6 Skills Middle Managers Need

Middle managers play critical roles in their organizations. Here are the skills they need. 

By Kathryn Tyler Jun 1, 2016
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  1. ​​The ability to hire well. “If a manager is not interviewing and selecting people well, he may be stuck with employees who don’t last or aren’t a good fit,” says Russ Elliot, founder of the Conscious Culture Group.
  2. Excellent communication skills. “The best managers consistently engage every direct report in ongoing one-on-one dialogue about the work that needs to be done by that person,” says Bruce Tulgan, author of The 27 Challenges Managers Face.
  3. The ability to delegate. It is ineffective and exhausting for a manager to try to do the work of every person who reports to him. “Sometimes it is difficult for managers to relinquish control,” says Barbara Moy, SHRM-CP, manager of people and culture at CaseWare International Inc.
  4. Performance management proficiency. “Middle managers must have the ability to hold people accountable and also provide them with encouragement and incentives,” says organizational consultant Melinda Stallings, SHRM-SCP.
  5. Collaboration skills. To be seen as team players, managers must be able to both lead people and work well with them, Stallings says.
  6. Solid decision-making skills. “Teach individuals how to problem-solve and weigh the probabilities and outcomes of pursuing a decision strategy with regard to the overall organizational strategy,” Stallings says.
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