Have you ever wondered why some managers are just competent and others excel at what they do? There are many reasons for this, including education and experience. But one of the most important reasons is that successful managers possess the following five essential life skills:
Confidence: Confidence in your own abilities is essential for every manager. Yet confidence is also the ability to know when you’re wrong — or when you don’t know something. To a certain extent, it involves being able to separate your self-worth from your knowledge and skills. Consider this: You were hired for this position thanks to your skills and experience, so you can be confident about that. And when you don’t know something, it doesn’t mean you’re less valuable — it simply means you need to believe in your ability to learn more so you know what to do next time.
The ability to set healthy boundaries: As Kathy Caprino states in her Forbes article “3 Essential Skills That Will Help You Succeed in a Much Bigger Way,” you need strong boundaries to ensure you can live by your own vision of how you want to do your job. By clearly expressing what you expect from others and what you’re prepared to offer, you can ensure your boundaries remain intact and you don’t get too stressed or worse — burnt out.
The ability to communicate effectively: In her article “Top 5 Life Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews” for The Balance Careers, Alison Doyle reminds us that verbal and written communication is critical when interacting with employees, supervisors, and clients. Being able to listen attentively and get your own message across helps you avoid misunderstandings and achieve your goals.
A positive point of view: As a manager, you encounter significant challenges. If you have the ability to look at them from a positive perspective, you’ll be in a better position to motivate yourself and your team. You also become more resilient and creative.
The ability to be in the moment: As Sharen Ross points out in her Lifehack article “10 Must-Have Life Skills for Great Managers,” people want to be heard and seen when communicating with you. When you focus completely on the conversation, task, or issue at hand, it will make people feel more valued and inspire them to do their best.
If you don’t yet possess all five of these life skills, don’t worry. Now you’re aware of that fact, you can go to work cultivating them — either alone or with a mentor. And once you’ve cultivated them, you’ll have a much stronger foundation to build on and help your employees, your company, and yourself advance.