Top 17 General Manager Skills to Excel In Your Job

By | August 16, 2023
General Manager Skills
To be effective as a general manager, you need certain skills and qualities.

Top 17 General Manager Skills to Excel In Your Job

If you are a general manager needing to be effective on your job and succeed in your career, this post presents valuable skills and qualities to develop.

Please read on:

For some obvious reasons, the general manager of every company has so great a work to do for the company.

As the name suggests, he/she oversees the affairs of the company. To this effect, the future and the growth of the company is heavily reliant on his/her technical abilities.

Who is a General Manager?

A general manager is someone who coordinates the affairs of a whole organization with sub managers under him/her overseeing activities at departmental level.

So, the general manager is like a manager to other managers in the workplace. He/she oversees the affairs of other subheads in the organization.

To be effective as a general manager, he/she needs some set of useful managerial skills and qualities, including:

  1. Leadership Skills

To be an effective general manager in your workplace demands a lot of leadership skills. A general manager is a leader and as such must be able to behave likewise.

He/she must be able to influence subordinates positively without the use of force or coercive words to achieve set out goals

The role of a general manager is not limited to barking out others at people in the workplace but to show them what to do at every given moment in the workplace.

Try to be more influential in your role as a general manager, which is basically organizing a team in the workplace to achieve the set out goals.

This is a necessary skill to have if you must positively influence your workforce. The role of leadership skills cannot be overestimated.

A bad scenario to observe in the workplace is an organization without effective leadership. People without leadership cannot achieve the expected result.

2. Interpersonal Skills

Inasmuch as you are the leader of a good number of employees in the workplace, yet it is important to establish a working interpersonal relationship with as many people as you can. This makes the people there feel important and valued.

Secondly, establishing a good interpersonal relationship with people in the workplace as the general manager will also help you communicate your vision for the company or organization easily without much fuss. This is one thing that is important in the organization.

Thirdly, establishment of interpersonal relationship helps your subordinates work effectively with you.

This is because the working relationship is a good bridge between you and them and helps create a mutual understanding in the workplace, which is good for the growth of the organization.

3. Team Building

Team building is one goal every general manager in any organization should seek first in their role.

No matter how skilled and knowledgeable you are as a general manager, you cannot work alone. It is just not possible.

If you want to achieve better and faster results, you will need to build a team. Building a team will help you as a general manager not only to achieve results but also to excel in your job.

Trying to show attitude and body language that exudes self-sufficiency can only harm your vision for the company.

Building a team requires knowledge of leadership and organizational skills. Build a team with people that are like minded and share the same vision and passion as you.

It is not just enough to build a group of people, but make sure they share the same passion and zeal with you.

4. Coaching Skills

One of the duties you have as a general manager is to coach your subordinates. This is important if you must communicate your vision and your ambition to the team.

Try to coach them into becoming their best and not just what you want them to become.

How effective you can be as a coach to your subordinates in the workplace will definitely help define the path the organization will travel to achieve its goal.

If you are a good coach, then be ready for growth, otherwise be ready for an unsurprising downturn in the general input and output of your team.

So, to avoid downturn in the input and output of the employees in the organization, you should be a good and effective coach to the employees.

This is one of the things you will definitely do to salvage the future of the business. Failure to coach your employees under you is equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot.

5. Motivation

Motivation is part of your job as a general manager in any organization. You need to motivate people in the workplace and make them come alive again regardless of the setback experienced by them.

This is very important as you can’t work with a discouraged team.

To be able to motivate your team, you have to be motivated first yourself. This is to say that you have to keep yourself motivated to be able to help your employees deal with discouragement.

Remember that some discouragements may not be directly related to activities at the workplace but other personal issues. Either way, it is your responsibility to make them come alive again.

One of the forms of motivation you can give to your team as a general manager is to give them the necessary platform to showcase their best.

There is a hidden ability in every human being, which you need to unlock. You need to allow them prove their worth at all times.

