Management Skills - How to Successfully Lead and Manage a Team

how to lead and manage a team

Management skills are special abilities that only a few individuals possess and execute properly within an organization or establishment. Managers play an important role in building, maintaining and improving a company, industry and other organizations. Some of these skills are developed through learning and on-the-job experience, while others are possibly taught through an educational institute such as college. 

Unfortunately at times, managers find themselves in a difficult dilemma when employees punch the clock. Many issues may arise from employees’ attendance to trying to improve work productivity. Whatever the challenges may be, proper management skills separates a good leader from a bad leader - and this is what helps a company thrive. 

Skills That a Good Manager Should Possess

There is a broad range of skills that a manager should possess. With that being said, it is not possible for an individual to obtain each and every single skill set there is. All of us have strengths and weaknesses, but being able to identify them and improve them is a huge step in the right direction. 

Here are some set of skills that we feel are great assets for every manager to lead and manage a team successfully. They will help build your confidence and streamline company operations. 

1. Great Communication Skills 

Communication is the exchange of news and information from one party to another. When effective communication is present, team building improves from information flowing freely from every direction. 

Without proper communication and clarity, employees can find themselves confused and less productive. Ultimately, lack of communication will cause workflow and safety issues inside the workplace.  

Pros to great communication:

  • Allows employees to understand tasks, goals, and expectations.
  • Increased customer satisfaction. 
  • Reduction in mistakes, accidents and injuries.
  • Improves team building. 
  • Builds trust and encouragement. 

Cons to lack of communication:

  • Deadlines may not be met. 
  • Employees feel like their feedback and opinions are worthless. 
  • More vulnerable to work injuries and possible work related deaths.
  • Unreported errors and mistakes.
  • Decrease in customer satisfaction. 

How to Improve Communication With Your Employees

Not everyone is a great communicator, and that’s okay as long as you are willing to work on making improvements. With the advancement in technology there are many resources to help. 

Some of these resources include: Podcasts, Books, and  Articles on How to Improve Employee Management

We also strongly recommend having weekly team meetings to update your employees on the latest news within the company, changes that may be occurring, and other important details that prevent communication barriers. This also includes listening to the employees’ feedback as well.

2. Show True Leadership

In order to lead a team you have to be a great leader. Leadership can be explained as a person who is in command of a group or organization. You can also explain it as someone who sets a good example by showing integrity. By setting good examples, a team leader is able to increase their success rate when interacting with team members and/or employees. 

How to Improve Leadership Skills

  • Be sure to give credit to those who deserve it and not just yourself.
  • Stay optimistic, calm and professional no matter the situation. 
  • Be fair. Do not get wrapped up in playing favorites. 
  • Always look for new development opportunities for your team members. 
  • Keep a clear vision and listen to what you and your members want to achieve. 
  • Be confident. A true leader needs to display confidence so their team members have something to build on. 
  • Effective communication skills. 
  • Lead by example.
  • Make it clear that everyone is accountable for their actions and mistakes. Also keep in mind that when mistakes are made, show your authority by helping them to improve and prevent future mistakes from happening again instead of disciplining. 

Employees are more inclined to respond in a positive way to situations and tasks when their manager is displaying great leadership skills. Think of it as a “monkey see, monkey do” type thing. Along with other skills, this helps to build trust within the team and also improve company growth. Be inspirational and constantly think of ways to become more.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” -John Quincy Adams

I personally like to show leadership skills by being a listening ear and giving feedback when necessary. I have learned that many people have awesome ideas, but they feel that nobody will give them the time to listen. (I just felt compelled to express my personal encounters as well.) 

3. Problem Solving Skills

Believe it or not, you probably face problems every day and have to work on solving them. These can range from small, and basic to challenging and extremely complex. One of the biggest roles for a manager is finding a way to solve them in a professional and efficient manner. 

Establishing a good process to incorporate into your problem solving skills are critical for all managers to lead a team successfully. This will prevent you from overlooking anything and help solve the problem at hand. 

How to Identify a Problem and Solve It

Being able to identify a problem, diagnosing it, and coming up with a solution to fix it will improve your management skills as a whole. Here is a high-level template below that we recommend using and building from when it comes to your problem solving steps. 

Step 1. Identify and investigate the problem

One of the most difficult parts to problem solving is being able to identify there is a problem to begin with. If you think there is an issue then always investigate to identify it. Never ignore a problem when it arises, this could spiral out of control and have a trickle down effect resulting in much larger issues. 

Use specific documentation when it comes to identifying the problem so you can diagnose it correctly. Allow your team members to voice what they know or think is going on and compare them to your notes. 

