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6 Must-Have Life Skills For Managers At Work

Published on January 5, 2020 | Uncategorized
6 Must-Have Life Skills For Managers At Work


“If I had to sum up in one word what makes a good manager, I’d say decisiveness. You can use the fanciest computers to gather the numbers, but in the end you have to set a timetable and act. “ – Lee Iacocca

Manager – a term used for people who have minimum 2-3 projects to look after, a team to lead, responsible to get things done and report to higher authorities. Managers are those who mostly deal in micro level decision making activities within an organization, manage & influence people, keep networking across various departments, negotiate, strategize goals, set targets and achieve them by making others work & be responsible for their department and its performance – Just like a CEO of a company but at a micro or a departmental level. 

To become an efficient manager and a strong driving force in your company you essentially need to instill certain life skills in your personality by practicing it regularly in your daily professional routine.

  1. Team coordination & People Management

A manager has responsibilities right from selecting his team, finding what hidden talents they have to delegate tasks and make sure there’s a proper coordination among them. Every manager is aware that the sure-shot way of getting the work done is to appoint the right person for the task and sometimes it’s hard to find that right person. 

A manager also has a big role in setting the right work environment which involves effective communication, proper teamwork, objective setting, performance appraisals, etc.

A good manager often opts for cohesive leadership which means he and his team are acting together as a unit instead of operating individually. This also ensures that the team will be steered in one direction. 

One can easily gauge a manager’s abilities by looking at his team, their unity and understanding between each other and their work ethic which eventually drives optimum results & performance of the department.

  1. Problem-solving & Decision-making skills

These are must-have skills for a graduate and needs to be incorporated throughout school and college. A good manager, however, will be on top of these skills. For him problem-solving also means anticipating potential future problems and devising a solution from the present moment. It requires your analytical skills where you use your logic & imagination to make sense of a situation and come up with an intelligent & sustainable solution.

Decision-making skills, sound very exciting at first. Everyone in their life has imagined being at a higher-level position and taking decisions but bearing this responsibility isn’t that exciting and easy. Taking decision means being aware, responsible and accountable for the work and thus there has to be some process or basis upon which the decision is taken. As a manager, you have to be on top of these things! 

Now a lot of managers confuse this with micromanagement. 

Micromanagement is the ultimate controlling management style. It’s demoralizing and counter-intuitive, as the desire for control to make sure everything goes to plan only creates more problems in the long-term. 

Micromanagement is exactly what it sounds like; someone trying to personally control and monitor everything in a team, situation, or place.

“When managers overdo micromanaging of others, they probably hired the wrong people or failed to give them a clear idea of what each one is to accomplish. I prefer to train employees to be self-managers, just as in an orchestra each performer knows his or her role without being micromanaged.” – Philip Kotler

  1. Forming strategy & Critical thinking

A team is always looking upon their manager/leader to show them the right direction for achieving the target. Forming the right strategy is an important aspect as it is the blueprint on which the team, resources and daily operations rely on. 

A wrong strategy might  put the project at risk even after having a highly efficient team.

To form the right strategy, the leader will have to inculcate critical thinking which is the ability to think clearly and rationally, understand logical connections between processes and ideas, think systematically and make use of available information or seek relevant sources to get information, enhance work process and strengthen arguments.

  1. Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient.

Having a higher IQ will make you smart and maybe a genius but it is also noted that such people usually fail at essential corporate skills like teamwork, effective communication, building relationships etc. A manager, however, has no option but to lead his team and achieve the target, so it becomes essential for managers to have a good EQ.

There are a few essential characteristics of emotional intelligence like self-awareness, empathy, motivation, social skills & self-regulation. A great manager has to master these characteristics which will lead to a positive output throughout his tenure.

  1. Effective Communication 

Communication (irrespective of the language) means ability to express the right information to another person/group. A clear thought process is very essential before communicating with people and one has to actively practice it. This is an important skill and has to be mastered by managers for achieving success in their work. 

Pro Tip: Be specific and avoid ambiguous statements, try using numbers if possible, try to verify information before making a decision on it, talk about solving problems rather than contemplating it. 

  1. Rewards and Recognition

A manager has to depend on his team to get the work done and if there are employees who perform good then they should be rewarded and recognized in order to retain and encourage them to keep up with their performance. Making people feel good about their contribution to the project by giving them rewards will further motivate them to work harder. 

Everybody likes to feel important and special. Even small appreciations from a manager will do the magic in boosting the overall performance. With hiring becoming more difficult, we also observe people switching companies after 2-3 years of experience for higher pay or more comfort and retaining them is very difficult. Here, rewards and recognition play a vital role and it makes employees feel connected with the company & its vision thus increasing the chances of not losing them.


Navigus is a data driven academic & professional career guidance company based out of Bengaluru. We equip students and young professionals with unbiased personalized guide to a thriving career through a finely balanced blend of objectivity of data science, technology and subjectivity, empathy of humans.

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