How Good Are Your Management Skills? Part 1

Sections of this topic

    Are you getting the best out of your team?

    To be a great people manager, you must have an extensive set of skills – from planning and delegation to motivation and communication. Because the skill set is so wide, it’s tempting to continue using the skills you’re already comfortable with. But, for your long-term success, it’s wise to analyze your skills in all areas of management – and then challenge yourself to become better at it.

    Take This Quick Quiz

    It will help you identify the aspects of management you’re good at and areas you need to improve. Decide, on a scale from 1 to 5, how well each of the 15 statements below best describes what you as a manager. Answer questions as you actually are (rather than how you think you should be or do).

    (1) Not at All (2) Rarely (3) Sometimes (4) Often (5) Very Often

    1. When I have a problem, I try to solve it myself before asking my boss what to do.
    2. When I delegate work, I don’t always give it to the person who has the most time available.
    3. I follow up with team members whenever I see that their behavior has a negative impact on customer service.
    4. I make decisions following careful analysis, rather than relying on gut instinct.
    5. I let my team members figure out for themselves how best to work together – teams are a work in progress!
    6. I give ongoing feedback so people have a chance to correct their performance before taking disciplinary action.
    7. I spend time talking with my team about what’s going well and what needs improving.
    8. I fully understand how the processes in my department operate, and I’m working to eliminate bottlenecks.
    9. When putting together a team, I consider the skills I need – and then I seek people who best fit my criteria. .
    10. I try to motivate people individually rather than just the whole team.
    11. When my team makes a significant mistake, I update my boss on what has happened and come with a solution.
    12. When conflict occurs within a new team, I accept it as an inevitable as teams and teamwork develops.
    13. I talk to team members about their individual goals, and I link these to the goals of the entire organization.
    14. If you want a job done well, do it yourself may get work done faster but it may not always be the right thing to do.
    15. I talk with team members as individuals to ensure that they’re know what they need to do to be productive.


    46-75: You’re doing a great job managing your team.
    Concentrate on improving your skills even further. Check the next post- part 2- to see what you can tweak to make this even better. What are some areas that you may need to improve?
    31-45: You’re on your way to becoming a good manager.
    You’re doing some things really well. Now it’s time to work on the skills that aren’t up to speed. Check the next post – part 2 – and figure out what you need to focus on to enhance your managerial skills.
    15-30: Ouch. You got work to do.
    If you want to be effective in a management role, you must learn how to organize and monitor your team’s work. It’s imperative you check the next post to develop specific skills that will increase your success.

    Smart Moves Tip:

    Effective management requires a wide range of skills, and each of these skills complements the others. Your goal should be to develop and maintain all of these skills, so that you can help your team accomplish its objectives efficiently and effectively. The follow-up post, part 2, gives a quick summary of the eight essential skill areas where managers should focus their efforts plus resources to help you.

    Do you want to be a better manager?