7 Must-Have Management Skills

7 Must-Have Management Skills (And How To Develop Them)

Business management has always been about developing all-around management skills. It could be self-management skills to balance your thoughts, emotions, and actions well or project management skills to organise plans, budgets, and resources along with the ability to execute them.

As you gradually lead teams, you also need to be good at people management and conflict management. Possessing critical management skills helps you navigate through disruptions, continually reskill and upskill, and align to the changing needs of a customer-centric economy.

Anyone who aspires to lead must be able to adapt with agility to keep pace with continual shifts in the world of work. Let’s explore some must-have management skills one needs to have.

1. Adaptability and Change Management

Change is the order of the day, and evidently so. According to a McKinsey study, adaptability is a key management skill for dealing with uncertainty. Adapting to change with agility is a vital management skill. Here are some examples:

  • A pandemic forced offline businesses to quickly overcome social distancing by adapting to working online.
  • After its servers were hacked, AIIMS was forced to quickly adapt and temporarily store patient data on local computers.

But how can you develop these self-management skills? There are 3 ways:

  • Keep learning. Update and upgrade yourself with qualitative digital learning experiences to level up your technological, social, and cognitive skills.
  • Focus on your physical, mental, and emotional fitness. A healthy body, mind, and demeanour are essential to working efficiently and effectively.
  • Align your personal and professional purposes and pursuits. Make sure what you do for a living is meaningful, enjoyable, and fulfilling, and inspires you to achieve your fullest potential.

2. Agile and Strategic Customer-Centric Management

In the internet age, one bad experience is enough to shift the hard-earned loyalty of customers. Choices are a click away! Customer-centric experiences with products and services are essential for sustained customer loyalty and competitive advantage.

Thinking on your feet with agility as you run business management strategies to gain and keep customers is the key. It must align with the entire organisation so they understand and contribute to enhancing customer experiences that deliver value and make their experience fulfilling.

3. Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

Conflict management skills like identifying, managing, and solving problems in business are crucial. Taking key decisions to solve challenges along the critical path of a company is a priority. This is feasible by learning how to use data analytics and decision tools that can help evaluate and fix issues. For example, supply-chain planning tools helped lakhs of businesses find alternative ways to resolve unforeseen disruptions caused by the recent war in Ukraine.

Management using what-if scenarios or learning business data analytics tools helps make well-informed decisions. For example, simulation-based what-if analysis was used to control the spread of COVID-19.

4. People and Cultural Management

7 Must-Have Management Skills

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) are proving to be business performance boosters. A study revealed that businesses with 30% women in management teams outperformed those with fewer women by 48%.

Businesses, supply chains, and customers are global, providing opportunities to integrate cross-cultural ideas and knowledge that can grow businesses. DE&I is a people and cultural diversity management ethic that needs to be visible top-down.

How can you develop such people management skills?

  • By being a lateral team player
  • By nurturing your cross-cultural relationships with people

5. Technology Skills for Business Operations

The 20th-century hierarchical organisation’s operations have transformed into a flatter, more agile electronic form. Data is the new oil and pours with fluid nimbleness from cloud servers across all aspects of business functions. Employees and gig-economy workers operate and connect online from home, the office or, even work using their mobile phones during travel.

Managing an organisation is now a hybrid combination of navigating e-systems and e-workflows. You need certain skills to use technology or conduct business operations. Knowing which e-office applications serve different business functions is an essential skill for the smooth operation of a business.

A Distance MBA in Information Technology and Systems Management from NMIMS Global can help you upskill to be on top of technology tools.

6. Communication and Collaboration

When people express views, thoughts, ideas, and challenges, tasks gain traction. People management skills like showing respect and working together on tasks towards a common goal achieve results. Collaboration skills help better management through objectives and can involve mentoring, building relationships, and encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Business operations need people to communicate and collaborate to succeed.

This must-have management skill can be developed by:

  • Organising meets to interact, exchange views and notes, discuss issues, and conduct group activities on a periodic basis
  • Forming social media groups for a common cause
  • Enrolling in academic or online certificate courses to meet, communicate and collaborate with new professionals
  • Face-to-face interactions help form bonds with people and facilitate cross-cultural experiences, leading to the sharing of diverse knowledge

7. Project Execution and Monitoring

The core of any business is managing progress and making necessary course corrections. Project execution and monitoring are project management skills that ensure the success of projects within planned budgets, resources, and timelines. Learning specialised technology project management tools makes life easy. 

Management skills like monitoring projects with project management tools ensure that:

  • Red flags are raised for a timely resolution.
  • Teams work together in harmony.
  • Project cost and time overruns are avoided.
  • Project milestone deadlines are achieved.


In the middle of the 20th century, Peter Drucker, a management guru, opined, “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” The seven skills mentioned above help run a customer-centric business by managing your specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely business objectives. 

Open and Distance Learning programs¬†at NMIMS Global help you develop and strengthen a variety of these must-have management skills. As he said: “Management is doing things right!”

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