3 Managerial Skills to Help You Become a Better Manager

3 Types of managerial skills you should have

Do you have all the required key managerial skills to manage your company? Can you be a good manager with all the essential management 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.

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

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

📖 Key Takeaway

Having the right skill set for managing a company, department, or team of people is important for the success of your business and your managerial career.

The manager has three basic skills: technical, human, and conceptual. But, inside these basic skills are many different subcategories like leadership, decision-making, problem-solving, etc.

You can develop and improve your skills through learning and practical experience.

Why Will You Need Managerial Skills?

Being a good manager is difficult because you will need managerial competencies. People with the right competencies and key management skills will move from the bottom to the top levels.

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

Let’s discuss the three primary management skills and their link to the hierarchical structure or person’s management position.

3 Types of Management Skills

What Are Managerial Skills?

Management skills definition: 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 key management skills and be ready to become a successful manager.

Many theoretical definitions 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.

When we talk about skills for managers, they relate to a manager’s ability to ensure that their employees operate optimally in all their daily activities. They will need the skills to manage people and technology to fulfill their duties efficiently and effectively.

3 Management Skills According to Katz

An HBR article, Skills of an Effective Administrator, by Robert Katz, highlights three distinct types for managers: technical, conceptual, and human or interpersonal skills.

Managerial skills according to Robert Katz

1. Technical Skills

These 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 these skills by learning and practicing different techniques and tools to do the required job. I want to say that these are practical, craft skills essential for a specific technical job.

Starting a business, product development, and designing systems are all areas where these 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 sales experience, making 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 own technical skills. Yet, these skills are not particularly important for top managers. So, these 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 part of technical. You will often be a project manager managing multiple projects, so these skills are also important for your success as a manager. Yet, they might be classified as human skills. These technical key management skills are crucial because of the nature of project management. But for the human part of project management and efficiency in implementation, there is a requirement for human skills.

You will use your project management skills to make the project plan, organize, lead, and track how it is done.

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

2. Conceptual Skills


These skills are the managerial ability to engage in more abstract thinking. You can see the big picture by analyzing various things. In such a way, you can predict the future of the business or department as a whole. So, these skills enable good 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.

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 these skills to make the best-informed decisions for the organization as a whole.

Why do managers need these skills?

First, each company has several business elements, such as sales, marketing, finance, production, etc. All these business elements have different goals, even completely opposing ones. So, for example, marketing wants to keep a higher stock of products on hand to ensure a rapid response to customer demands. But, 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 marketing must keep up with customers’ ever-evolving expectations, the production flow must be море frequently interrupted.

On the other side, finance and manufacturing will require longer production flows in large quantities and one flow. They want to maintain a stable production system at lower costs.

Different goals of different functions

Strong conceptual skills will help managers look outside their department’s goals. So, they will make decisions that satisfy overall business goals. Also, they 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, these competencies will rise.

Examples of These Skills

Here are some examples of conceptual management skills that good managers will need to have:

  • Strategic thinking skills. An essential part of these 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.
  • Planning skills. Because you can see the whole aspects of your business, you will need to translate this potential with strategic planning skills. You want your vision to become true through achieving strategic goals and implementing action steps from your plan.
  • 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 competencies 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.

Related: 10 Reasons Being An Entrepreneur Is Better Than Employment

3. Interpersonal (Human Skills)

These skills are related to managing crucial social processes inside an organization.

Interpersonal management skills demonstrate a manager’s ability to influence others to get things done. When you are a manager, interacting with other people is essential.

Without employees, there is no need for good management skills. To succeed as a manager, you need to have the ability to lead teams more effectively. To motivate your team members to achieve excellence. Also, you must help them to make more effective use of human potential in the company.

Strong interpersonal skills are essential for managers at all hierarchical levels.

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

Examples of Interpersonal (Human) Managerial Skills

Effective leadership is important for creating enthusiasm among employees to create new and better ways of doing their jobs. Best managers need leadership skills if they want to inspire and motivate. Their leadership style must ensure that all team members will put their full efforts into achieving the business’s strategic goals.

When we talk about leadership skills, we must also mention emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to empathize and understand people around you, even when they might disagree with us.

You must delegate because you are a manager, and delegation skills will be important for your success. Delegating tasks means knowing to divide the workload among team members and distributing tasks according to ability. You must understand who can do what task and how much time each person will need for a certain job.

You can not underestimate listening skills. If you actively listen to your team members, customers, partners, and other stakeholders, you will continuously learn better ways to manage your company. So, you need to practice active listening to become a better manager.

Also, conflict resolution skills are among managers’ most important management skills. 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 skills

As a manager, you will also need communication skills to communicate effectively. You must communicate effectively through different communication channels with customers, employees, partners, investors, stakeholders, etc. So, communication skills are important for you. You cannot manage without direct communication with your team and key management.

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 for developing management skills.

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 management skills related to different managerial positions.

However, what about self-management?

You want to accomplish more of your professional and personal goals each day. So, you will also need skills to manage yourself.

Self-management skills are essential skills not only for managers but for everyone. These common management skills will help you to lead yourself in your everyday management tasks. Great managers and leaders know how to manage their time and energy effectively. One of the most important self-management skills is time management and adaptability 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 daily, so the skills and expertise you have right now will be outdated tomorrow. You must have the characteristics of adaptability as a key management skill and be ready for the future.

Are There More Skills Important for Managers?

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

Controlling can’t be a skill but rather a process or one of the managerial functions. Usually, many managers control their employees through interpersonal skills and analytical skills (tracking their team member’s performance) that we already described previously.

I have also found that problem-solving and decision-making skills are other managerial skills.

Decision-making is also a process (part of the problem-solving process) rather than a skill. Better judgment will result from developing your own conceptual skills. If we talk about specific technical problems, then problem-solving skills will be part of technical 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.

Developing & Improving Your Skills

Here is a short video with actionable steps to develop and improve your skills as a manager.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are managerial skills?

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

What are the three main skills for managers identified by Robert Katz?

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

Why are these skills important?

Managers are responsible for running the organization effectively and ensuring everyone works together toward a common goal. Without these skills, effective managers cannot manage employees to achieve the organization’s goals.