Top 10 Soft Skills for Managers

by Rose Johnson

Managers are generally responsible for planning, coordinating and organizing activities within a company. Although managers may need certain technical skills, such as the ability to use software, soft skills are equally important for managers to possess. Soft skills often show how managers will fit within the culture of an organization. If you desire a career in management, it is important to understand the top soft skills managers should possess.


Communication skills are one of the most important soft skills managers need to be effective. Managers must possess the ability to get their point across to employees, co-workers and customers. Effective communications ensures that everyone is on the same page and know what is expected of them.


Some people use management and leadership interchangeably in the workplace. Although managers should possess leadership skills, the terms carry slightly different meanings. While management deals with directing and controlling resources, leadership deals with inspiring others to follow you down a path that is beneficial to the organization as a whole.


Another important soft skill is the ability to listen. Listening allows you to spot problem areas in the organization, improve customer service and create a collaborative work environment. Listening also shows employees that you value what concerns them.


Effective managers understand they cannot do all of the work themselves. Delegations skills are important to running an efficient team. Managers must understand how to assign tasks to the right people and how to communicate expectations so that team goals are met.

Critical Thinking

Much of a manager's time is spent solving problems, so the ability to think critically is one of the top soft skills managers need. Critical thinking skills allow managers to evaluate and analyze problems to come up with effective solutions.


Managers are responsible for controlling sensitive information within an organization. As a result, organizations want to hire managers who are trustworthy. Employees also want to work for trustworthy managers with whom they can communication openly.

Decision Making

The ability to make quick decisions is critical to succeeding as a manager. Decision making skills come in to play when deciding on which employees to hire, vendors to work with and strategies to implement. Understanding the benefits, risk and consequences of a decision can help you make the appropriate one.

Time Management

Managers must use their time wisely. Not only are they responsible for carrying out their individual duties but must ensure that employees carry out their duties as well. The ability to prioritize and delegate can help a manager properly manage his time.

Managing Discipline

In many work environments, conflicts occur despite the best efforts of managers. Knowing how to deal with conflict promptly reduces the risk of problems negatively affecting the workplace. A lack of discipline in an organization can reduce the motivation and production of employees.


Employees who are motivated are generally more productive. Motivating employees is a critical component of running an accomplished team. Reasons for motivation vary per employee, so it is important for managers to get to know their employees and their personal motivations.

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