9 Skills Needed to Become a Manager

While moving into a management position isn’t for everyone, if you want to advance your career, thrive on responsibility, and enjoy using your leadership skills to grow a team, then becoming a manager might be the right career trajectory for you. With this in mind, here are some skills you’ll need if you think a management position is the next step in your career:

1. You have good time management

Managers are responsible not only for completing their own work, but also for overseeing the completion of subordinates’ tasks. And most of the time they’re working to strict deadlines. This means, to be manager, you must be able to plan and manage your time effectively, ensuring you have enough time to complete your own tasks and assist others when necessary.

2. You care about your company and colleagues

If you believe in building trust and community within your company, then becoming a manager might be a logical progression in your career. Effective managers have the best interests of the company and its employees in mind at all times. Acknowledging and appreciating your employees for where they succeed, and avoiding criticisms when they err, are signs that you care about the people in your team and you would make an effective manager.

3. You have excellent interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are one of the many soft skills essential for being a manager. This is because a manager must work side-by-side with a team, ensuring employees receive appropriate training and delegating assignments with the knowledge of each employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Managing staff means keeping them motivated and focused on a common goal or project. It also means appropriately and professionally hiring and firing people at times. To achieve all of these responsibilities successfully, a good manager will be diplomatic, willing to listen, and empathetic.

4. Strategy and problem-solving are your forte

To lead a team, you must have both knowledge of and belief in well-planned strategies to achieve a company’s mission and goals. A manager must be able to multi-task, have the means to strategise and plan ahead, as well as the ability to stay calm and navigate the team through any problems or difficulties that arise. Having an understanding of the bigger picture and your company’s long-term goals, and how to navigate any obstacles that emerge in the process, makes for an excellent manager.

5. You know talent when you see it

As a manager, you need to be able to assemble the best team of employees possible. To do that, you need to have an eye for talent; whether you’re hiring a new person or promoting from within the company itself. Practice developing this skill by assessing your colleagues’ teamwork and technical abilities, then offering to mentor them.

6. You’re an attentive listener

The best managers are the ones who are good listeners. This is because a manager who listens attentively is gathering the information that’s critical to making core decisions about the team, the current project, or the company itself. The key is to get employees to talk to you about what’s going on, and the only way to do that effectively is to make it clear that you’re carefully and thoughtfully listening to their concerns and thoughts. Listening sometimes means asking the right questions, restating what you’ve heard to prevent confusion or misunderstandings, and paying attention to what was not said at all.

7. You’re willing to self-reflect and change

Becoming a manager is a step up the career ladder, but that doesn’t mean you can stop growing as a worker. Successful managers are willing to examine their actions and remedy them if they need it. If you want to be a manager, you must be honest with yourself and engage in self-reflection to determine where you’re succeeding and where you come up short, then take steps to improve your skill set.

8. You’re comfortable pointing things out

Your team will need to work together to achieve their goals, but if one person falls short in their effort, the whole project can fall flat. A good manager isn’t afraid to point out an employee’s poor behaviour or shortcomings reasonably and respectfully. There are times when giving critical feedback is necessary for the team’s success. A manager will need to address any drop in quality standards and behaviour as well as sloppiness and carelessness in employees’ work.

9. You know how to delegate

Managers are responsible for a lot, so often they’ll delegate tasks to colleagues to reduce their workload. Therefore, to be a manager you must be able to identify the strengths of your employees and assign tasks to them that are suited to their skills. Alongside this, you’ll need to learn to trust your employees and relinquish some control.

Do you have what it takes to be a manager?

If you think you have the skills needed to be a manager, you might want to enrol in a course that will help you gain the necessary qualifications to take that next step. The International Career Institute’s management course offer a variety of different professional options of study. From business and retail to hospitality and sport, if you think you have what it takes to be a manager, the International Career Institute has a program that will meet your needs. Enrol in one of our management courses today.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.