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Skills of a manager three essential skills or competencies business essay

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A manager’s job is varied and complex. Managers need certain skills to perform the duties and activities associated with being a manager

A mark of a good leader is to be able to provide consistent motivation to his team encouraging them to attain excellence and quality in their performance. A good leader is always looking for ways to improve production and standards. Here are six management skills you can develop as a leader in working to create a quality effective team

The three essential skills or competencies are:

1. Technical skills –

involve process or technique knowledge and proficiency in a certain specialized field, such as engineering, computers, accounting, or manufacturing. These skills are more important at lower levels of management since these managers are dealing with employees doing the organization’s work.

The technical skill involves the manager’s understanding of the nature of job that people under him have to perform. It refers to a person’s knowledge and proficiency in any type of process or technique. In a production department, this would mean an understanding of the technicalities of the process of production. Whereas this type of skill and competence seems to be more important at the lower levels of management, its relative importance as a part of the managerial role diminishes as the manager moves to higher positions. In higher functional positions, such as the position of a marketing manager or production manager, the conceptual component, related to these functional areas becomes more important and the technical component becomes less important and the technical component becomes less important.

2. Human Skills –

involve the ability to interact effectively with people. Managers interact and cooperate with employees. Because managers deal directly with people, this skill is crucial. Managers with good human skills re bale to get best out of their people. They know how to communicate, motivate, lead, and inspire enthusiasm and trust. These skills are equally important at all levels of management.

Human skills are also the ability to interact effectively with people at all levels. This skill develops in the manager sufficient ability.

a) To recognize the feelings and sentiments of others

b) To judge the possible reactions to, and outcomes of various courses of action he may undertake and

c) To examine his own concepts and values this may enable him to develop more useful attitudes about himself.

3. Conceptual Skills-

involve the formulation of ideas, conceptualization about abstract and complex situations. Managers understand abstract relationships, develop ideas and solve problems creatively. Using these skills, managers must be able to see the organization as a whole. They have to understand the relationships among various subunits, and visualize how organization fits into its border environment. These skills are most important at the top management levels.

Conceptual skills refer to the ability of a manager to take a broad and farsighted view of the organization and its future, his ability to think in abstract, his ability to analyze the forces working in a situation, his creative and innovative ability and his ability to assess the environment and the changes taking place in it. In short, it is his ability to conceptualize the environment, the organization, and his won job, so that he can set appropriate goals for his organization, for himself and for his team. This skill seems to increase in importance as a manager move up to higher positions of responsibility in the organization. Thus, technical skill deals with things, human skills concerns people, and conceptual-skill has to do with ideas.

A manager is responsible for the successful implementation of management skills. A good manager needs to adhere to the basic management principles and exhibit the basic management skills in his/her personality.

Basic Management Skills

1. Leadership:

This is one of the most important management skills. Leadership comprises of the efficient organization of the resources in achieving a company goal. Leadership involves the management of human resources with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the team. It is about leading the people and guiding them towards the accomplishment of a common goal. Leadership includes a just allocation of work to the resources, planning of the implementation of tasks assigned and helping the team with task completion.

2. Team Building:

This is another basic management skill that includes dealing with people, the most important asset of an organization. Encouraging the team members to speak up, come up with ideas and allowing them to make mistakes and learn from them can be described as a team building skill. To build a team, one needs to foster the team spirit in all of the team members. For the team to feel motivated to work, it is important for a manager to cater to their expectations, recognize their strengths and understand where they lack. The building of a team is about building the team spirit in members and maintaining it. The skill lies in knowing the team and encouraging them to take initiative and enthusiastically participate in every venture of the company.

3. Communication and Presentation Skills:

After having achieved the knowledge of a certain domain and on having imbibed the technical skills and more importantly self-confidence needed to be a manager, what one may lack are the soft skills, which are equally important in management. The soft skills encompass the communication and presentation skills. A manager should be open to his/her team. A manager should be able to accept constructive criticism. It is important for the manager to communicate his/her plans to the team and accept the team members’ inputs on the plan of action. Communication is a two-way activity and for it to remain so, a manager needs to possess listening skills. They help a manager understand his/her team members, invite their participation and earn their regard. Good presentation skills help a manager impressively communicate with the team. ‘How you communicate?’ is as important as ‘what you communicate?’

So, the presentation skills definitely matter.

