3 Managerial Skills to Help You Become a Better Manager

Do you have all the required managerial skills to manage your own company? What do you think about your management skills? Can you be a real manager with all the skills necessary for you and your company?

Business owners are entrepreneurs until they become managers. When they become managers, they will feel frustrated because they need to deal with new problems – managerial problems. When you start your business, in large part, you will need entrepreneurial skills. But, as your company starts growing, there is a need for more formalization.

3 Types of managerial skills you should have

Formalization inside your company requires more managerial skills, training, and development. Such an expansion will require different skills and capabilities across the company. So, this is the right time to change yourself and your company’s operations.

Why Will You Need Managerial Skills?

Being a manager is not easy because you will need managerial competencies. All companies have a hierarchy that allows people with the right competencies and management skills to move from the bottom to the top levels.

I have already written about entrepreneurial skills. You can read more in ten smart skills all entrepreneurs need now.

Now, let’s discuss the three primary managerial skills and their link to the hierarchical structure.

What Are Managerial Skills?

Managerial skills are the knowledge and ability of the individuals in a managerial position to fulfill specific management activities or tasks.

As with any skill, you can learn and practice your own managerial skills and be ready to become a successful manager.

Many theoretical definitions of skills include discussion about talent.

Talent is personally related to an individual and shows a natural gift from nature about something inside that talented person. All people cannot be artists. Usually, artists are born with the gift of art, but they continue to develop their inborn talent to improve their art skills despite their talent. The same is with athletes, musicians, and many others.

These skills relate to a manager’s ability to ensure that their employees operate optimally in all their daily activities. To fulfill their duties efficiently and effectively, they will need the skills to manage both people and technology.

Three Types of Managerial Skills

An HBR article, Skills of an Effective Administrator, by Robert Katz, highlights three distinct types of managerial skills:

  • Technical skills,
  • Conceptual skills and
  • Human or interpersonal management skills.
Managerial Skills Robert Katz

1. Technical Skills

Technical skills are related to the mechanics or step-by-step actions of doing things. Or, what will you need to do as a manager, and how to do it?

You can improve your technical skills by learning and practicing with different techniques and tools to do the required job. What I want to say is that these are practical, craft skills essential for doing a specific technical job. Starting a business, product development, and designing systems are all areas where technical skills are important.

Examples of Technical Skills

Consider a person with ten years of experience in the sales department. Over the years, she has developed her sales skills by observing and participating in sales processes, strategies, and tactics. So, she has excellent technical skills related to sales that make her a main candidate for the sales manager position.

Previously, she worked solely with customers as a sales representative, but now she manages other employees in the sales department.

The same thing is with financial managers. They are persons with experience related to finance management.

Entry-level managers should focus on developing their technical skills. Yet, these skills are not particularly important for top managers. So, technical skills become obsolete, and others become more relevant as you go from first-level manager to middle and top management.

Project management skills are also technical skills. Yet, these skills might be classified as human or interpersonal skills. Because of the technological nature of project management, these technical skills are crucial. But for the human part of project management and efficiency in implementation, there is a requirement for human skills.

Anything you do that is limited in time, money or other resources with a clear goal can be considered a project. You will use your project management skills to make the project plan, organize, lead, and track how it is done.

So, technical skills are the skills needed to do certain “jobs” within the company.

2. Conceptual Skills

Conceptual skills are the managerial ability to engage in more abstract thinking. This means that she can easily see the big picture by analyzing various things. In such a way, she can predict the future of the business or department as a whole.

So, conceptual skills enable managers to understand the complexity of the entire organization. They practically use these skills to see the organization as a whole, with its goals, conditions, limitations, etc.

This is important because, often, what is in the interest of the whole is not necessarily in the interest of some functions or parts of the business. And here comes the “job” of a manager with conceptual skills to make the best decision for the organization as a whole.

Why do managers need conceptual skills?

First, each company has several business parts, such as sales, marketing, finance, production, etc. All these business elements have different goals, even completely opposing ones.

The issue arises because departments within an organization often disagree about what should be prioritized. Hence, for instance, marketing necessitates keeping a sizable stock of products on hand to ensure a rapid response to customer demands. However, reducing stocks is essential for reducing expenses for the financial department. Conversely, a continuous manufacturing flow requires a higher supply of raw materials in inventory.

Also, because the marketing must keep up with customers’ ever-evolving expectations, the production flow must be frequently interrupted. Conversely, finance and manufacturing will require large quantities in one flow and longer production flows. They want to maintain a stable production system at lower costs.

Different goals of different functions

The conceptual skills will help managers look outside their department’s goals. So, they will make decisions that satisfy overall business goals.

