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Edited by: Kimberlee Leonard
 and Reviewed: Kimberlee Leonard

People Management Skills: Top 15 You Should Know

Author: | Nov 6, 2023

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Go Sifter Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

People management skills are usually in high demand and short supply. If you are a business owner in charge of employees you should look into the skills needed for management. There are lots of ways to not only be there for your staff in times of crisis, but create a workplace environment that thrives on best management skills. Here are the top 15 people management skills you need to practice at your company.

Top 15 People Management Skills

The best people management skills that employees, especially managers, should have include communication, respect, persuasion, trust, openness, patience/self-control, thoughtfulness, macro-management, preparation, honesty, feedback, support, decisiveness, creativity, and leadership. Here’s a breakdown of the top managerial skills needed to run your business.


When it comes to people skills, communication is the number one tool to learn and utilize. Managers and employees need to be able to understand and respond appropriately to co-workers, customers, subordinates, and superiors. People management skills start with communication that varies in style depending on who you are talking to. Being able to compassionately and professionally share your thoughts creates an open dialogue in your place of business.


Communication can only go so far if people do not feel like they have respect to back it up. Of the skills needed for management. Productivity and employee engagement are byproducts of respecting your employees. Creating a positive work environment starts with making a safe space where ideas, worries, and constructive criticism can flow. Validating opinions expressed by your staff allows them to feel valued as human beings.


One of the most surprising people management skills involves the influence of others to come to a certain way of thinking willingly. Beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors can be taken on by members of your staff if you have the skills needed for management to inspire your employees around a shared goal. This adds fuel to better collaboration overall, as well as higher productivity.


This is one of the people management skills that you earn. Trust is not inherently given out. As a manager or director you must trust in your employees. This empowers them with conferences to take charge of their work duties. Motivation goes up. Performance quality skyrockets. Expectations go above and beyond when establishing trust at your small business is a key value.


Of all the skills needed for management openness might be one of the hardest to foster. That’s because it takes vulnerability to hear critiques and feedback, not just for your employees but for yourself as well. Hearing challenges in your workplace, addressing mistakes, and taking responsibility for errors–while responding fairly and compassionately–takes hard work. Those managers and directors who integrate openness into their people management skills continuously refine them over time.


One of the top managerial skills–not to mention, overall emotional tools to have on hand–is patience and self-control. Losing your cool with your staff, vendors, partners, or customers drives aways business, perhaps even hurting your company’s reputation. By setting realistic expectations for yourself and your employees, you tend to not sweat the small stuff or veer into more stress during a crisis. This fosters a sense of empathy and patience throughout your company.


People management skills often involve thoughtfulness. But how does that look in a professional environment? Expressing empathy for your co-workers, giving credit where it is due, understanding all sides of an argument, and remembering birthdays can all be thoughtfulness in the workplace. It’s not easy. In fact, the number one challenge faced by half of current leaders today is understanding what their employees value.


No one likes to be micromanaged. Try the people management skill that’s the exact opposite. Giving employees the freedom to do their job is the main idea behind macro-management. Focus less on the day-to-day workflow and more on the overarching goals. This takes trust yet ultimately lets employees develop and grow in a less hectic and more relaxed company.


Leaders with people management skills come prepared for the situation. Evaluating all angles, playing out possible outcomes, and learning from the past all help companies prepare for whatever the road has in store. The best management skills often come with lots of preparation that might never be used but is good to have on hand.


Sometimes it is hard to tell the truth to people, especially if the information is bad or unflattering. This is particularly the case during negative employee reviews. Honesty, however, is one of the necessary skills needed for management in an organization. Direction without transparency tends to create more problems for employees and companies overall. Value honesty by giving real opinions that are not offensive even if you know some people might be hurt by it.


For people management skills, the math often looks like communication plus honesty equals feedback. That feedback has to be fair, though. To do this, you need to understand your employees’ roles, talents, and needs. Providing constructive criticism helps outline achievable milestones for them to strive towards. As a supervisor you will be able to keep track of their work and can spot habits for praise or consistent issues to redirect. It is important to keep feedback focused on the intended outcome or behavior instead of the individual.


Using morale support as part of your people management skills drive productivity and profitability over time. Your employees will find support in reaching for their intended goals. They are also more likely to keep their jobs at your place of business because they know they are valued. Openness, thoughtfulness, honesty, and communication are all effective forms of support. It can also look like knowing when burnout is happening or if a workload is too much for an individual employee or team.


Can you make fast, analyzed choices that are in the highests interest of your employees and company overall? Then you have one of the most sought after people management skills on the market: decisiveness. Speed is only one part of this vital tool. Understanding when and how to pursue needed information and investing it with the right amount of judgment leads to decisive action.


Brainstorming and throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks is one of the most top-rated people skills. Even if you do not even up using all the proposals generated it is important to foster a place where all ideas are welcome. Creativity also involves identifying your employee’ strengths, as individuals and as a team. Using that knowledge can create a tailored support system for each member of your staff.


People management skills do not happen in a vacuum. The best leaders obtain their rank by setting an example and sticking to it. This allows them to feel a unity with everyone at their company. By living up to expected standards and demonstrating quality behaviors starts from the top and works its way down the ladder. Employees who have strong leaders tend to feel more motivated, productive, and supportive of organizational achievements.

Conclusion For People Management Skills

The skills needed for management are communication, respect, persuasion, trust, openness, patience/self-control, thoughtfulness, macro-management, preparation, honesty, feedback, support, decisiveness, creativity, and leadership. These are people management skills that can create a workplace full of happy employees. Top managerial skills are always in high demand, but not everyone has them or uses them the right way in a professional setting. If you are a small business owner or manager, try developing and enhancing your people management skills at your company. You and your workforce will appreciate it.


What is the most important trait of a manager?

An understanding and using skills needed for management is the most important trait for a manager to have in a professional setting.

What makes a good manager?
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