4. Decision-making Skill:

Many a time, quick decisions have to be made. In such cases it becomes necessary for a manager to grasp the situation, think about what can be done and thoughtfully analyze the consequences of the decision to be made. A problem-solving approach is also considered as one of the basic management skills. To look at a situation analytically, one needs to bear a problem-solving approach. One needs to reason every consequence and come up with the pros and cons of the decision. A manager needs to be a quick thinker. For taking the right decision, one cannot afford to panic. One has to keep his/her cool, be aware of the results of the decisions and be prepared for them. A manager can get opportunities to celebrate a business success. But it is equally probable that a manager is forced to handle the consequences of a wrong decision. Hence while it is necessary to distinguish between the ‘right’ and the ‘wrong’, it is also necessary to be ready to accept the ‘wrongs’ and deal with them.

In short management skills are about making the right decisions and getting them executed by the right people. Thus, management skills are indeed all those things that effective management professionals do!

Management Skills

A Manager must utilize skills to effectively organize the team, to achieve a successful goal, in the least amount of time, and cost. Management skills are learned in school, by experience, and information gathered from

employees that worked with managers. A manager knows how to lead the team, but never be a


Listed below are management skills:

Recruit and Interview:

Managers recruit and interview the best candidates for the organization. Matching the education, experience, and knowledge, for a specific job. Letting each candidate know, what are the expectations, and receiving any suggestions.


Organizing the team to achieve a specific goal. Delegating each team member, to an assigned task. Remembering, never to over extend responsibilities to one person. Always, having the confidence and giving respect to each member.


Managing a budget is critically important for the financial integrity of any project. Under budgeting a project, may undermine the ability to get the project done on time or failure. Managing a project that is under budget, certainly is most desirable for the cost savings.


Managers can motivate their staff by praise and incentives, to create a friendly working environment, and having diligent employees, that are less likely to resign.


Managers should uphold business ethics. Disregarding ethical standards can ruin the reputation of a manager and the loss of respect earned from his employees, and clients. Ethics can be learned, but honesty comes from the heart


Each year, thousands of people make the switch from staff engineer or scientist to manager. And, although many of us look forward to the change, we find it frustrating once we get there. When we were engineers, we were rewarded for our technical skills and labors in direct proportion to what we accomplished.

But now, as a manager, our success is measured not by our own output hut by the output and productivity of the people we supervise. And that sense of not being in direct control can be a frustrating feeling.

Fortunately, working with others and getting them to give you their best can be just as rewarding as technical accomplishments . . . once you get the hang of it. Here are eight tips that will help you to manage and to guide your people more effectively.

The Human Touch

The most valuable qualities you can develop within yourself are patience, kindness, and consideration for other people. Although machines and chemicals don’t care whether you scream and curse at them, people do.

Your subordinates are not just engineers, scientists, administrators, clerks, and programmers they’re people, first and foremost. People with families and friends, likes and dislikes. People with feelings. Respect them as people and you’ll get their respect and loyalty in return. But treat them coldly and impersonally and they will lose motivation to perform for you.

Corny as it sounds, the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” ‑is a sound, proven management principle. The next time you’re about to discipline a worker or voice your displeasure, ask yourself, “Would I like to be spoken to the way I’m thinking of speaking to him or her?” Give your people the same kindness and consideration that you would want to receive if you were in their place.

Don’t Be Overly Critical

As a manager, it’s part of your job to keep your people on the right track. And that involves pointing out errors and telling them where they’ve gone wrong.

But some managers are overly critical. They’re not happy unless they are criticizing. They rarely accomplish much or take on anything new themselves, but they are only too happy to tell others where they went wrong, why they’re doing it incorrectly, and why they could do the job better.

Don’t be this type of person. Chances are, you have more knowledge and experience in your field than a good many of the people you supervise. But that’s why the company made you the boss! Your job is to guide and teach these people not to yell or nit-pick or show them how dumb they are compared to you.

Mary Kay Ash, founder and director of Mary Kay Cosmetics, says that successful managers encourage their people instead of criticizing them. ” Forget their mistakes,” she advises, “and zero in on one small thing they do right. Praise them and they’ll do more things right and discover talents and abilities they never realized they had.”

Let Them Fail

Of course, to follow through on Mary Kay’s advice, you’ve got to let your people make some mistakes.

Does this shock you? I’m not surprised. Most workers expect to be punished for every mistake. Most managers think it’s a “black eye” on their record when an employee goofs.

But successful managers know that the best way for their people to learn and grow is through experience and that means taking chances and making errors.