Conceptual skills are essential for top managers and less important for middle and first-level managers. As you move up in the managerial hierarchy, from the bottom to the top, the importance of these skills will rise.

Examples of Conceptual Managerial Skills

Here are some examples of conceptual managerial skills:

  • Strategic thinking skills. An essential part of conceptual skills is strategic thinking. You need to see things that others don’t see. You need to plan ahead and improve your tactics based on what you have experienced and learned.
  • Analytical skills. You need to be analytical to make the right decisions. This is the ability to see something in numbers, relate different information, and conclude.
  • Entrepreneurial skills. These skills can also help you make your vision a reality. Abstract ideas, connecting the dots, and changing the world are only a few of the abilities that entrepreneurial skills will bring you.

3. Interpersonal Skills (Human Skills)

Interpersonal management skills are related to managing crucial social processes inside an organization. These skills demonstrate a manager’s ability to influence others to get things done. In management, interacting with other people is essential. Without employees, there is no need for management.

To succeed as a manager, you need to have the ability to lead effectively. Managers will need to motivate their team members to achieve excellence, and those with these interpersonal skills will succeed in doing so. Also, they will help them to make more effective use of human potential in the company.

Interpersonal skills are essential for managers on all hierarchical levels in the company.

According to the research conducted by the Statista Research Department in 2013, these skills are the most important for managing highly complex projects in organizations worldwide successfully.

leadership skills as most important managerial skills

Examples of Interpersonal (Human) Managerial Skills

Leadership is crucial in creating enthusiasm among employees to create new and better ways of doing their jobs. Managers need leadership skills if they want to inspire and motivate.

Skills in resolving or managing conflicts are among the most important for managers. Your team members will not always see in the same way the most crucial issues. There will probably be a conflict between them in many situations. Therefore, the ability to resolve conflicts is a crucial management skill.

Disagreements and conflict are normal and healthy until some point. You need to manage them the right way. Because of that, you, as a manager, will need to allow such conflicts. Healthy conflicts for an organization are those that result in better decisions and methods of doing things. But, after some point, the conflict can become counterproductive for the company’s performance (see the image below).

conflict resolution management skills

As a manager, you will also need communication skills. You will need to communicate with customers, team members, partners, investors, stakeholders, etc. You cannot manage without communicating with your team members.

Also, you will need negotiation skills. To succeed as a manager, you must be a good negotiator prepared for a fair compromise.

Teamwork skills are also critical here. Why? Working in a team provides much better utilization of different skills of team members. It is a great learning possibility. Teamwork will help you increase your company’s effectiveness and performance. So, you need excellent teamwork skills to be a real manager.

But, There is One More Thing – Self-Management Skills

Thus far, we’ve discussed managerial skills as they relate to different managerial positions. However, what about self-management? You want to accomplish more each day. There are professional and personal goals you want to accomplish as well. Therefore, self-management skills are required.

Self-management skills are essential skills not only for managers but for everyone. These skills will help you to lead yourself in your everyday management tasks. Here are some examples of self-management skills.

  • Time management skills. The ability to manage your own time effectively involves setting goals and organizing and prioritizing tasks. Your productivity will become the mirror of your organization’s productivity. According to Mintzberg, managers:

“appreciated the opportunity cost of their own time, and they were continually aware of their ever-present obligations—mail to be answered, callers to attend to, and so on. It seems that a manager is always plagued by the possibilities of what might be done and what must be done.”

– Mintzberg
  • Adaptability skills. In the modern era, change occurs quickly on a daily basis, so the skills and expertise you have right now will be outdated tomorrow. You must have the characteristics of adaptability and be ready for the future.

Are There More Managerial Skills?

Some authors highlight the significance of other skills, such as controlling and decision-making skills. But I realize they’re just part of one of the three categories discussed above.

Let’s take the example of controlling skills. Controlling can’t be a skill but rather a process or one of the managerial functions. Managers control their employees through the interpersonal skills that we already described previously.

I have also found that decision-making skills are another managerial skill. Decision-making is also a process rather than a skill. Better judgment will result from developing your own conceptual skills.

✋ Warning

Learn more about decision-making as a part of the problem-solving process, decision-making models, and two techniques to make better decisions in the introduction to the decision-making process.

All managers will need technical, conceptual, interpersonal, and self-management skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are managerial skills?

Managerial skills are the knowledge and ability of the individuals in a managerial position to fulfill specific management activities or tasks.

What are the three managerial skills identified by Robert Katz?

Three managerial skills identified by Robert Katz are technical, conceptual, and interpersonal, sometimes called “human” skills.

Why are managerial skills important?

Managers are responsible for running the organization effectively and ensuring everyone works together toward a common goal. Managers cannot manage employees to achieve the organization’s goals without managerial skills.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan