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Top 10 Engineering Management Skills To Succeed

engineering management skills

There are many factors that go into making a great engineering manager. Gallup conducted a survey of 80,000 managers and discovered some interesting findings.

In this study by Gallup, they found great managers are able to discover what is unique to each of their team members and capitalize on it.

To be an effective engineering manager these are some of the top engineering management skills that are needed to be an effective leader.

10 Engineering Management Skills You Need to Succeed

1. Bringing People Together to Solve Problems

Great engineering managers rally people together to solve problems and great a better future.

Managers do this by tapping into the individual talent of each team member and using those abilities towards the goals of the company. The ability to communicating powerfully and prolifically aids in this process.

2. Ability to Give Constructive Criticism

Managing to be people can be difficult and being a good communicator is an important engineering management skill.

Often times ineffective managers shy away from correcting an employee. A great manager must be able to give constructive criticism tactfully.

A good employee that cares about their success will be receptive to this type of feedback.

3. Skilled at Building Trust with Teams

Building trust with a team means you must lead by example, communicate honestly and effectively. You must take responsibility when things go wrong as well as when they succeed.

4. Ability to Think Strategically

A strategic perspective is a skill you want to start developing early on according to a dataset compiled by Folkman. Folkman states if you wait until your a top manager then it will be too late. 

He further states that even if your current job does not require it you need to learn and develop a strategic thinking ability in your career as soon as possible.

Being a strategic thinker is an engineering management skill you should definitely work on developing.

5. Using Emotional Intelligence

The ability to identify and manage the emotions of others and one’s own is the definition of emotional intelligence according to psychology today.  Managers that are tuned into the emotions of their team members make a more effective leader. 

In recent years employers have discovered that an employee’s mental well-being is just as important as their physical well-being. 

By taking the time to listen and talk with your team you can show compassion and empathy for their individual conditions.

6. Can Prioritize Tasks Effectively For Self and Teams

A strong engineering manager needs to communicate effectively. They must clearly define roles on a project, assign tasks, and manage project updates. The ability to prioritize is one of the most important management skills.

Effective managers should also have strong portfolio management skills especially if managing more than one project at a time.

7. Ability to Inspire and Motivate Others

The ability to motivate others is an important skill that is a valuable asset to employers.

Employees look to engineering managers for guidance and support to perform their work in an effective and efficient manner.

8. Decision-Making Ability

Effective managers need to be decisive when making decisions. In many industries and situations, it is the difference between success and failure.

Strong leaders aren’t afraid to make hard choices. Having good decision-making skills is vital to the success of an engineering department. 

9. Can Give Recognition Effectively

A must-have engineering managerial skill these days is the ability to give recognition at the right times and for maximum impact. This shouldn’t only be done during an annual review, employee milestone, or other rare occasions. 

As organizations make changes or grow recognition becomes a key factor. By giving recognition effectively an employee sees that their manager and company values them.

The company appreciates the contributions they make to sustain a successful company.

This recognition builds a sense of security to an employee by knowing the value they bring is recognized. The motivates an employee to continue producing great work for their employer.

10. Adept at Building Relationships with People at All Levels

In the book Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss they found after surveying over 15,000 managers that the most important management skill was the ability to build good relationships by creating quality connections.

9 Ways To Be an Effective Engineering Manager

  • Understand and Listen Your Team
  • Understand Project Details
  • Prioritize and Delegate Tasks Efficiently 
  • Set Resonable Deadlines
  • Avoid Micromanagement
  • Have Flexibility When Needed
  • See The Bigger Picture
  • Be An Effective Communicator
  • Take Ownership and Accountability 


These engineering management skills are some of the top ones to develop over a career. They will help a manager develop a stronger skillset throughout their career and a more effective leader of people.

Looking for a controls engineering recruiters? Reach out to Apollo Technnical

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