These are some common competencies that extensive research indicates make managers significantly more effective. Many of these are tied to communications and interpersonal skills.

Few people develop very good communications or interpersonal skills without training, coaching or a good mentor. Increasing your own and your managers’ competencies in these areas increases retention, improves execution, and enhances your success.

How would you assess yourself and your current management team members on each of these?

Do you know how to hire for these items? To develop improved skills?

Effective managers actively demonstrate abilities to:

  • Assess and balance competing goals and priorities
  • Build trust relationships
  • Effectively manage limited resources
  • Influence others to act
  • Make effective decisions quickly
  • Work well in teams
  • Be creative

Excellent managers consistently use and model these behaviors:

  • coaching and mentoring to develop and retain talent
  • effective communications
  • customer/client service orientation
  • manage conflict through problem solving skills
  • model ethical behavior and integrity

Start right by hiring people who have the skills and behaviors you want. Consider hiring veterans – most have excellent training and experience in these areas.

What questions might you ask of potential new managers or new hires to assess their abilities in these areas? Sample Interview Questions:

  • What was the hardest “sell” of a new idea or method you have had to make to get it accepted?
  • Tell me about a plan you made carefully which was destroyed by events… what happened and what did you do to react?
  • Give me an example of a situation in which you managed or led a team and were able to create a high morale, high productivity work group.
  • When you are dealing with co-workers or customers, what really tries your patience and how have you dealt with that?

These are behavior-based questions and you are looking for answers which tell you about the person’s normal pattern of behavior. The answer patterns tell you what the person will normally do in the position you are filling. Behavior-based interviewing techniques can assist you in hiring managers with these competencies.

Individual coaching ,mentoring, and management training can assist in improving many of these competencies in existing management.