manufacturing to food and restaurant management. 

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20 Key Management Skills

The following key management skills are essential abilities and competencies that individuals in management positions need to effectively lead and guide their teams or organizations. These skills are crucial for managers to perform their roles successfully and achieve organizational goals, regardless of industry.

  • Leadership - Leadership involves guiding a team to achieve company while also contributing to a positive, productive work environment. Effective leaders inspire others and lead by example, creating a motivating atmosphere. Leadership skills are crucial for driving a team toward success, making strategic decisions, and fostering an environment where employees feel valued and supported.

  • Project Management - Project management involves guiding teams to successfully complete a project or goal within a specific time frame. Project managers need to manage people, systems, tools, software, and budgets, requiring plenty of training and technical skills in addition to interpersonal skills. Effective project management ensures that projects are finished efficiently, on time, on budget, and with the organization as a whole in mind.

  • Planning - Managers need to think ahead to ensure they and their teams’ activities align with overall business goals. Effective planning shows future employers that you are goal-oriented, organized, and ready to handle any obstacles. Planning involves setting objectives, determining the best course of action, and allocating resources to achieve these goals, ensuring that the organization remains on track.

  • Delegation - Delegating tasks strategically to the most qualified employees is essential for a team to accomplish more. Good leaders delegate to empower their team, utilizing each member's strengths and abilities. Effective delegation involves understanding each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, assigning tasks accordingly, and ensuring that everyone feels their contributions are valuable.

  • Coaching - Coaching involves mentoring team members to improve their skills and performance. Effective coaching helps employees reach their full potential and contributes to the team’s overall success. Managers who excel at coaching provide guidance, feedback, and support, helping their team members grow and develop in their roles.

  • Negotiation - To negotiate, you need to demonstrate you can persevere in problem-solving and persuade clients or customers with hard facts and mutually beneficial solutions. Good negotiators influence others and convince them to make evidence-based decisions. Effective negotiation skills can lead to successful deals, improved relationships, and better outcomes for the organization.

  • Empathy - Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s feelings and see things from their perspective. Empathetic leaders are effective because they know when their team needs nurturing or more independence. Empathy helps managers build strong relationships, create a supportive work environment, and address employees' needs effectively.

  • Interpersonal Skills - Interpersonal skills are essential for maintaining good relationships and team spirit. Good interpersonal skills help managers communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and motivate employees. Managers with strong interpersonal skills can build a positive team culture, foster collaboration, and ensure that everyone feels valued and respected.

  • Communication - Being able to communicate effectively across teams and formats is easily one of the most important skills of a manager. Good communicators are professional and articulate, facilitating coordination, collaboration, and organization. Effective communication helps make sure everyone is on the same page, reducing misunderstandings and improving team efficiency.

  • Problem Solving - Finding solutions to problems is a skill needed in nearly every job. Teams need leaders who can resolve issues creatively using available resources. Problem-solving skills enable managers to tackle challenges effectively, ensuring that the team can continue working smoothly and achieve its goals.

  • Coordinating - This skill involves organizing people and tasks to ensure that projects are completed efficiently. Good coordinators can manage multiple activities simultaneously, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Effective coordination ensures that resources are used optimally, deadlines are met, and the team works cohesively.

  • Organization - Keeping everyone and everything organized is a crucial management function. Good organizational skills help managers establish internal processes, delegate tasks efficiently, and ensure that employees have what they need to accomplish their tasks. Effective organization leads to a more productive and efficient work environment.

  • Conflict Resolution - Managers equipped with the ability to resolve conflicts are valuable in any organization. They can mediate disagreements and suggest compromises so everyone is happy. Conflict resolution skills help maintain a positive work environment, as conflicts tend to be addressed much faster and more completely.

  • Strategic Thinking - This skill involves planning for the long term and making decisions that align with the company's goals. Strategic thinkers can foresee potential challenges and opportunities, helping the organization stay ahead. Effective strategic thinking leads to better decision-making, long-term success, and a competitive advantage.

  • Public Speaking - Being able to present information clearly and confidently to an audience is important for managers. Good public speakers can effectively communicate ideas and inspire their team. Public speaking skills are essential for presentations, meetings, and any situation where managers need to convey information to a group.

  • Logistics - Managing the flow of goods, resources, and information is a key aspect of management in countless industries. Good logistics skills ensure that everything is in the right place at the right time. Effective logistics management leads to smoother operations, reduced costs, and better service delivery.

  • Technical Knowledge - Managers need a solid understanding of the technical aspects of their industry. This knowledge enables them to provide accurate guidance and support to their team. Technical skills are essential for supervisory managers who work closely with employees producing goods or services.

  • Networking/Outreach - Building relationships with other professionals and organizations is vital for managers. Good networking skills can lead to new opportunities, partnerships, and resources. Effective networking helps managers expand their professional circle, stay abreast of changing industry trends, and more.

  • Collaboration - Working effectively with others is crucial for managers. Good collaboration skills help managers build strong teams that work together toward common goals. Collaboration leads to better problem-solving, innovation, and overall team performance.

  • Decision Making - Making informed decisions is a key management function. Good decision-makers can analyze information, weigh options, and choose the best course of action. Effective decision-making leads to better outcomes, improved efficiency, and increased confidence in the manager’s abilities

The Importance of Demonstrating Your Management Skills

No matter where you are when it comes to developing these 20 personal skills examples, they won’t do you any good unless you can convey that you have them to other people. However, simply listing manager skills on a resume is not enough. You have to properly illustrate how you made an impact in your previous role or at your last job.

For example, management skills can be included in two sections of your resume. Obviously, one option is to list them in a skills section. However, a more effective approach is to integrate them into the “work” or “education” sections. By describing how your management skills improved workflow, productivity, or team success, you can make better use of valuable resume space.

This is important because so many management skills (particularly soft skills) are transferable. For example, restaurant or shop managers can highlight their organizational and communication skills and vice versa. Ultimately, emphasizing your transferable skills shows employers that you possess the necessary abilities to get the job done right, even if your previous management experience is in a different field.

 Demonstrating Management Skills on a Resume

So far, we’ve covered a number of essential management skills and explained how important it is to demonstrate them on a resume or job application. In this section, we’ll provide some helpful examples on how you can do this effectively (while making yourself look great at the same time.

How to Demonstrate Leadership Skills

As we mentioned, leadership skills are crucial for successful management and are valuable additions to your resume. One of the best ways to show them off on a resume is to use terms like “assembled” and “led” and then provide a direct example of what was done.

: “Organized and led a team of graphic designers to develop and launch a new website for a tech startup.”

How to Demonstrate Communication Skills

Effective communication involves articulating tasks clearly and professionally, coordinating, collaborating, and organizing across diverse teams through verbal and written exchanges. An excellent way to demonstrate this is to illustrate your ability to communicate effectively, build relationships, and achieve successful outcomes.

: “Conducted outreach by cold-calling, designing marketing materials, established partnerships with five local non-profits, and secured funding from 3 local sponsors.”

How to Demonstrate Project Management Skills

Project management requires organizing people, systems, tools, software, and budgets, combining technical skills with interpersonal abilities. You can demonstrate this by specifically mentioning a time you handled a project from start to finish or implemented a new system.

: “Successfully integrated Asana and HubSpot systems for a 30-member organization, improving productivity by 15% in 6 months."

How to Demonstrate Conflict Resolution Skills

Effective conflict resolution involves mediation and empathy to reach a compromise that satisfies all parties. To demonstrate it effectively, simply list a time you resolved a conflict or contributed to a more harmonious work environment.

Example: "Managed and resolved conflicts between employees and supervisors, including initiating discussions with board members."

As you can see, by understanding and effectively showcasing these management skills, you can make your resume stand out and demonstrate to potential employers that you have the capabilities to succeed in a managerial role. Highlighting your skills through specific examples and achievements will provide a clearer picture of your abilities and make a strong impression on hiring managers or your current supervisors.
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Management F.A.Q.

What are management skills?

Management skills refer to the abilities and traits required to effectively oversee a team or organization. These include problem-solving, effective communication, leadership, employee motivation, and more.

Why are management skills important?

Management skills are crucial for achieving organizational goals, fostering a positive work environment, and ensuring efficient operations. They help managers guide their teams effectively, make strategic decisions, and maintain good relationships.

Can management skills be learned, or are they innate?

Management skills can be acquired through practical experience, formal education, and on-the-job training. While some individuals may have natural aptitudes, these skills can be developed and refined over time.

What are some examples of key management skills?

Key management skills include:

  •     Leadership
  •     Project management
  •     Planning
  •     Delegation
  •     Coaching
  •     Negotiation
  •     Empathy
  •     Interpersonal skills
  •     Communication
  •     Problem-solving

How can I showcase my management skills on a resume?

To effectively showcase management skills on a resume, integrate them into the "work" or "education" sections with specific examples of how you applied these skills to achieve results. Use action verbs and quantify achievements where possible.

Why is it important to provide examples of management skills on a resume?

Providing examples makes your resume stand out and gives potential employers concrete evidence of your abilities. It helps them understand how you have applied your skills in real situations to achieve results.

What is the significance of transferable management skills?

Transferable management skills are valuable because they can be applied across different industries. Highlighting these skills shows employers that you possess the necessary abilities to succeed in various roles and environments.

How can I demonstrate my strategic thinking skills?

Demonstrate strategic thinking by describing how you planned for the long term and made decisions aligning with company goals. Example: “Developed a five-year strategic plan that increased company revenue by 20%.”

What role does empathy play in effective management?

Empathy helps managers understand their team’s feelings and perspectives, fostering a supportive work environment. Empathetic leaders can address employees' needs effectively, building strong relationships and improving team morale.

How important are technical skills for managers?

Technical skills are essential for managers, especially in industries requiring specific knowledge. They enable managers to provide accurate guidance and support to their team, ensuring tasks are performed correctly.

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