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Four Essential Skills Of a Competent Manager

by Craig Wagener D. Optom, Ph.D., MBA, MCNE

Whether your business provides goods or services, having a
competent manager at the helm will significantly increase its
success. In order to identify the skill set of a competent manager,
ask these two questions: 1) What is the necessary skill set for the
goods or services provided? and 2) Does the candidate possess
positive leadership skills which will enhance and culminate in your
organization achieving its goals?
A competent manager must, at a minimum, possess these four
essential skills:
1. Be able to build an engaged team that can provide effective
2. Coach and encourage the development of the necessary skill
3. Motivate team members to positive performance.
4. Encourage team members to lead in growth of the business
through presenting individual ideas and theories.
Engaging A Team:
Engaged team members benefit a company in many ways, which
include rare absenteeism, low turnover, low incidence of workplace
accidents, high quality production of goods and services, desirable
workplace atmosphere and camaraderie among team members; as
engaged team members tend to take pride in their work product and
company identity and readily report problems to supervisors.
In fact research shows that there is 37% less absenteeism,
25% less in staff turnover, 48% less in on the job safety
incidents, and 28% less in shrinkage. Shrinkage is a measure of
how much time is lost in the business enterprise to things like
vacation, breaks, lunch, holidays, sick time, training, etc.
A competent manager builds engaged employees by:

Listening with objectivity to team members desires and

concerns and working with the team members to reach an
amicable resolution.
Demonstrate the importance of team members by being
actively involved in day-to-day operations.
Encourage team members by singling them out for praise for
going above and beyond what is required.
Act as liaison between upper management and team members
to ensure that team members are well compensated for good
Coach Development:

Promote personal growth.

Provide superior continuous job training.
Improve team member performance using positive motivation
Reward improved performance.
A competent manager seeks to promote personal growth in his/ her
team members; it demonstrates to the team member that the
manager is genuinely interested in the teams success. Managers
must ensure that all team members receive job training if the team
members are to succeed and perform well. An atmosphere of
appreciation creates eagerness on the part of team members to
continue performing well, as does a tangible reward system such as
giving gift cards, free movie or theater tickets, or massage or
manicure vouchers etc. Statistics show that 79% of employees quit
their jobs because they feel unappreciated.
Positive Motivation:

Managers must use appreciation to motivate team members

toward excellent performance.
Managers must hold regular meetings with team members to
assess a project status as well as to relay individual
encouragement by singling out individuals whose performance
has been above and beyond what is required.
Motivation and encouragement must be sincere. Team members will
readily identify insincere stroking which will quell motivation and
possibly cause friction within the team. Genuine sincere

appreciation will drive team members to repeat performance on the

next project. Competent managers are well versed in team
interaction and will take all necessary steps to ensure a competent,
productive and engaged team.
Enhance Innovation:

Encourage team members to share their individual ideas and

suggestions. Receiving ideas and theories from team members
fosters all of the above-referenced avenues. Managers who
encourage team members to offer their ideas and theories acts as
validation for team members worth to the
organization. Oftentimes, team members offer great suggestions on
protocol, quality, and methods of conducting business. Managers
must be open minded when considering the ideas and theories
presented and, if necessary, be willing to make the appropriate
changes for the growth of the business.
Contributing to innovation by sharing ideas with managers builds
trust and improves engagement among managers and team
members. When trust and engagement become the norm team
members become loyal to the business.
Try implementing these ideas into the way business is conducted
within your organization and measure the improvement of your
bottom line.