A skill is an ability or proficiency in performing a particular task. Management skills or Managerial Skills are learned and developed. Managerial success primarily depends on performance rather than personality traits. When managers have management skills, they will probably perform well and be relatively successful in their profession.
On the other hand, if managers do not have managerial skills, they will probably perform below the expectations of the organization. Hence, regardless of the level of management, managers must possess and seek further developing necessary skills.
Managerial Skills and Types of Managerial Skills
Research L. Katz in 1970 found three essential skills or competencies among managers and they are:
- Technical Skills
- Human & Interpersonal Skills
- Conceptual Skills
1. Technical Skills
Technical skills refer to the ability and knowledge in using the equipment, technique, and procedures involved in performing a specific task. It usually consists of specialized knowledge and the ability to perform within that speciality.
Technical skills are especially important at the first line management level since they spend much of their time training subordinates and answering questions on work-related problems.
Examples of Managerial Skills: Engineers, doctors, accountants, chartered musicians, and production managers need such technical skills.
2. Human or Interpersonal Skills
Human skill refers to the ability to work with understand and motivate other people individually or in a group. Managers with good human skills can get the best output from subordinates. They know how to motivate, communicate, lead, inspire, and trust subordinates. It is concerned with understanding people. These skills are equally important at all levels.
3. Conceptual Skills
Conceptual skills refer to the mental ability to analyze and diagnose complex situations. It involves seeing the organization as a whole and understanding how its parts will affect the whole. These skills are necessary for top-level management.
Conceptual skill helps the manager to conceptualize the environment, analyze the forces working in a situation and to take a broad farsighted view of the organization. It also includes the competence to understand a problem in all its aspects and to use creative thinking in solving the problems.
Managerial Roles and Types of Managerial Roles
The term management roles refer to specific categories of managerial behaviour. The job of a modern manager is very complex and multi-dimensional. During the 1970s, Henry Mintzberg, a prominent researcher, criticized the traditional functional approach as unrealistic after undertaking a careful study of five chief executives at work for two weeks. He determined that managers serve in 10 different roles but are closely related to each other.
Mintzberg and his followers have suggested that a more fruitful way of studying what managers focus on the key roles they play. These 10 roles have been grouped into three major categories and they are:
- Interpersonal Role
- Informational Role
- Decisional Role
1. INTERPERSONAL ROLE
The interpersonal role is concerned with maintaining formal and informal relationships with employees and with the public at large. This role of manager relates to his contacts and dealings with other people. Manager, in this role, tries to maintain an interpersonal relationship with employees and outsiders on behalf of the organization. The formal authority of a manager gives him a special position or status in the organization to deal with such people. The interpersonal role of a manager includes:
Managers play this role when they perform duties that are ceremonial and symbolic. These include greeting visitors, distributing gifts, attending ceremonial functions, etc.
Managers play this role when they perform official functions and this role is essential to maintain discipline and efficiency among the staff of the organization. The leadership role involves directing, motivating, leading and controlling to carry out operating activities as per the organizational plans.
Managers play this role when they work as a connecting link between their organization and outside institutions or people. This role of mangers helps to maintain social and business relations with outsiders. Through this role, managers work as a bridge between different units of the organization and outsiders.
2. INFORMATIONAL ROLE
An informational role of manager consists of receiving, collecting and circulating non-routing information. Information is the lifeblood of an organization, and communication of day-to-day information is necessary for every organization.
In some situations, managers have to play an informational role and this role establishes the managers as the central point for receiving and dispatching non-routine information. This role involves receiving, collecting and disseminating information.
This role involves receiving information about the internal performance of the organization and also of external events. For this, a manager may appoint manpower of different skills to examine the environment to gather information about changes, opportunities, and problems that may affect the organization. Formal and informal contacts are useful for collecting informal.
This role involves transmitting relevant information to the members of the organization. And, this information may relate to the internal operation and external environment.
As a spokesperson, a manager formally relays information to people outside the organization. Performing such a role, the managers act as an agent of the organization. The manager explains the view-point of the enterprise on significant matters or answers queries of the people.
3. DECISIONAL ROLE
A decisional role involves making choices to solve organizational problems. Collecting information and maintaining a relationship with others serve as a basis for decision-making. The four important decisional roles are:
- Disturbance Handler
- Resource Allocator
This role involves initiating change or acting as a change agent and taking risks for better performance. A manager develops new ideas and strategic models for implementation. First-line supervisors continuously look, for new ideas or new methods to improve unit performance. For example, an effective marketing manager continually seeks new product ideas.
This role involves taking corrective action when the organization faces unexpected disturbances like strike, the feud between subordinates, etc. The immediate step is to respond quickly and bring back/restore normality. As such, the managers have to handle a conflict tactfully.
Resources include money, people, time and equipment. The manager has to allocate the scarce resources in many departments and units where they are most needed. Therefore, a manager has to decide exactly who should get what.
A manager must bargain with other units and individuals to obtain an advantage for his unit. The negotiations may concern work, performance, objectives, resources or anything else influencing the units.
- Introduction to Management: Concept and Definition of Management
- Characteristics of Management – Principles of Management
- Principles of Management By Henri Fayol
- Process and Functions of Management
- Types of Managers and Principles of Management
- Pouydal, Santosh Raj – Principles of Management, Edition 2017, Ashmita Books Publishers and Distributors – Kathmandu
- Pradhan, Gopal Man – Principles of Management, Edition 2017, Ashmita Books Publishers and Distributors – Kathmandu
- Bhandari, Kedar Prasad – Principles of Management, Edition 2017, Ashmita Books Publishers and Distributors – Kathmandu