Underrated Leadership Skills for Managers

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There is a seemingly endless list of qualities that good managers should possess, but some leadership skills don’t get the credit they deserve. Hindsight is 20/20, and many employees and employers underestimate the value of these skills until they are working with a manager who lacks them. Check out these five underrated leadership skills to choose your next strength to master.  

Emotional Intelligence  

Encompassing skills like empathy, self-regulation, and the ability to perceive the emotions of others, emotional intelligence demonstrated by managers can improve employee engagement, reduce turnover, and increase profits, according to Psychology Today.  

Conflict Resolution 

Time spent dealing with conflict at work each week doubled to 4.34 hours in 2022 from 2.1 hours in 2008, per The Myers-Briggs Company’s Conflict at Work report. Prepare to handle conflict by being proactive, communicating acceptable behavior, and educating yourself on effective conflict resolution practices.  


As a leader, being true to yourself allows your direct reports to understand your character, which builds trust and transparency, and authenticity can benefit the team’s productivity and work quality. Authenticity naturally invites a level of vulnerability, so strike a balance between allowing yourself to be known without oversharing to avoid inadvertently creating an uncomfortable dynamic with your employees.  


A trait that can easily be mistaken for timidity or passivity, grace is a crucial character trait for leaders. Demonstrate grace through patience, humility, acknowledgment of mistakes without blame, and by sharing credit for “wins” with the team. 


The ability to anticipate changes or challenges that will impact your team and respond strategically is crucial for managers. While foresight is useful for preparing for the future, it can also benefit your employees’ perception of your competence as a leader. Of course, you can’t predict everything, but you can set a standard of proactivity rather than reactivity. 

What underrated leadership skills would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments section below!  

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