Step 2. Understand and diagnose what is causing it

After thoroughly investigating into a problem and identifying it, you will next want to have a true understanding of what is causing it for an accurate diagnosis. Be sure that what you come up as being the problem is positively the problem. By doing so you will not waste additional time and effort coming up with a solution. A very important part to this step is finding out why the problem happened to begin with. 

Step 3. Design a solution to solve it

Once you get to the bottom of the problem, now is the time to come up with a solution to solve it. You may be asking yourself, “but what information do I use to solve this issue that I am dealing with?”

Below are some brief ideas to use when designing a solution to problem solve:

  • Use data.
  • Study analytics if applicable. 
  • Customer feedback.
  • Employee feedback.
  • Review previous notes that you took during step 2.
  • Ask a friend that may have been in a similar situation as you.
  • Consult with your superior within the organization. 
  • Go with your instinct and intuition. 
  • Use available technology to your advantage. 

These pointers may all sound simple, and they are, but many managers overlook some of these ideas because they are under the assumption that the problem is not so simple to solve. Keep in mind that you do not need all the analysis, you only need the right analysis. 

Some Common Problems That Happen in the Workplace

There are far too many problems that can happen at work for us to list them all. We will however list some common problems that I have encountered and also done research on. 

Decreased motivation. Many employees either lack motivation or lose it. Often times it is due to the lack of motivation from their manager. This is why it is important to be a good motivator as previously mentioned. 

Poor attendance or tardiness. Far too often managers are faced with employees who come in late, take a lot of days off, etc. One of the best ways to solve this problem is by the use of an employee time clock system. You will be able to monitor their clock in and clock out times which will hold employees accountable. 

Performance issues. Employees could have performance issues for many reasons. Whether it is personal, work related or a lack of tools and resources to successfully complete their job, managers should always listen and hear the employee’s reasoning behind the lack of performance before making a decision. 

Machinery, equipment and technology malfunctions. Robots, computers, vehicles, wifi, and other aspects of a company that keeps operations moving along in order to be successful also cause problems that need to be resolved. Lets face it, no matter how far technology has come along, it is far from perfect and things still breakdown or cause issues. 

Gossiping. Negativity inside a workplace is unacceptable and must be addressed as soon as the problem arises. A team is only as strong as its weakest link and when gossip is present, the negativity can be rubbed off on others causing a problem that no manager wishes to encounter. 

Conflicts between employees. This problem involves more than one individual and it is important for managers to take proper measures when figuring out how to deal with employees that do not get along. Keep in mind that there is always two sides to a story and never be quick to jump to conclusions. 

Trying to make the right hire. Making the right hire brings on a lot of questions and responsibilities which can cause a lot of stress for a manager. An article titled How to Hire the Right Employee for Your Business provides great details and professional advice to help you. 

Having the proper management skills from reading this article, doing research and using resources that we have recommended will allow you to design a solution to properly face and fix your management problems. Oh, and always listen to your employees input - they could possibly open your eyes to a whole new world. 

Step 4. Fix the problem

It will now be time to facilitate and implement your solution to fix the problem(s). At this point you have invested your time, effort and energy into your problem solving process and now you are at the final step. By now you have your thoughts gathered and should know what your decision will be to minimize resistance to changes. 

Ideas and Solutions to Fixing and Preventing a Problem

  • If the problem is an employee then have a meeting with them to discuss what can be achieved to make improvements. If the problem is mechanical then be sure to hire a certified technician to help diagnose and fix it. 
  • Create a detailed employee handbook if you don’t have one already. See this example.
  • Offer a free lunch day to show employees you care. This also brings everyone together for fellowship to talk and get to know one another. This can improve morale between you and the employees. 
  • Never forget to congratulate and thank employees for their achievements and hard-work. Employees like feeling valued.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks and chances when it comes to improving your skills.
  • Improve ergonomics. In an article created by Business.com, ergonomics greatly reduces injury, allows employees to feel cared about, increases energy levels, and reduces errors.
  • If it is within the company’s budget then don’t be reluctant to give raises based on employees’ performances. They spend approximately ? of their lives at work, so make it worth their time.
  • Do your best to improve everyone’s skills and not just your own. The better the employees perform, the better it is for you and the company as a whole. 
  • Delegate tasks accordingly. You must be able to trust others.
  • Practice and improve time management. Do not waste all your time on one problem.
  • Stay on top of your monitoring duties and know what is going on. 
  • When all other options have been exhausted, termination of an employee is the final recommendation. Putting aside more serious issues such as theft, violence, threats, etc. because often times there are resolutions that are superior than firing an employee. 

