What are the essential skills to be possessed by a manager?
In order to perform your role as a good manager, you need to possess and exhibit a range of skills to plan, control, organize, lead and take decisions of an organization. In this article I am giving a brief idea of those unique set of skills needed for a professional manager.
It’s often needed to define the future of an organization. Managers must be able to ensure that his company does exist in the future. Hence his planning skills include ability to
- Forecast future environment
- Think ahead
- Plot organizational objectives
- Choose strategies to attain these objectives
- Reach their performance standards
When an organization increases its complexity, it needs its managers to acquire skills as needed to fit the present needs of the system.
Organizing process follows the planning process. Its skills can be broadly spelled as the ability to
- Analyze and describe various tasks
- Select, train and appoint people
- Define roles, authority and controls
- Change these working links whenever necessary and make these changes flexible
It depends upon the managerial skills to achieve the best you can, with the limited resources available.
A leader must be able to know the values, personality, attitudes and perceptions of his subordinates. Value is an opinion or belief a person holds about something while personality is a sum up of personal traits of an individual. It’s determined by our physical constitution, beliefs and values he holds. Perception is how a person interprets something from what he see, smell or feel while attitude is a person’s behaviour to a particular event, situation or person. Though we can’t observe it directly, we can observe its consequences. Attitudes can be learned and have three aspects – cognitive, affective and behaviourial.
It consists of actions and decisions which managers undertake to ensure that outputs obtained are consistent with desired ones. Any difference between the actual and planned results must be corrected by management by taking appropriate actions. So, a management has a pre-determined standard according to which outputs are needed to be checked.
Decision making skills
They are related to planning process and pervade all other modules of managerial skills. A manager’s skills and effectiveness lies in making appropriate and timely decisions most suited to that particular situation. Sometimes repetitive or routine problems are involved which are to be verified periodically.
So, at the end of all the above managerial skills, you may be able to know the overall skills of a manager. Also, there are different levels of managers – first level managers, having the direct contact with the employees, middle level managers to whom the first level managers report, comparatively less in number than first level managers and top level managers who are the overall decision makers of the company.
Managerial skills at various levels
These skills refer to the ability of managers at different managerial levels of the system hierarchy. Katz in 1974 categorized managerial skills into three types.
It’s the ability to work with resources in a particular area of expertise. For example, a lab assistant must know his subject well, to help the project students. An accountant should know everything about accounts and balance sheet and a surgeon should be well expert in surgery. In a small manufacturing organization, top boss should have a clear idea of technology skills. Very often, training programs can help employees to expertise in technical skills.
It deals with the ability of a manager to work effectively among his group of members, interact well and take suitable decisions to lead them from front. Communication skill of a manager is very important. Also, to provide a better working atmosphere for his subordinates, a manager is needed to possess certain human skills and it can be developed without any formal training.
It’s the ability to see organization as a whole and recognizing relationships or links of different modules within the system. Also, it identifies the impact of changes of one module affecting other modules, it may be one or two or a group. As a manager you need to view situations and determine the inter-related factors. Also, his ability to co-ordinate and integrate a variety of factors is very important.
Top management skills
No doubt, top management has to run the organization as a whole and hence they need some special, distinct management skills to control the whole organization. Most important of them include
- Building a strong and efficient team of people at the middle management level and should encourage his subordinates to learn some of his management skills as well.
- Need to monitor and review the functioning of an organization at different time intervals and check if the outputs are matching the already set targets.
- Keep in touch and share ideas with planners, policy makers and intellectual and skilled people of the organization.
- To find competent human resources to fit their organization and encourage and appreciate them in the form of rewards if needed.
- Develop a distinct and special skill to make you different from others and prompt others to follow you. You can even guide your subordinates by sharing your experiences and piece of knowledge.
Thus skills of a manager is essentially two ways – functional, which involves planning, organizing, leading, controlling and decision making and skills of managers involving technical, human and conceptual. Through this article, I have given a brief description of managerial skills needed for an organization.
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