Management Skills List and Examples

List of Management Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters and Interviews

Management skills
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Business management is more than simply telling employees what to do. Managers must understand business organization, finance, and communication, as well as have a thorough understanding of their particular market and relevant technologies and policies. While managers are not necessarily the most important people in the organization, their work is critical to helping everyone else work together seamlessly.

Management vs. Leadership Skills

Management skills overlap with leadership skills, as both involve problem-solvingdecision-making, planning, delegation, communication, and time management. Good managers are often good leaders. And yet the two roles are distinct.

In general, management is about organization. There may be something mechanical about it, not in the negative sense of a “mechanical performance,” but rather in its focus on the technical “how” of accomplishing tasks. Leaders, in contrast, focus on the “why,” motivating and inspiring their subordinates. Leadership is about people. Not all leaders have the skill set to be managers, and not all managers have the skills to be leaders.

The critical role of a manager is to ensure that a company’s many moving parts are all working properly together. Without this integration, problems can arise and issues can “fall through the cracks.”

How to Use Skills Lists

Management skills are important for many different positions, at many levels of a company, from the top leadership to intermediate supervisors. 

As you conduct a career search, position descriptions may or may not use the words “Manager” or “Management” in their job titles. It will be up to you to read the job description carefully to determine which skills your prospective employer is actually looking for.

Researching the company carefully is also important, to find out what management style the business typically uses - and perhaps what kind of new skills the company might need.

Once you know what the organization is looking for, you can showcase these skills in your application materials and during your interview.

Prepare examples of how you've embodied each of these management skills so you can answer interview questions smoothly.

Although companies vary in what they’re looking for and what they require, you can use the following information to get a sense of what skills you might need to have. It’s possible you have more of these sought-after competencies than you thought you did.

Examples of Management Skills

Most management skills are related to five basic, fundamental functions: planning, organizing, coordinating, directing, and oversight.

© The Balance, 2018

Planning
Individual managers may or may not be personally involved in drafting company policy and strategy, but even those who aren’t still must be able to plan. You might be given certain objectives and then be responsible for developing ways to meet those objectives. You may need to adjust someone else’s plan to new circumstances. In either case, you’ll have to understand what your resources are, develop time tables and budgets, and assign tasks and areas of responsibility.

Relevant Skills: Analyzing Business Problems, Analyzing Expenditures, Critical Thinking, Devising Plans for New Business, Development, Entrepreneurialism, Identifying the Interests and Preferences of Stakeholders, Microsoft Office, Proposing Solutions to Business Problems, Research, Qualitative Skills, Strategic Planning, Strategic Thinking, Tapping Information Technology to Facilitate Decision Making, Writing Proposals for Business Initiatives or Projects, Vision.

Organizing
Organizing generally means creating structures to support or accomplish a plan. This might involve creating a new system of who reports to whom, designing a new layout for the office, or building strategy and planning around how to move through a project, how to move toward deadlines, and how to measure milestones.

Aspects of organization could also mean helping leaders under your guidance manage their subordinates well. Organization is about planning and foresight, and requires an ability to comprehend the big picture.

Relevant Skills: Accuracy, Administrative, Analytical Ability, Assessing Factors Impacting Productivity, Business Storytelling, Framing Communication Toward Specific Audiences, Innovation, Logical Thinking, Logistics, Negotiating, Networking, Persuasion, Presentation, Public Speaking, Suggesting Ways to Enhance Productivity, Technical Knowledge, Technology.

Coordinating
Managers must know what is happening, what needs to happen, and who and what are available to accomplish assigned tasks. If someone is miscommunicating, if someone needs help, if a problem is being overlooked or a resource underutilized, a manager needs to notice and correct the issue. Coordinating is the skill that lets the organization act as a unified whole.

Relevant Skills: Adaptability, Adapting to Changing Business Conditions, Building Productive Relationships, Collaboration, Communication, Drawing Consensus, Diplomacy, Emotional Intelligence, Empathy, Facilitating Group Discussions, Flexibility, Honesty, Influencing, Listening, Nonverbal Communication, Patience, Punctuality, Relationship Building, Scheduling, Screening Applicants for Jobs, Staffing, Tactfulness, Teaching, Team Building, Team Manager, Team Player, Teamwork, Time Management.

Directing
Directing is the part where you take charge and tell people what to do, otherwise known as delegating, giving orders, and making decisions. Someone has to do it, and that someone could be you.

Relevant Skills: Assertiveness, Conflict Management, Conflict Resolution, Decision Making, Delegation, Delivering Presentations, Division of Work, Empowerment, Engagement, Execution, Focus, Goal Orientation, Goal Setting, Interacting with Individuals from Diverse Backgrounds, Interpersonal, Leadership, Motivation, Obstacle Removal, Productivity, Problem Solving, Professionalism, Providing Constructive Criticism, Recommending Cost Cutting Measures, Recommending Process Improvements, Responding Favorably to Criticism, Responsibility, Sales Direction, Uncertainty Removal, Verbal Communication.

Oversight
Oversight means keeping track of what’s going on and setting right anything that gets out of place. It might include anything from reviewing business models and checking for inefficiencies to checking to make sure a project is on time and on budget. Oversight is the maintenance phase of management.

Relevant Skills: Achieving Goals, Assessing Progress Towards Departmental Goals, Budget Management, Business Management, Creating Budgets for Business Units, Creating Financial Reports, Evaluating Job Candidates, Evaluating Employee Performance, Financial Management, Generating Financial Reports, Hiring, Interpreting Financial Data, Interpreting Legal Statutes that Apply to Business, Interviewing Candidates for Jobs, Product Management, Project Management, Process Management, Recruiting Talent, Success, Training Employees, Writing Reports on Business Activity, Understanding Financial Statements.

Management positions include some of the best-paid, most prestigious jobs in the country. For that reason, management, good or bad, can have a huge influence on many lives. Your skills really matter.