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Key skills found in interim managers

Our consultants have years of experience within the interim market and understand what makes a great interim executive. They have shared their expertise and put together a list of key skills that stand out the most.



Effective Communication

You must be able to deliver clear verbal and written communication to many audiences, especially when negotiations and challenges are involved within your placement. Articulating what went wrong and how it can be changed could be difficult within a team setting as you need to ensure that every single person clearly understands you and respects your decisions. Negotiation skills are also vital to get right when working in an interim role; you may need to resolve conflict within the team or an issue with a client and doing this quickly and effectively is a skill that is challenging to navigate. The key is to make sure everyone within the team feels that they are on the same page and feels respected and motivated. Conveying the solution concisely to all parties involved and allowing opportunities for them to both put points and suggestions forward helps you to build respect within your team and allow them to trust you to resolve future issues and to ensure their voice is heard.


Strategic thinking

This skill is necessary for interims to be able to work out the best approach to effectively achieve the best long-term results for many aspects of the business. Strategic thinking must also be applied quickly in situations where changes must be made in a short time frame or aspects of the plan must be adapted.



Coming into an already established team that may have been working together for months can be daunting, but you need to be able to challenge ideas confidently but not come across as arrogant either. This could be a difficult balance to master as well as with the ability to notice when to provide alternative solutions and to stop pushing ideas. Cement yourself within the team as someone who always listens to people’s points but has the authority to override them if you feel they will not work, all while respecting your colleagues. Remember that you are the interim executive that was brought in to provide fresh ideas.



As an interim, you hit the ground running on a new project, at a new business, which each has different working styles, work cultures, values, and goals. You must be able to integrate with each team that you work with by changing your management skills. With this also comes the continuous improvement of your skills as you learn to adapt them to different environments.


Looking for your next interim executive role? Let us help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Contact us via email at [email protected] or click here to visit the vacancies section of our website to view the latest jobs that we have available.

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