Level 2 Management Skills

Management Skills for Team Building

Management Skills Pyramid Level 2 (c) F. John Reh
••• F. John Reh

Level 2 is the team building skills any developing manager must master. It is the next level of the management skills pyramid, which shows the skills a manager must master to be successful and shows how these management skills build on each other toward success.

Team Management Skills

There are three categories of team management skills anyone must master to have any success in a management job. These are motivation, training and coaching, and employee involvement and are discussed separately in detail below.


The most fundamental team management skill you must master is the motivation of your team and of the individual members of the team. (We will discuss self-motivation later in this series.) You can't accomplish your goals as a manager unless your team is motivated to perform, to produce, to deliver the results you need. Motivating each of the individuals on your team requires a recognition on your part that each team member's motivation needs are different. And motivating the team requires a different approach from motivating the team members.

Motivating Individuals

  • The Lesson of the Red Horse
    What does a nine-year-old drawing animals on scraps of paper have to do with motivation? A lot really. The Lesson of the Red Horse stresses the importance of employee motivation and its effect on performance.
  • Larry Doesn't Work Here Anymore
    For employee retention employee motivation is key. Putting each person in the right job is a critical part of that. See what a difference you can make by using your people in the spots where they can do their best.
  • How To Give Positive Feedback
    Another key to successful motivation is the way you give feedback. You have to provide feedback to your employees and they have a right to expect it. Try to focus first on giving positive feedback and resort to negative feedback only as a last resort.
  • The Coffee Cup
    One of your best management tools may be a coffee cup. The simple act of taking someone to coffee gives you an opportunity to sit with them, listen, and learn. That kind of a conversation can be powerful employee motivation.
  • Management Tips for Motivation
    These are some additional motivation tips.

Training and Coaching

It is unlikely that you will ever manage a team where everyone is adequately trained. It is even more unlikely that you will have a team that never needs coaching. You need to be able to identify the training needs of your team members and be able to get that training for them. And you need to coach all the members of your team, even the well-trained ones, to help them achieve their best levels of performance.


  • New Employee Training
    Regardless of whether you spend a few hours or a few months orienting new employees, there is a cost. New Employee Orientation (NEO) can save you money in the long run if you take the time to properly train new people.
  • Cross Training Employees
    Cross training is training someone in another activity that is related to their current work. It is good for managers because it provides you more flexibility, which saves money in labor costs. It is good for the employees too. It lets them learn new skills, makes them more valuable, and can combat worker boredom.
  • Learn at Lunch
    Learn at Lunch, is a program to help employees grow and advance. Learn how to set one up so both the company and the employees benefit from it.


  • Employee Coaching: When To Step In
    You have to let people make mistakes if they are going to learn. The trick is knowing when to step in and when to hang back and let them try on their own.
  • Performance Management Instead of Layoffs
    It costs too much to leave an incompetent manager in place. If the employee won't request a return to a level at which they were competent, the company must take action. Specific training can be part of this.
  • Coaching, An Essential Management Skill
    One of the most important things we do as managers is coach our subordinates. One of the most important skills you can develop as a manager is that of a good coach. Here are some more resources that can help you improve your skill.

    Employee Involvement

    All the training we do as managers, all the motivation we attempt, all that positive feedback and morale building are all aimed at one thing: increasing employee involvement. If your employees are not involved and they just come to work to warm a seat, you won't get their best performance. If you don't get their best, everything they do will cost you more than it should have. It might be in a high error or rework rate, or it might be in an innovative new idea that they didn't share with you. Whatever the issue, it will cost you.

    So how do you get your employees engaged and committed? Here are the basics.

    • Inspire and Admire
      One of the biggest mistakes a manager can make is to ignore their employees. The same attention you paid to their work assignments, to their satisfaction levels, to their sense of being part of a great team needs to continue for as long as they are in your group. As soon as you start to slack off, their satisfaction and motivation decreases and you lose them.
    • How to Innovate in Business
      Give your employees the freedom to think for themselves. Don't be a micro-manager. If they have a little breathing room they will be more innovative and more committed to your goals.
    • Employee Retention Tips
      The same things that reduce turnover and increase employee retention are the things that increase employee involvement. Give them clear goals and honest feedback.
    • How To Give Positive Feedback
      For some reason, we are much better at telling people when they do something wrong than when they do something right. Yet this positive feedback is critical to keeping employees engaged. It has to be deserved and honest, but don't omit it.
    • Delegate, Don't Just Dump
      Delegation is another way to increase employee engagement. When you actively delegate a task to an employee they have an opportunity to grow and tackle new challenges. It stimulates them and makes them think beyond just punching a time clock. Just be sure you actually delegate properly and don't just dump more work on them.

    The Full Management Skills Pyramid

    The Management Skills Pyramid shows all the skills a manager must master to be successful and shows how these management skills build on each other toward success.

    Level 1
    Basic Management Skills for Beginning Managers

    Level 2
    Management Skills for Developing Your Team

    Level 3
    Management Skills for Developing Yourself

    Level 4
    Leadership Skills