Give your people the chance to try new skills or tasks without a supervisor looking over their shoulders but only on smaller, less crucial projects. That way, mistakes won’t hurt the company and can quickly and easily be corrected. On major projects, where performance is critical, you’ll want to give as much supervision as is needed to ensure successful completion of the task.

Be Available

Have you ever been enthusiastic about a project, only to find yourself stuck, unable to continue, while you waited for someone higher up to check your work before giving the go ahead for the next phase?

Few things dampen employee motivation more than management inattention. As a manager, you have a million things to worry about besides the report sitting in your mailbox, waiting for your approval. But to the person who wrote that report, each day’s delay causes frustration, anger, worry, and insecurity.

So, although you’ve got a lot to do, give your first attention to approving, reviewing, and okaying projects in progress. If employees stop by to ask a question or discuss a project, invite them to sit down for a few minutes. If you’re pressed for time, set up an appointment for later that day, and keep it. This will let your people know you are genuinely interested in them. And that’s something they’ll really appreciate.

Improve the Workplace

People are most productive when they have the right tools and work in pleasant, comfortable surroundings. According to a study by the Buffalo Organization, a comfortable office environment creates an extra $1600 of productivity annually for professionals and managers.

Having the right equipment is equally important. One of my clients recently hired a full-time technical writer at a salary of $25,000, but was reluctant to invest $2500 in a word processor for him to use.

I explained that, in my experience, a word processor can easily double the productivity of a writer. Therefore, if the writer was expected to produce $25,000 worth of work with a typewriter, he could produce $50,000 with a word processor an extra $25,000 a year in productivity for a $2500 investment! The client bought the computer. Both the company and the writer were delighted with the results.

Be aware that you may not be the best judge of what your employees need to do their jobs effectively. Even if you’ve done the job yourself, someone else may work best with a different set of tools, or in a different setup because each person is different.

If your people complain about work conditions, listen. These complaints are usually not made for selfgain, but stem from each worker’s desire to do the best job possible. And by providing the right equipment or work space, you can achieve enormous increases in output . . . open with a minimal investment.

A Personal Interest in People

When is the last time you asked your secretary how her son was doing in Little League or how she enjoyed her vacation?

Good salespeople know that relating to the customer on a person-to-person level is the fastest way to win friends and sales. Yet many technical managers remain aloof and avoid conversation that does not relate directly to business. Why? Perhaps it’s because engineers are more comfortable with equations and inanimate objects than with people, and feel uncomfortable in social situations.

But just as a salesperson wants to get to know his customer, you can benefit by showing a little personal interest in your people their problems, family life, health, and hobbies. This doesn’t have to be insincere or overdone just the type of routine conversation that should naturally pass between people who work closely.

If you’ve been ignoring your employees, get into the habit of taking a few minutes every week (or every day) to say “hello” and chat for a minute or two If an employee has a personal problem affecting his mood or performance, try to find out what it is and how you might help. Send a card or small gift on important occasions and holidays, such as a 10th anniversary with the firm or a birthday. Often, it is the little things we do for people (such as letting workers with long commutes leave early on a snowy day, or springing for dinner when overtime is required) that determine their loyally to you.

Be Open to Ideas

You may think the sign of a good manager is to have a department where everybody is busy at work on their assigned tasks. But if your people are merely “doing their jobs,” they’re only working at about half their potential. A truly productive department is one in which every employee is actively thinking of better, more efficient methods of working ways in which to produce a higher quality product. in less time, at lower cost.

To get this kind of innovation from your people, you have to be receptive to new ideas; what’s more, you have to encourage your people to produce new ideas. Incentives are one way you can offer a cash bonus, time off, a gift. But a more po­tent form of motivation is simply the employee’s knowing that management does listen and does put employee suggestions and ideas to work. Quality Circles, used by Westinghouse and other major firms, are one way of putting this into action… The old standby, the suggestion box. is another time tested method.

And when you listen to new ideas, be open minded. Don’t shoot down a suggestion before you’ve heard it in full. Many of us are too quick, too eager, to show off our own experience and knowledge and say that something won’t work because “we’ve tried it before” or “we don’t do it that way.” Well, maybe you did try it before, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work now. And having done things a certain way in the past doesn’t mean you’ve necessarily been doing them the best way. A good manager is open-minded and receptive to new ideas.

