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[Infographic] Top 10 Leadership Skills for Managers

[Infographic] Top 10 Leadership Skills for Managers

When you step into a people leadership role, one of your first thoughts is: what do I need to be a great manager? While you’ll need to tap into many different skills as a manager, we’ve highlighted (in no particular order) the top 10 skills you’ll want to develop today.

In this article, you’ll find the top 10 skills in the infographic, descriptions of each, and a leadership skills for managers PDF to help you develop these critical skills.

Jump To: 

  1. Infographic: Top 10 Leadership Skills for Managers
  2. Detailed Description of Each Leadership Skill
  3. Learning Leadership: Leadership Skills for Managers PDF


Top 10 Leadership Skills for Managers


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top 10 Leadership Skills for Managers

Here is the list of the top 10 leadership skills for managers and a definition for each.

  1. Communication
  2. Motivating Others
  3. Delegation
  4. Feedback & Coaching
  5. Empathy
  6. Accountability
  7. Decision-making
  8. Resolving Conflict
  9. Self-awareness
  10. Continuous Learning


Your ability to communicate as a manager is critical to assigning work and responsibilities, conveying ideas clearly, listening actively, and sharing information with your team, boss, and colleagues. You’ll need to be able to lead team and one-on-one meetings, have crucial conversations, share a compelling vision, and inspire your team to follow your plan, making communication skills essential for managers.


Motivating Others

According to one study, 74% of employees strongly agreed that their direct manager should do more to inspire and motivate them, which is a skill all managers should develop. Motivation is directly linked to team and organizational performance, morale, employee retention, and job satisfaction. In essence, when a manager has the skills to inspire and motivate others to achieve the team’s mission and goals, it propels the team’s productivity, engagement, and, ultimately, success.



You can’t do it alone; that’s why you need effective delegation skills to distribute tasks and responsibilities, matching your team member's strengths and abilities to each assignment. While on the surface, the skill seems simple enough, when you start evaluating what to delegate, who to delete it to, and how to ensure the task is completed correctly, learning the skills to delegate work effectively will not only help your team members be successful, it will also help mitigate risk and accelerate team performance.


Feedback and Coaching

Developing employee skills, providing constructive feedback, assessing and improving team member performance, and having career conversations are essential leadership skills for managers and ones they will tap into on a daily basis. When managers are proficient at giving feedback and engaging in coaching, they contribute to their team members' individual growth and cultivate a more skilled and high-performing workforce, leading to accelerated team and organizational performance.



Being attuned to the emotions, challenges, and concerns of others is a crucial leadership skill for managers. It enables leaders to build stronger relationships by connecting with their team members on a deeper, more personal level, seeing them as a whole person. Moreover, EY uncovered additional benefits of empathic managers, including increased efficiency (88%), creativity (87%), job satisfaction (87%), idea sharing (86%), innovation (85%), and company revenue (83%).



Managers set the tone for their team, and if they’re responsible, reliable, and take ownership of the outcome of their efforts, it’s more likely their team will as well. As such, it’s important to develop the skills to be accountable and hold their team members accountable, as it creates an environment where everyone understands the importance of meeting their commitments and taking ownership of their work. 



Managers have to make big and small decisions every day. Therefore, the ability to make informed and timely decisions by analyzing data, evaluating alternatives, and making a call with incomplete information is a skill every manager will use daily. In addition, the link between strong decision-making skills in managers and company results must be noted. Bain and Co. found that there’s a 95% correlation between companies that excel at decision-making and those with strong financial performance. 


Resolving Conflict

From time to time, conflict will arise that managers are personally involved in or between their team members. That’s why having the skills, knowledge, and courage to address disputes, mediate conflicts, and find solutions that satisfy everyone involved are invaluable skills for a manager to hone.



Being attuned to your leadership style, strengths and limitations, emotions, triggers, and reactions will go a long way in building strong work relationships and a positive team environment. When managers are self-aware, they understand their own reactions and those of others, enabling them to shift their approach to different situations and individuals. In addition, self-aware leaders are open to feedback, self-improvement, and personal growth, which sets a positive example for their team members to follow.


Continuous Learning

Staying up-to-date with industry trends, latest technology, and management best practices is essential if your goal is to become an effective manager. Managers who have a growth mindset and prioritize learning are better equipped when the time comes to make decisions, adapt and lead change, be resilient in the face of challenges, and seize opportunities. When managers show employees they’re committed to continuously learning and growing, they set a valuable example for employees, encouraging a team culture that prides itself on growth and development.


Leadership Skills for Managers PDFThe 30-Day Leadership Challenge Workbook

Now that you know the skills you need, you’re likely excited to start developing them. That’s where the free 30-Day Leadership Challenge comes in. In this self-guided leadership training PDF workbook, you will get a lesson, a related reading or task, and an action item to complete each day.

Join the Free 30-Day Leadership Challenge

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