Become a Better Manager Today

leadership skillsThe art of management is evolving as office culture and businesses realize the ills of old-fashioned management styles and adapt to the new trends in office layouts. The issues facing managers are more numerous than ever, as teams grow in number and employees react to and expect new and different qualities in their leaders.

Effective leadership is one of the best ways to motivate a team, create effective and harmonious teamwork, keep everyone comfortable and familiar with another and produce the best results during projects and tasks. Here are a few leadership skills that managers of tomorrow will need to adopt to keep up with the ever-changing landscape.


This is perhaps the most important skill or attribute for you to learn, acquire, and live before you even attempt to be a manager of a team. Power is among the most addictive feelings; it’s easy to experience the joy of being powerful and let it overtake your ability to connect to your team as a group of people, rather than as an assembly line rolling steadily towards your company’s bottom line.

Stop seeing humility as a synonym for weakness, malleability or naivete. It is, rather, the careful shirking of any selfish compulsion to demand recognition, praise and respect throughout the management process. Become self-aware; don’t always assume that your position or take on a project or task is the best-informed, the most interesting or the most effective. Become empathetic; refusing to see the situation through your team’s eyes can spell disaster for a unified and effective front when tackling an issue.

Approachable Body Language

When many of us imagine a boss introducing an issue to his or her team, we often see a commanding figure looming over the boardroom table, exhibiting booming voice and absolute authority from every pore. Intimidating your employees with grandstanding and constant interception of the spotlight during meetings is no recipe for effective leadership. Make yourself approachable; don’t stand over an employee while talking about an issue. Make an effort to appear comfortable , open to their ideas and interested in genuine communication.

A Conversational Approach

Another issue that many managers struggle with is talking at instead of with their employees. If you say you want to have a company-wide conversation about possible approaches to a topic, and then spend the entire half-hour meeting explaining your own ideas and why they’re the best, you haven’t had a conversation. You’ve had a self-promotional pep talk. Your employees will groan and likely tune you out after fifteen minutes, especially if the meeting is detracting from time they could be spent actually working. Allow others besides yourself to have the spotlight during meetings, let other people draw on the white board, and let your employees discourse openly, both with each other and with you.

A Collaborative Spirit

The notion that your ideas are, by default, superior to those of your employees is an easy one to adopt and even easier to feed. When your company structure depends on teamwork, it is vital that you lead by example and showcase a true collaborative spirit when working with your team for a common goal. Not only will your team feel unified and strong, they’ll feel like you are their compatriot as well as their leader.

Giving Undivided Attention

Another habit that’s hard to kick is checking your email or texts or answering phone calls while conversing with an employees or employees. Refusing to give the live human beings in your company your undivided attention sends a message of disregard, for both your team’s needs and their approaches to solving problems. Additionally, a boss who appears constantly pressed for time or in a hurry when he or she interacts with his or her team will likely get a far less effective and productive interaction.


The tendency to experience situations and issues in your company from a personal angle is a pitfall that many of us experience, especially if we are entrepreneurs and our businesses are our lifelong dreams. While it is true that your business is a highly important personal accomplishment, approaching tasks and projects from a personal angle is the hallmark of an ineffective, divisive and alienating leader.

Separate yourself from the issue; try to view it with a fresh, unbiased perspective and listen to your employees’ opinions and ideas without a personal filter. Being objective helps you see the true nature of the issue and thus invoke a more effective and appropriate response from everyone involved.

As the nature of management and leadership evolves, so must your skillset. Acquiring a few essential leadership skills to improve your effectiveness as a modern leader can go a long way towards helping you unify, motivate and improve both your team and your company.

photo credit: Adam Foster | Codefor via photopin cc