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The five most important skills for managers to develop themselves

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By Salley Percy

What does it take to be a great manager? A great manager can make all the difference between an employee who performs to the best of his or her ability and one who merely ‘shows up’ in the workplace or perhaps doesn’t even show up at all. 


It is important that managers develop a strong level of curiosity. Being curious allows managers to better listen to their colleagues and workers and to take on board new ideas that could benefit their organisation. It enables managers to consider new solutions to any obstacles that they might encounter, allowing them to react quicker and more effectively. A curious manager will also question and be critical of their own assumptions and practices, this is an extremely important quality for a modern manager to have.

2.The ability to constantly learn

Managers must learn how to have a reflective approach and to know their own learning mechanisms and personal excellence methods. They must also have the ability to take a step back, to give feedback and to combine action and reflection, both as an individual and collectively as part of a team. A manager who understands the way that he or she learns best finds it easier to take on new information and knowledge, at a deeper level and at a faster rate. This allows the manager to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of today’s business world and to act, and react, as quickly and as successfully as possible.

3.Value your staff

As we move further into 2019, cooperation between managers and employees is becoming increasingly important. As a result, executives need to recognise two-way communication as a more effective approach than the traditional top-down management style. Good leaders empower employees by listening to their voices, which then enables them to manage their organisations more effectively. 

4.Willingness to empower

True empowerment relies on employees feeling comfortable about making their own decisions based on the information they get and their connectivity to the rest of the organisation. They would also need to be willing to accept their own responsibility for the decisions made. For some people, that may be a significant developmental task. Managers may have to support people to take the appropriate level of responsibility. They may also need to constantly assess where their own involvement may be needed perhaps for quality control purposes and where they should give it up and further empower their team.

5.Practical perspective

In a dynamic business environment that is characterised by technological innovations and an increasingly diverse workforce, managers need to take a practical perspective. By taking a more deliberate approach, managers can avoid making the less informed decisions that often emerge under the pressure of time constraints and emotions, and create opportunities to find synergies based on shared interests.

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