Give Your People a Place to Go

If a worker doesn’t have a place to go a position to aspire to, a promotion to work toward then his job is a dead end. And dead-end workers are usually bored, unhappy, and unproductive. Organize your department so that everyone has opportunity for advancement, so that there is a logical progression up the ladder in terms of title, responsibility, status, and pay. If this isn’t possible because your department is too small, perhaps that progression must inevitably lead to jobs outside the department. If so, don’t hold people back; instead, encourage them to aim for these goals so that they will put forth their best efforts during all the years they are with you.

Planning and Controlling


The process of setting goals, developing strategies, and outlining tasks and schedules to accomplish the goals.


Management control describes the means by which the actions of individuals or groups within an organization are constrained to perform certain actions while avoiding other actions in an effort to achieve organizational goals.

Management control falls into two broad categories-regulative and normative controls-but within these categories are several types.

Planning and controlling are two separate fuctions of management, yet they are closely related. The scope of activities if both are overlapping to each other. Without the basis of planning, controlling activities becomes baseless and without controlling, planning becomes a meaningless exercise. In absense of controlling, no purpose can be served by. Therefore, planning and controlling reinforce each other. According to Billy Goetz, “Relationship between the two can be summarized in the following points

Planning preceeds controlling and controlling succeeds planning.

Planning and controlling are inseperable functions of management.

Activities are put on rails by planning and they are kept at right place through controlling.

The process of planning and controlling works on Systems Approach which is as follows :

Planning    â†’    Results    â†’    Corrective Action

Planning and controlling are integral parts of an organization as both are important for smooth running of an enterprise.

Planning and controlling reinforce each other. Each drives the other function of management.

In the present dynamic environment which affects the organization, the strong relationship between the two is very critical and important. In the present day environment, it is quite likely that planning fails due to some unforeseen events. There controlling comes to the rescue. Once controlling is done effectively, it give us stimulus to make better plans. Therefore, planning and controlling are in separate functions of a business enterprise.

Types of Plan

A business plan is basically a road map to success for your business. Many individuals have great ideas for businesses, but can never get that business off of the ground. A business plan details all of the facets of a business and explains how it will be successful. If you are thinking of beginning a business, start with a business plan. There a few different types of business plans; as a business owner, you should use these as a guide to thinking about how to make your business work

Feasibility Plan

A feasibility plan should be the first thing you complete. This outlines the chances that a start-up venture will be successful. It should detail the money needed for the start-up, regular expenses and the price of offered goods and services. Essentially, it examines whether the venture is worth pursuing.

Start-Up Plan

This is the most common type of business plan. A start-up plan details all of the things you need to do to begin the business. It should cover many details, including the products or services that you’ll be providing, the marketing strategies you plan to employ, the team or employees that you will be using and a financial analysis–how you plan to pay for all of it. Answering these questions can help you think more in-depth about your business venture and put a plan in action.

Strategic Plan

A strategic plan deals with the strategy you plan to employ for a certain project. Perhaps you plan to launch a new product or offer a new service. Perhaps you want to lower your marketing budget, or restructure the company. This can all be done with a strategy plan, where you brainstorm how a project can be done.

Growth Plan

A growth plan is necessary for those who own businesses that are moderately successful, and who are ready for the next level: growth. A growth plan details how the business will grow. It gives a target date or a basic itinerary for the projected growth period, and details how that growth will take place: perhaps through aggressive marketing, more investors or better production.

Operations Plan

An operations plan is an internal plan that is usually not meant for investors or clients, but for the owner and employees only. This should detail how the business is meant to run. It can include upcoming projects, events and milestones for the business. It can also detail different employees’ responsibilities.

Long Term Plan

A long-term planning for MIS is essential as it’s focus is strategic in nature, and are long term in nature and hence it’s development and budgeting has to be planeed for if MIS is to be used and expanded but some parts are also medium term as in tactical, and short term as in operational. Without a long term plan integrating MIS of all three levels is difficult. Since business plan are by nature long term, its integration with MIS and its support to strategic nature is also long term. MIS is very much part of a business operation as it is like any long term assets, such as building and equipment. Without infomation or MIS, a transaction, plans required to managed becomes very difficult to compete in today’s world without information.

Short Term Plan

In real world business terms, short term plans are plan made to last anywhere between 3 and 12 months. Medium term plans can be between 1 and 3 to 5 years.

In general, a plan with a planning horizon of five years or less. Also called short range plan.

