How to Build the Essential People Management Skills

4 min read

Career Trends: May 31, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS


Leading a team requires a certain set of managerial skills to build trust and confidence among the team members.

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Whether you’re a manager of one person or 10, there are several critical skills that you need to succeed. Often, career progression and promotions involve moving to a more senior role in your industry, which can often come with a managerial element to it.

However, while you might be highly experienced in your field, be it software engineering, manufacturing or quality control in pharma, being a leader is a whole different ball game. It will require a certain set of people management skills that you may not have needed before.

When managing teams, you need to inspire confidence and trust.

Here are 5 important skills to cultivate:

1. Relationship-building with your team

  • To lead a team, no matter how big or small, your team members have to know and trust you.
  • Building relationships with those you are managing is a vital part of being a manager because if colleagues trust you, they will trust your decisions and will feel comfortable coming to you with problems.
  • Give praise and credit regularly when they’re due. It’s important that employees feel valued.
  • Don’t neglect small talk and non-work conversations too.
  • If your team members feel they are able to chat casually with you, it will further solidify your relationships and make them feel more comfortable talking to you about work-related issues.

2. Guidance mindset to nurture team members

  • We’ve talked before about the importance of managers having a guidance or coaching mindset.
  • Being able to help your employees learn, develop and grow is a key element to being their manager.
  • To start developing this skill, take a look at the members of your team and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • From there, you can use their strengths as a guide to give them new responsibilities in areas they will thrive. Meanwhile, the weaknesses can help direct you on a strategy of how to train staff.

3. The ability to make decisions

  • A key element of your role as a manager will be to make decisions on things you may have never had the final say on before.
  • Teaching your staff autonomy is good, but they will more than likely still come to you with questions.
  • The key to being a better decision-maker comes down to critical thinking and having courage in your convictions.
  • There may be five possible answers to a question, but at the management level, you have been identified as a person with the skills to figure out the best of those answers.
  • Honing this skill is about being able to quickly analyse information, make an informed decision and have the confidence to back that decision up.

4. Regular communication but no micromanagement

  • We have highlighted communication many times as a key skill for both employees and leaders.
  • This skill has become more important than ever in the new era of remote and hybrid working, and managers need to ensure those communication lines are as open as possible.
  • This requires consistent, regular communication with your team without micromanaging.
  • You should have open lines of communication so you know what they’re working on while also showing you trust them to work independently.
  • Whenever you are delegating work, be clear about what you want them to do and make sure they understand.

5. Patience to support team members

  • No matter how busy or stressed you are, you should always have patience for your team to come to you with queries.
  • That’s not to say you should be on call all the time, give up your lunches and have your work phone switched on while on leave.
  • When your employees come to you with questions, you shouldn’t make them feel bad for not knowing something.
  • But having an ‘open door’ policy – even if that is a virtual open door – is an important element of being a good people manager.


Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

Tips for a Successful Legal Career: Take Risks, Learn from failures.


(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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