Business owners are entrepreneurs until they become managers. When they become managers, they will start feel frustrated because then they will need to deal with totally new type of problems, managerial problems.
Management is not a simple task. It needs knowledge and experience. Because of that, there is existence of hierarchy, organizational structure, and possibilities for each organizational member with adequate knowledge, experience and skills to move from the bottom to the middle and top level of managerial pyramid.
I have already written about entrepreneurial skills, and you can read more in ten smart skills all entrepreneurs need now.
Here, I want to talk about the three basic managerial skills as well as their link to the hierarchical structure in the company.
What Are Managerial Skills?
Simply, managerial skills represent a knowledge and ability of the individual on a managerial position to fulfill some specific managerial activities or tasks. This knowledge and ability can be learned and practiced. However, they also can be acquired through practical implementation of required activities and tasks. Therefore, each skill can be developed through learning and practical experience from the individuals.
There are many definitions about skills that talk about talent. Talent is something personal related with an individual and represents a native gift from the nature about that something inside that talented persons. All persons cannot be artists. Usually, artists are born with the gift of art, but despite their talent they continue to develop their talent to improve their art skills.
When we talk about managerial skills, we talk about skills of an manager to maintain high efficiency in the way how his or her employees complete their everyday working tasks. Because of that, managers will need skills that will help them to manage people and technology to ensure an effective and efficient realization of their working tasks.
Three Types of Managerial Skills
Robert Katz identifies three types of skills that are essential for a successful management process:
- Conceptual and
- Human or interpersonal managerial skills.
As the name of these skills tells us, they give the manager’s knowledge and ability to use different techniques to achieve what they want to achieve. Technical skills are not related only for machines, production tools or other equipment, but also they are skills that will be required to increase sales, design different types of products and services, market the products and services…
For example, let’s take an individual who work in sales department and have high developed sales skills obtained through education and experience in his department or the same departments in different organizations. Because of these skills he possess, this person can be a perfect solution to become sales manager because he has great technical skills related to sales.
On the other hand, one person that become sales manager immediately will start to build his next type of required skills, because if his task until now was only to work with the customers as sales representative, now it will need to work with employees in sales department as addition to the work with customers.
Technical skills are most important for the first-level managers, but for the top managers, these skills are not something with high significance level. As we go through a hierarchy from the bottom to higher levels, the technical skills lose their importance.
Conceptual skills present knowledge or ability of a manager for more abstract thinking. That means he can easily see the whole through analysis and diagnosis of different states in order to predict the future of the business or department as a whole.
Why managers need these skills?
As a first, an company have more business elements or functions as selling, marketing, finance, production… All these business elements have different goals even completely opposed. Think about marketing and production as a business function and their separate goals. You’ll see the essential difference. The conceptual skills will help managers to look outside the goals of a single business department and make decisions that will satisfy overall business goals.
Conceptual skills are vital for top managers, less important for mid-level managers, and not required for first-level managers. As we go from a bottom of the managerial hierarchy to the top, the importance of these skills will rise.
Human or Interpersonal Managerial Skills
Human or interpersonal managerial skills present a manager’s knowledge and ability to work with people. One of the most important management tasks is to work with people. Without people, there will not be a need for existence of management and managers.
These skills will enable managers to become leaders, to motivate employees for better accomplishments, to make more effective use of human potential in the company and so on. Simply, they are the most important skills for managers.
Interpersonal managerial skills are important for all hierarchical levels in the company.
These are the basic skills required for a successful management as a process. Some authors also mention other skills that when I am thinking about, they are simply part of these three primary skills.
Let’s take an example with controlling skills. The controlling can’t be a skill, but rather a process, or one of the managerial functions. Managers perform controlling through their interpersonal managerial skills that we already described. Other additional skills that I find in the theory are decision making skills. Again, decision making is a process and not the skill. When we have conceptual skills, we will make a better decision. Furthermore, when we have technical skills, we will make a better technical decision. Because of that I think that the basic skills all managers will need are skills explained as technical, conceptual, and interpersonal managerial skills.
At the end, I want to note something about managerial skills and business potential energy. Better managerial skills in your company will produce larger business potential energy. Because of that, this type of skills are in the category of business elements that can increase your business potential energy.
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