Still, it’s a question worth considering, and who better to answer it than real managers doing the work everyday. The folks at MindTools.com set out to gain some insight by surveying 15,242 managers and professionals worldwide to learn about the most highly valued skills, talents, and behaviors a manager should possess. (You can download the full report here.)
According to the survey results, the best managers are also:
- Relationship builders. 80 percent of respondents say building good working relationships is the key to effective communication.
- Time-managers. 79.5 percent of managers view prioritizing tasks effectively as one of the most important planning and time management skills. Other skills in this area include being able to stay focused and eliminate low-yield activities.
- Decision makers. 77.8 percent of managers have the ability to consider many factors—such as opportunities, risks, reactions, and ethics—in making a good decision. A smart leader also must determine whether a decision makes financial sense (using cost/benefit analysis, for example), analyze what could go wrong with a decision, and prioritize risks by impact and probability of their occurring.
- Empathizers. 75.8 percent of managers believe understanding the needs of different stakeholders and communicating with them appropriately is a critically important skill for making change happen.
- Problem solvers. 75 percent of managers recommend bringing people together for team-based approaches to problem solving. They also value getting systemically to the root of a problem and identifying its many possible causes.
- Trust builders. 73.3 percent of managers see building trust within your team as one of the most important things they can do in this area. They also listed managing negative behaviors, resolving conflict, and building openness and self-knowledge as important skills for team-building.
- Situationally aware. 70.7 percent of managers say understanding your organization’s mission statement is one of the most important things you can do to build situational awareness. Other skills include analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as well as understanding your organization’s core competencies.
- Efficient. 69.8 percent of survey respondents view setting targets using KPIs (key performance indicators) and long-term goals as highly important for getting projects completed efficiently. Other highly valued managerial behaviors included systematically analyzing and optimizing the work team members do and using structured approaches to continuous improvement.
What else do you think should be included on this list?
Mind Tools is one of the world’s most popular on-demand workplace-learning solutions. Its 2,400+ resources, focused on leadership, management, and personal excellence skills, are accessed by more than 25 million learners and organizations worldwide every year.