6. Discipline

Discipline is the hallmark of any successful general manager irrespective of the organization in question. This is true and should be taken serious.

A manager should be the pacesetter in the organization and must be able to carry out his/her duties in a disciplined manner.

As a general manager, carelessness should not be a word associated with your personality. You must be careful how you conduct yourself inside and outside the organization.

Understand that as the general manager, you are the face and image of the organization where you work.

It will be an unthinkable thing for a general manager to be guilty of malpractices and unethical behaviours in and outside the organization.

Being a disciplined general manager can help you set the template for how your team or subordinates should behave in the organization.

7. Strategy and Development

This is your major role in the job. Your job demands mental alertness and willingness to come up with innovative and strategic plans that can develop the organization and make it competitive in the industry. This calls for analytical and decision making skills.

There are various aspects of your job as a general manager that demands strategy, one of which is market strategy.

Market strategy is strategy considered and used in making sure that the company remains a force in the industry.

When working as a general manager, one of your duties is to increase the value of the organization in the industry.

If you are not doing this, then you are not functioning at full capacity on the job. You have to reinvent yourself and come up with better ideas on how to make things work.

8. Empathy

The greatest asset you can have as a general manager is the people working with you. This is why you must know how to relate with each and every one of them.

Empathy is one of the ways to make this a reality. You can’t have an effective relationship with your team if you don’t show empathy.

Empathy is your ability to put yourself in the shoes of others. This will help you have mutual understanding with your team.

Don’t try to ignore their complaints and discomfort because it can affect the general input and output of the organization.

When you feel the way your team members feel, you will be able to know their weaknesses and help them overcome them.

It is a way you can also motivate them to give their best on the job. This gives them the impression that you care about them and not just what they can offer. And for sure, this is a good way to get the best out of them.

9. Patience

Patience is your ability to bear with the weaknesses of your team members while still coaching them to do their best.

This is very important to you as the general manager of your organization. You need to be patient with the people in your workplace. This is not to encourage indiscipline and unethical behaviours.

Patience is one quality you must have as a general manager and as a coach. Learn to bear some offences and some inadequacies you witness in the workplace.

It is not a sign of weakness but a sign of empathy. This is necessary particularly when a new system has been introduced.

When a new system is introduced, it takes some employees time to adjust and adapt to the new system.

So in this case, patience is needed by you the general manager. Keep coaching them and assisting in situations that seem to be difficult for them to handle.

10. Vision

What is your vision for your company as the general manager of your organization? What is your vision for your team, and how do you intend to achieve the vision?

These are mind burgling questions you need to answer as the general manager.

If a manager cannot define his/her personal vision, as well as the vision he/she has for the organization, then it is sad to say that the manager is not fit for the job.

This is not to incite the employees against the general manager. But if as the leader of an organization or team you don’t have vision, then it means you serve no purpose in the organization.

Your personal vision as a general manager is the bedrock of your effort and input in the organization you are leading.

Also, understand that your vision will determine your line of action, as well as the strategies you need to employ to achieve set goals.

11. Creativity/Innovation

If you are not creative as a general manager, you are bound to remain stagnant on your job. There’s no doubt that the most successful people in the industry are people with the most creativity.

Creativity is the rule of the game if you must be in the big league in your industry.

Creativity demands higher mental capacity in order to create something out of nothing or even improve on what is obtainable.

This is important for you as a general manager because without it, your relevance will soon diminish in no distant time.

To be creative also demands constant improvement in what you know how to do best. Know that there is always a better way to do things both inside and outside the workplace, all you need to do is to think extensively and research more.

12. Problem Solving Skills

To be a general manager demands ability to handle problems from different departments in the organization.

You are not just a manager but a general manager. So it is an important thing to know that your job is not a specialized one but a generalized one.

Problems and challenges are all part of business venture. However, the biggest challenge is how and who will solve the problems.

Problem solving should be your thing and something you should look forward to. That is where your expertise is put to the test.

Organizations are on the lookout for people with this special skill as it will definitely determine how far the organization can go in the industry.