It is important to not waste any additional time and start overthinking or doubting yourself. Pursue your decisions and get back to other priorities in the business. 

4. Persistence 

An absolute true leader must have persistence. Someone that is persistent is dedicated and committed to their course of action no matter how difficult it may be. You must have a vision in mind and focus on it passionately while not giving up. Whatever the goal is, someone who is persistent devotes a large amount of time and energy to accomplish it. 

Along with persistence comes confidence. Imagine telling your team about a new goal that you have created and not showing confidence about reaching that goal. The employees will develop a sense of discouragement and simply not put in their efforts and hard-work to help accomplish these goals. So be sure to show confidence along with your persistence. 

People who are persistent also show the ability to adjust and adapt to the ups and downs. Developing a habit to face issues as they rise and power through it consistently will build and improve your persistence when accomplishing goals.  

Continuously developing new ideas and processes to keep your eye on your vision will adopt self-development and other persistent traits. 

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” -Calvin Coolidge

5. Be an Awesome Motivator 

Motivation is what drives us and brings forth desirable behavior or actions from you and others. If you do not have the motivation to do your very best every morning when your feet hit the floor then chances are you will not be a successful manager. Your motivation speaks volumes and shows in your character and work production. When you are motivated about something you put more effort, focus and determination in accomplishing it. 

Everyone needs motivation in life to be successful and employees are no different. Hype up your team, tell them how proud you are, and by golly express your happiness! Humans tend to feed off one another. So when there is positive and motivational energy present, we are inclined to become optimistic and inspired to do our job. 

How to Become a Better Motivator 

Next you will need to know how to become an awesome motivator. Kind words are great and all, but actions can speak louder. Don’t just say, also do. 

  • Be upbeat, energetic and excited. Allow that positivity to shine through you. 
  • Celebrate accomplishments. According to an article by ebn, 60% of workers would like to see their colleagues’ good work praised more frequently by managers and leaders. 
  • Give meaningful employee recognition. Let them know how much it means to the company and to you regarding their achievements. 
  • Stay positive. Although life throws us curve balls, it is important to stay positive and search for ways to prevent negativity. 
  • Have a lot of fun. There is nothing wrong with having fun in the workplace as long as it doesn’t bend or break any rules. 
  • Make the working environment something that employees enjoy coming into every day. 
  • Encourage mindfulness. Meditation, breathing exercises, stretching, etc. are all practices of clearing one’s mind. This is very important for employees to take a few minutes each day to clear their mind to help reduce stress.
  • Offer rewards on a consistent basis. There is nothing wrong with friendly competition. Employees are more prone to be motivated when there is a prize to be won. These prizes could include a gift card to their favorite coffee shop, a small bonus or a free lunch. 
  • Do not micromanage. When a person feels like they are being watched they tend to concentrate on that rather than their actual work. Trust them to do their jobs. 
  • Constantly encourage teamwork. You are only as strong as your weakest link.
  • Keep up on your health. What good are your motivational skills if you are not healthy enough to perform them?
  • Keep the fire going. Once you have your team members fired up and ready to go, do not forget to keep it going. You can never have enough motivation. 

6. Grit

Our last skill that we would like to mention is grit. This four letter word is such an important skill set to have. An individual  who has grit is filled with passion, enthusiasm, and is a person who works very hard to accomplish a commitment. You could also take all the previous skills that we have mentioned in this article and add them into what composes a person with grit. 

Striving for excellence in your day-to-day life will transform your mindset and help create grit. This does not mean you have to be perfect. Actually, it is a sign that you take the necessary actions to accomplish what you set out to do even if that means making mistakes. After all, mistakes are only negative if you do not learn from them. This process helps build character that leads to great leadership skills.  

Characteristics of Someone Who Has Grit

  • Resilience
  • Passionate
  • Detail-oriented
  • Confident 
  • Courageous 
  • Mindful
  • Conscientiousness

Overall, a person with grit puts their head down and goes to work without anything standing in their way. They never stop trying and they’re willing to put their courage to the test in order to achieve their goals.

Conclusion on How to Manage and Lead a Team Successfully 

By now you have learned what management skills are, which management and leadership skills you should possess, how to identify and diagnose a problem, and much more. The only thing left is to understand which skills you lack and work on them. 

We highly recommend using this article and other resources we mentioned as a tool to reference should you find yourself in a dilemma. Managing a team can be challenging and frustrating at times, but remember the core skills we covered in this article that will aid in your successful decision making process. 

If you have additional feedback or questions then please do not hesitate to add them in the comment section below. We truly hope you find this information as valuable as it is intended. 





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