3 Key Skills for Cross Functional Managers

Core job skills are always important, but if you want to shine in a cross-functional leadership role, you’ll need to master these three soft skills:

  1. Delegation: By definition, all members of your team will have different, vital areas of expertise. Even those within your function may have niche skills which far exceed your own capabilities. A successful cross-functional leader must clearly articulate both the project vision and underlying goals and then step aside so people to can get to work.
  2. Coaching: As people begin to work on the project, challenges and issues will undoubtedly crop up. An effective leader will go beyond traditional project management checks (that cover the what is done) by providing consistent feedback and coaching to team members (that covers the how it happens). They will also model the desired behavior by asking for and listening to feedback from their team as well insights from their coach or mentor.
  3. Impact and Influence: Of course, not all communication happens within the team. Great cross-functional leaders have both the strategic thinking ability to frame a proper business case for their projects and the executive presence to convince others to support their cause. This means communicating to a variety of stakeholders in their preferred style and medium.

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