What Is Managerial Competence? (With How-to Steps)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 19, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An organization's management is typically critical to its operations and processes' success. You can help an organization achieve its set goals and desired outputs with proper managerial competencies. Learning about managerial competencies and how to improve them can help you thrive in managerial roles and increase your relevance at work. In this article, we define managerial competence, review seven functional managerial competencies, outline steps for improving them, explore how a manager demonstrates proficiency at work, and explain ways to showcase these competencies.

What is managerial competence?

Managerial competence is the ability to complete tasks using relevant skills and attitudes necessary to the job. Managerial skills and competencies contribute to a workplace's productivity, as they're necessary for managing employees toward achieving set organizational goals. These competencies enable managers to work with team members to complete projects using available resources and time. Managers use the organization's competency model to achieve desired results, solve issues promptly, and avoid crises.

7 functional managerial competencies

Here are seven managerial competencies you may consider developing:

1. Effective communication

Communication skills enable the flow of information within the organization. This skill is important for managerial positions as it influences how well team members complete tasks. A manager uses this skill to communicate a project's goal and requirements. Communication skills include written and oral skills. Establishing suitable communication lines within an organization is helpful for collaborating with teams, resolving conflicts, and achieving set goals. This skill fosters productivity and increases unity at the workplace, as managers can listen to team members' concerns and offer relevant feedback.

Related: Guide to Verbal Communication Skills

2. Conflict resolution

The collaboration between employees in an organization influences a project's success. With conflict resolution skills, a manager can settle disputes between team members. This helps them address issues before they influence a project's success. They listen to concerned parties, understand their perspectives, and suggest suitable solutions to help settle issues. This helps them build trust within the organization and improve teamwork.

3. Flexibility

As there are generally constant changes in market trends and the industry, flexibility enables managers to adjust to these changes. They can change plans and devise new strategies to help them handle these recent developments. These professionals maintain order within their teams and modify their approach in response to unforeseen circumstances. Managers can sympathize with people of different diversity and usually welcome new ideas and strategies. This helps foster productivity in the workplace.

4. Delegation

Managers understand the strengths and weaknesses of their team members. This helps them delegate tasks according to their abilities. They improve productivity by using this skill to distribute tasks necessary to complete a project. This increases productivity and reduces the workload on just one individual. Proper delegation typically facilitates task completion and allows managers to reduce time wastage, ensure employee accountability, and achieve optimal results.

Related: How to Delegate Tasks at Work (With Tips and Definition)

5. Problem-solving

Managers are usually knowledgeable in their field and can provide solutions to team members' problems. Employees approach their managers for assistance when they have issues completing tasks. With practical problem-solving skills, managers can analyze a problem, troubleshoot to find the cause, and develop effective strategies for finding a solution. This skill helps them foster productivity in the workplace and aids task completion. These professionals also implement strategies to prevent the reoccurrence of the problem. They also gather feedback from team members on effective ways to solve a specific problem.

6. Planning skills

Planning is an essential aspect of an organization, as it involves completing projects on time and using the allocated resources. Managers are usually competent enough to formulate a set of actions relevant to meeting goals within the organization. They set clear goals, design effective strategies, and create schedules and timelines for completing these tasks. This strategic planning is helpful for sustaining an organization, improving its productivity, and helping it achieve its goals.

7. Decision-making

As decisions influence an organization's processes and business, managers typically possess practical decision-making skills that enable them to make decisions according to the circumstances. These professionals evaluate available options, determine the impact of each one on the business, and select one that resonates with the organization's goals. As managers are usually accountable for the results of their decisions, this guides them toward making effective choices.

How to improve managerial competencies

You can follow these steps to improve your managerial competencies:

1. Evaluate yourself

Understanding your abilities can help you identify areas in which you can improve. This self-evaluation can help determine if you're effectively performing your expected duties. You can identify the exact managerial competencies you intend to focus on and track your performance. It's helpful to create effective strategies for improvement, such as speaking with your supervisor to get feedback on your job performance. This can help you highlight strategic areas to improve.

Related: Competence vs. Competency: Here's What You Need to Know

2. Build trust within the team

Employees are likely to work more productively in a healthy work environment and culture. You can provide this environment for them by building trust and teamwork within the workplace. This can help improve your managerial competencies, resulting in higher productivity and greater engagement. You can develop relationships with your team members by engaging them in small talks and learning about their lives outside work's scope. This relationship may encourage a perception of camaraderie, motivation, and empathy within the team.

3. Develop your decision-making skills

You can improve your managerial competencies by strengthening your decision-making skills. Working as an effective manager involves analyzing complex business issues and designing a plan for overcoming the situation. Building your decision-making skills can help you become a key contributor and an asset to an organization. The following are steps for ensuring a successful decision-making process:

  • Constructive conflict: This step involves designing effective solutions to issues by discussing them with your team members. In this step, everyone gives their suggestions, and it involves diverse debates and perspectives.

  • Consideration: At this stage, it's critical to explain to all stakeholders how you considered their viewpoints before crafting the solution. This acknowledgment perception may encourage them to implement the solution.

  • Closure: You can evaluate the entire process to confirm if the designed solutions accomplish set goals. This step also helps you confirm if the decision-making process was a success.

4. Hold regular sessions

Aside from performance reviews and appraisals, you can still regularly review team members' performance and provide feedback on their abilities. This regular feedback may motivate team members to perform outstanding work and increase work engagement. When giving feedback, you can focus on the member's progress toward the organization's goals and help them create action plans to perform even better. This also helps you affirm your role as a trusted adviser who they can approach for help.

5. Attend management training

You can improve your management competencies by furthering your education and gaining relevant skills. Online management courses may be effective for learning new techniques and tools relevant to enhancing your skills. You can also gain experience by networking with peers from diverse backgrounds who can aid your professional growth. Seminars and conferences are also effective for building your skills within and outside the industry.

Related: Complete Guide to Objectives for Managers (With Examples)

Managerial competencies in the workplace

Managers complete several tasks at work while working toward developing the organization's mission. Here are several ways a manager demonstrates competency at work:

  • They provide leadership to team members by delegating tasks, monitoring a project's status, resolving disputes, and effectively communicating with them.

  • They involve in training both new and old employees because they know and understand multiple processes within the industry.

  • They complete administrative tasks, such as planning events.

  • They ensure productivity by promoting efficiency and streamlining processes.

Where can you showcase managerial competencies?

You can show your managerial competencies on the following instruments or situations:

On your resume

You can draft your resume to highlight relevant managerial competencies and increase your employment chances. To do this, you may discuss your accomplishment in various roles using these competencies. Reviewing the job description can help you identify the exact skills the position requires. You can discuss your achievements in previous roles using a bullet list. It's often advisable to start each point with a bullet point and discuss the results you achieved using your managerial skills.

On your cover letter

As your cover letter provides an opportunity to discuss details, you can provide descriptions of results you achieved using your managerial competencies. You may begin your description by clearly stating the desired goals. Then you can outline the steps you completed using relevant skills to achieve the desired result. This may help you impress a hiring manager.

During an interview

Holding a mock interview session and answering common questions may be helpful for adequately showcasing your managerial skills. This can help you highlight significant instances where you demonstrated competence using relevant managerial skills. You may use the STAR interview method, which involves explaining a situation and highlighting the steps you took to achieve the necessary results.

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