Single-Use Plans

Single-use plans  are  essentially  one-time  use  plans having a specific goal or objective. They may run for a few days or last several years. Projects, programs, and budgets are commonly thought of as single-use plans. Planning is looking ahead and controlling is looking back

Standing Plans

Standing plans consist of policies,  procedures,  and regulations. They exist to guide you in the absence of higher authority. They enable you to make rational, informed, consistent decisions and plans  without constantly   consulting   higher   levels   of   command. Standing plans exist until canceled or changed by higher authority

Planning is looking ahesd and controlling os looking back

Planning is Looking Ahead is true because it contributes heavily to success and gives us some control over the future. By, planning we set aside our tasks and deadlines so we can enlarge our mental focus and seeing the bigger picture. By, planning we can set our Personal or organizational goals and for this defiantly we have to look ahead.

But, Planning is not ending with such strategies or guidelines. It has relation with Implementation and controls. Because plans are not always proceed as conceived. The control process measures progress towards goal attainment and indicate corrective action if too much deviation is detected.

Controlling investigates whether planning was successful.

Controlling referred to as terminal management function, takes place after the other functions have been completed. And for this process we have to look back and have to analyze the performance of our planning, organizing and leading. And therefore we have to look back also.

So, yes we can say Control is looking back for Investigation, Analysis, and Understandings and for checking our effectiveness and efficiency.

Types of Control

Regulative Controls

Normative Controls

Bureaucratic Controls

Team Norms

Financial Controls

Organizational Cultural Norms

Quality Controls

The following section addresses regulative controls including bureaucratic controls, financial controls, and quality controls. The second section addresses normative controls including team norms and organization cultural norms.


Regulative controls stem from standing policies and standard operating procedures, leading some to criticize regulative controls as outdated and counter-productive. As organizations have become more flexible in recent years by flattening organizational hierarchies, expanding organizational boundaries to include suppliers in inventory management and customers in new product development, forging cooperative alliances with competitors, and developing virtual organizations in which employees are geographically dispersed and may meet only a few time each year, critics point out that regulative controls may prevent rather promote goal attainment.

There is some truth to this. Customer service representatives at Holiday Inn are limited in the extent to which they can correct mistakes involving guests. They can move guests to a different room if there is excessive noise in the room next to the guest’s room. In some instances, guests may get a gift certificate for an additional night at another Holiday Inn if they have had a particularly bad experience. In contrast, customer service representatives at Tokyo’s Marriott Inn have the latitude to take up to $500 off a customer’s bill to solve complaints.

The actions of customer service representatives at both Holiday Inn and Marriott Inn must follow policies and procedures, yet those at Marriott are likely to feel less constrained and more empowered by Marriott’s policies and procedures compared to Holiday Inn customer service representatives. The key in terms of management control is matching regulative controls such as policies and procedures with organizational goals such as customer satisfaction. Each of the three types of regulative controls discussed in the next few paragraphs has the potential to align or misalign organizational goals with regulative controls. The challenge for managers is striking the right balance between too much control and too little.


Bureaucratic controls stem from lines of authority and this authority comes with one’s position in the organizational hierarchy. The higher up the chain of command, the more an individual will have authority to dictate policies and procedures. Bureaucratic controls have gotten a bad name and often rightfully so. Organizations placing too much reliance on chain of command authority relationships inhibit flexibility to deal with unexpected events. However, there are ways managers can build flexibility into policies and procedures that make bureaucracies as flexible and able to quickly respond to customer problems as any other form of organizational control.

Consider how hospitals, for example, are structured along hierarchical lines of authority.

Table 2

Definition and Examples of Regulative Controls

Type of Regulative Control



Bureaucratic Controls

Policies and operating procedures

Employee handbook

Financial Controls

Key financial targets

Return on investment

Quality Controls

Acceptable levels of product or process variation

Defects per million

The Board of Directors is at the top, followed by the CEO and then the Medical Director. Below these top executives are vice presidents with responsibility for overseeing various hospital functions such as human resources, medical records, surgery, and intensive care units. The chain of command in hospitals is clear; a nurse, for example, would not dare increase the dosage of a heart medication to a patient in an intensive care unit without a physician’s order. Clearly, this has the potential to slow reaction times-physicians sometimes spread their time across hospital rounds for two or three hospitals and also their individual office practice. Yet, it is the nurses and other direct care providers who have the most contact with patients and are in the best position to rapidly respond to changes in a patient’s condition.

The question bureaucratic controls must address is: How can the chain of command be preserved while also building flexibility and quick response times into the system? One way is through standard operating procedures that delegate responsibility downward. Some hospital respiratory therapy departments, for example, have developed standard operating procedures (in health care terms, therapist-driven protocols or TDPs) with input fro

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