Personal Management Skills (With Definition and Examples)

Updated January 14, 2023

Personal management skills increase productivity and workplace performance. As a result, companies look for candidates with exceptional personal management skills when hiring. Improving your personal management skills will help you be more employable and stay relevant in your chosen industry. In this article, we explore what personal management skills are and offer insightful tips on how to improve them to advance your career.

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What are personal management skills?

Personal management or self-management skills involve your ability to control your feelings, thoughts and actions. With this skill, you can set independent goals and take action to realize them. In the long run, personal management skills help direct your career trajectory.

Examples of personal management skills

Here are some examples of the personal management skills you need to achieve your goals and boost career development:

Communication skills

Communication involves four aspects: written, verbal, nonverbal and visual communication skills. They're a crucial part of every interaction as they help you express your message clearly and receive vital information to help you excel in your role.

Since your role likely involves some level of teamwork, your communication skills are vital to effective collaboration. You can request information from team members, delegate tasks and share ideas and learn new strategies. Communication skills also support you in building strong professional relationships with your colleagues, customers and clients.

Ability to work under pressure

Employers and hiring managers look for employees that have the ability to work under pressure. Staying calm and working well under stress helps you stay focused on the task at hand. Being organized, multitasking and effective communication are all ways to prepare yourself to manage busy days or tight deadlines.

Time management

Time management skills are vital to successful career development. Developing or improving these skills ensures you can prioritize tasks, maintain focus and avoid distractions. This then enables you to meet deadlines, delegate tasks when necessary, and achieve company goals. Keeping a to-do list and monitoring what you need to get done every day is one way to manage your time. Aim to complete work before the deadline, so you have plenty of time to make revisions and don't need to rush.

Organizational skills

Organizational skills apply to every aspect of your life. They're an essential part of career development and highly valued by employers. Well-organized people can schedule their time more efficiently, prioritize tasks and manage their responsibilities to ensure they can deliver in the workplace.

Goal setting

Goal setting involves the ability to identify what you intend to achieve in a well-defined and clear manner. This is vital to your workplace and career development as it helps you determine what is important and take steps towards achieving them within a specified time. This keeps you motivated and focused on achieving your goals. Setting short- and long-term goals is a great way to start.

Read more: 13 Ways To Set Professional Goals (Plus Their Importance)


Versatility refers to being proficient or knowledgeable in various areas. Companies now consider versatile people indispensable as they bring multiple options to a team. When you're versatile, you can easily fit into new teams and improve their overall performance.


Teamwork involves relating well with your colleagues and sharing equal responsibility to work towards a common goal. Even roles that are largely independent involve some level of teamwork, so a positive attitude and the ability to work with others is vital to your career development. Companies value team players and those with interpersonal skills.


Accountability involves taking personal responsibility for your actions and thoughts. It ensures that you can evaluate your decision objectively and confidently make decisions. Accountable people are also dependable and are happy to learn from their mistakes and improve continuously.


Self-motivated people push themselves through their passion and desire for success, ensuring that they can remain productive in the face of external factors. It's a vital aspect of making progress in various projects and activities that you engage in.

Strategies to improve your personal management skills

While personal management skills take time and effort to develop, you must develop them as your career development depends on them. They help you achieve your career goals and improve your overall performance. Here are some strategies to help you improve your personal management skills:

Complete a self-assessment

It's important to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are, so you can focus on improving the areas that need work. You can do this by completing a self-assessment. You can then focus on developing those skills to become an expert in your field. This can increase your productivity and position you to achieve your goals faster. Knowing who you are and where your strengths lie is a skill shared by successful people.

Keep a to-do list

Stay organized by using a to-do list to help you identify pending tasks and when they are due. Note your tasks in their order of priority and work towards achieving them. This helps you avoid distractions and improve your organizational and time management skills, making it easier to meet deadlines.

Be consistent

Maintaining a routine is essential to ensuring consistency in your work. For instance, repeatedly setting goals and working towards them improves your goal-setting skills.

Establish strict deadlines

You should create a deadline for each task to help you work efficiently. Ensure you show accountability by working with such deadlines and finishing your task on time. This allows you enough time to review your work for improved quality.

Find fulfilment in your work

The more passionate you are about what you do, the most fulfilled you'll feel in your career. This encourages you to stay motivated and improve your personal management because you're invested in your work.

Be patient

You need to be patient when you interact with others, so you can be objective and understanding. When communicating with people, take their circumstances into account, and consider their needs and experiences. It's also beneficial to be patient with your work so that you can complete it accurately.

Assess your progress

Ensure you evaluate your overall improvements across all categories. This feedback is vital to determine your next steps. You can also ask for an independent review from your manager or colleague to get an objective assessment.

How to apply personal management skills in your workplace

Personal management skills ensure your colleagues and manager regard you as reliable, responsible and trustworthy. Here are some steps for how to apply personal management skills in your workplace:

1. Be punctual

Ensure you are on time to work every day and when you attend meetings. This portrays you as passionate and committed to your job and towards business goals. It also gives you time to settle in and prepare for the day's work or your meeting.

2. Plan ahead

Planning ahead makes your workload easier to manage and improves efficiency. You should also prepare for meetings and events by gathering necessary information about what you need to do. Being prepared makes tasks more manageable and enjoyable.

3. Be organized

Keep a record of what you have done and what you need to do. It helps you to know your next task and ensure you meet deadlines. Some organization tools you can use include scheduling tools and physically organizing your desk space, so you know where to find your stationery and paperwork.

Related: How To Be More Detail-Oriented (With Definition and Resume Tips)

4. Ask questions

Ask questions and seek clarification when you're unsure of something. It ensures you can approach the task with adequate information and deliver the best possible results. Asking questions is essential to reducing miscommunications and working more efficiently.

Personal management skills for your resume and cover letter

Your resume should highlight personal management skills like effective communication, organization, versatility and time management. You should provide contextual examples under the work experience segment using your experience. Likewise, explain how you used the skills to increase productivity when writing your cover letter.

Example: "With my versatility and additional skill-set, I covered for my absent colleagues and kept the firm running efficiently while maintaining productivity. While this also highlights my team spirit, I ensured that I did not slack on my primary tasks by organizing my projects into various categories and setting a reasonable deadline for each one."

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Personal management skills for job interviews

You should demonstrate your personal management skills in your interview through your actions and your experiences. For instance, arrive promptly to showcase your time management skills, speak clearly to demonstrate your communication skills and dress appropriately. You can also research the organization to show preparation and enthusiasm for the role.

When answering the question, use the STAR interview method, which stands for situation, task, action and result. This is an excellent way to demonstrate your experience with personal management skills.

Example: "Where I last worked, I was the team lead for many of the company's projects. I had to manage and deal with excesses and shortcomings. For instance, a team member once called in sick and couldn't deliver on an assigned task that was crucial to the project. Rather than let that affect the team and our performance, I communicated with them and reorganized my day to schedule time to work on their task. In the end, we were able to meet the deadline without sacrificing the quality of our work."

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