So, a general manager with the capacity to solve problems is seen as a real asset to the organization.

13. Conflict Management

This is also a quality a competent general manager must have to be effective in the workplace.

One of the leadership skills a good general manager must possess is the ability to resolve conflicts within his/her team.

This is important as you can’t work with a team nursing fractured relationship.

When conflicts arise in the organization, how do you handle the situation?

Do you have enough skills to handle the situation expertly or do you kindle more fire into the already burning furnace?

You must be able to quench the fire of conflict in the organization so that it does not degenerate into a full blown crisis.

One of the ways to resolve conflict in the workplace is to make sure that everyone is given a level playing ground.

Try to put rules in place that can minimize, if not totally prevent conflicts in the workplace.

But to be sincere, conflicts are not entirely inevitable, but managing them is the true test of the competency of the general manager.

14. Communication

This cannot be left out as a skill you must have if you want to succeed as a general manager. It is assumed that where there is no effective communication in the workplace, misunderstandings and misinterpretation of intents and purposes will definitely be the order of the day.

Communication is one of the ways you the general manager can relay your vision to the team.

Communication will help you relay your mind to members of your team and hear what their response or feedback is towards the vision you have presented.

If there is no feedback, then it means you have not communicated effectively.

Also, communication is one of the ways you can establish a good relationship, which will definitely help in the wholesome input and output of the organization.

Don’t underestimate the power of effective communication. It can spell doom for any organization.

15. Risk Management

As a general manager, the word risk is something you should be conversant with. Your position gives you the platform to oversee different forms of risks at all levels in the organization.

Firstly, to help you management risk is to have good knowledge of business risk familiar to your organization.

If you must manage risk then you should be able to carefully analyze the risk and know what to do to manage it.

Like stated earlier, risk is something that you should look forward to manage and not run away from.
Risk is one of the things that sometimes scare business owners, but as an expert hired by an organization, you need to show your expertise through your problem solving skills, which is also reflected in your ability to manage risks.

This is what makes the difference between managers in different organizations.

16. Delegation

Being a general does not in any way imply that you must do everything by yourself. This is an impossible task, no matter how knowledgeable and skilled you can be.

You need help. This is one self-management skill you need to have too. It is very important and needful.

Learn to delegate duties to members of your team. Sometimes, take one or two people on a business trip to help them garner some valuable knowledge which can be of help to you as a manager, as this will enable them to represent you effectively in your absence or leave.

Delegation is one way you can also tell your team members that you believe in their abilities. This matters a lot to your team.

When you want to do everything all by yourself, then you put yourself under pressure and can burn out. Relax, delegate, and monitor how the work goes.

17. Prioritization

Prioritization demands that you as the general manager arranges activities and jobs in order of their relative importance.

Do you know that not all activities have the same relevance?

This is true because as long as you are dealing with clients out there, you have to prioritize activities in the workplace.

This is one way to save time, which demands that you prioritize activities and events in the organization.

Don’t assume that things will fix themselves. That is a sign of not having a plan and lack of organizational skills.

If you want to have most of the resources in your possession then you must prioritize everything in the organization.

This is not to say that a general manager should not be able to handle more than one activity at a time, however, the advice is to make sure that you do the first thing first and the last thing last.

General Manager Skills for Resume

If you are writing a resume for a general manager’s job, you can make a great core competence section for the resume by applying the qualities and skills presented above.

The core competence section is the part of your resume where you highlight the skills and qualities that you have to excel working in the position of a general manager.

If you have developed the above skills and qualities, do go ahead to present them in your resume.

Most recruiters will be glad to give you an interview appointment seeing that you have the right skills to work effectively as a general manager in their organization.


The role of a general manager in the workplace is all encompassing and can vary with the demands of the company.

This means that the general manager should have the right skills and qualities to be able to manage the company successfully.

This post has provided various skills and qualities individuals seeking to work and excel as a general manager in their organizations should develop or possess.