Managers need to have certain competencies to effectively influence the behaviors of others and ultimately achieve desired results. Some leadership competencies come naturally, while others need to be learned and practiced.
Organizations should spend time deciding which leadership competencies they want to see, and identify appropriate training options their managers. These 12 common leadership competencies are a good place to start.
1. Interviewing and Hiring
Leaders and managers need to understand the basics of interviewing and hiring. It is important to be prepared for interviews by becoming familiar with the job requirements and candidate qualifications. Being able to identify the right fit for open positions helps ensure the organization secures the best talent.
Delegation is an art that leaders need to master. This can be difficult for the new manager because it requires handing responsibilities off to others. Learning to trust others to perform tasks takes skill and practice. Once learned, delegation can be very liberating for a manager and allows the manager to perform higher-level tasks.
This is often a challenge for someone who has not had management experience. Training on what to do and what not to do when managing others can help minimize issues related to supervising skills.
4. Conflict Resolution
Conflict in the workplace is an inevitable reality. When not managed properly, conflict can affect relationships between individual people and groups of people. Leaders should be able to manage conflict and help influence win-win situations. This can be done by negotiating and collaborating with all parties.
5. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a leader’s ability to manage his or her emotional response to people and situations. Emotional intelligence is a mark of professional maturity that can be learned, but can take years to develop and a lifetime to master.
Managers need to have good written and verbal communication skills to effectively communicate with employees. There also needs to be structured organizational communication processes that all employees understand to ensure information is filtered throughout the organization.
7. Team Building
Leaders need to be able to build strong teams that rally around the vision of the organization. Leaders must understand how to manage team dynamics, team development, and team conflict.
Leaders need to understand what inspires and motivates employees. There are many different motivation models that can be incorporated into a manager’s strategy for employee motivation. It is important to remember that we are all motivated by different things. The trick is to identify what motivates employees and develop systems and processes that support those motivators.
Being a good coach can be one of the most rewarding aspects of managing others. Helping employees build on strengths and improve weaknesses is an integral part of the professional development process.
10. Performance Management
Managing performance is critical to meeting corporate objectives. Managers need to be able to set expectations, write goals, hold employees accountable, and reward employees for good performance. This also includes coaching and disciplining employees when necessary.
11. Problem Solving
Managing people and processes requires problem-solving skills. Problems could be with employees, work processes, or product quality. Management must understand basic problem-solving techniques, be able to identify problems, and facilitate a process to resolve issues.
12. Agent for Change
Progressive organizations understand that change is constant and that in order to move forward, organizations need to continually improve what they do and how they do it. Organizations are being forced to make dramatic improvements, not only to compete but to survive in today’s economy. Therefore, leaders need to be able to lead the charge on change initiatives.
Employee performance is how corporate objectives are met. Having the ability to identify specific leadership competencies can help create an environment that motivates, develops and manages employee performance.
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Patricia Lotich is an MBA who is passionate about helping small business owners see their vision come to life by creating infrastructures that support business development and growth through strategic customer focus. She writes for, and is the founder of The Thriving Small Business.