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Management and effective management are two different things. Management meets the expectation while effective management exceeds it. Effective managers get results by keeping their team productive.

Management skills include problem-solving, strategic planning, communication, collaboration and delegation. Developing and continuously refining these skills will not only ensure that you are exceeding individual and team goals in your role, but will enable you to create your own management style.

Management style is all about your approach to decision-making and building relationships with teams and colleagues. 

Some managers implement a style that is laid back, allowing for lots of innovation from team members and maybe even including an open-door policy. Other managers implement a style with more structure. Your style will be informed by the needs of your project, your personality and your experience of what works with your team.

Your management style may be active, helping team members meet deadlines. 

You can take a collaborative approach where you work alongside your team members to complete the project.

Your management style may prioritize being as accessible as possible to your team, in constant communication, or you may let them work more independently to complete tasks and solve problems.

Although developing effective management skills takes time, you can implement some practical steps to get the ball rolling.

Gain experience

All of your professional experiences help develop your management style. Working under managers, good and bad, can help you reflect on different styles. And you should always be assessing your own work as a manager, thinking about what approach gets the best outcome from your team.

Find a mentor

Mentors are helpful for guiding you in the right direction, giving advice and sharing gems from their own career path. Typically, mentors have more professional experience than you and work in the industry in which you want to manage or a related field. A mentor can help you identify some opportunities for improvement in your management skills and help you figure out how to make them more effective.

Ask for feedback

Who better to consult about effective management skills than the team you manage? If you are already a manager, gaining feedback from your team at least once per quarter is important. Asking for constructive criticism can be difficult, but the more you know about how your team is affected by your management approach, the better prepared you will be to improve your skills.

If you are striving to secure a management role in the future, feedback from the team you are on can still be helpful. Your colleagues may be open to sharing the types of management they have worked under in the past, what they enjoyed about it, what needed improvement, and what they have learned about effective management skills over the years.