June 27, 2014

Managerial Skills

Principles of Management Revision Articles Series

Managerial skills are identified and links are given to knols containing detailed explanation of various skills. Number of videos are also available on various managerial skills.

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Introduction

Managerial skills are classified as technical, human and conceptual by Katz.
For a manager managing any activity, the actual work involved in the activity is technical skill.
Ability to communicate with other persons in the department or organizations and the ability to understand their desires and persuade them to ones point of view are human skills. Conceptual skills are understanding of how customers of the department or organization react as a group to various activities.
Similarly a manager has to understand how suppliers to his department react as a group. Here economic consequences, political consequences, and social consequences come into play and a manager must be able to visualize all these likely outcomes in coming out with his objectives, strategies and tactics. (http://arulmj.tripod.com/mgrlskls.html).
In words of Katz, the administrator needs: (a) sufficient technical skill to accomplish the mechanics of the particular job for which he is responsible; (b) sufficient human skill in working with others to be an effective group member and to be able to build cooperative effort within the team he leads; (c) sufficient conceptual skill to recognize the interrelationships of the various factors involved in his situation, which will lead him to take that action which achieves the maximum good for the total organization.

I define engineering management using this explanation. Engineering management refers to management of those functional areas of an organization where the main skills applied are related to engineering and technology.
To understand the idea of managerial skills, we need to understand the meaning of the word skill.


Skill - Dictionary meanings   

a: the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance b: dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks
a learned power of doing something competently: a developed aptitude or ability
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary
 
skill: Definition
Ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities or job functions involving ideas (cognitive skills), things (technical skills), and/or people (interpersonal skills). 
http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/skill.html
 
Noun: skill  skil
An ability that has been acquired by training
- accomplishment, acquirement, acquisition, attainment
Ability to produce solutions in some problem domain
"the skill of a well-trained boxer"
http://www.wordwebonline.com/en/SKILL

Skill
The familiar knowledge of any art or science, united with readiness and dexterity in execution or performance, or in the application of the art or science to practical purposes; power to discern and execute; ability to perceive and perform; expertness; aptitude; as, the skill of a mathematician, physician, surgeon, mechanic, etc.
http://www.dictionary.net/skill
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Managerial Skills – A View

 
The above dictionary definitions indicate that  skill denotes the ability to perform a task effectively and efficiently. The ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance points out it. The meaning, "The familiar knowledge of any art or science, united with readiness and dexterity in execution or performance," also denotes it.

So managerial skill is to be understood as the ability to perform managerial tasks effectively with readiness and dexterity.  Skills requires knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge competently and efficiently has to be acquired by practice. A skilled person is one who has done the job effectively number of times and in the process of doing so, improved his efficiency at the job.
Various authors identified certain tasks of management discipline. Some authors have identified a list of managerial skills many of them being the tasks of management..
The book by William R. Tracey, Leadership Skills can be used to develop an understanding of  managerial skills.
 

Leadership Skills by William R. Tracey, Amacom 1990

 
Main Chapters
 
1. Forecasting: prelude to planning
2. Strategic planning
3. Budgeting
4. Marketing
5. Innovating
6. Resolving conflict
7. Disciplining
8. Rewarding
9. Improving Productivity
10. Managing costs
11. Managing time
12. Managing change
13. Managing ethics
14. Developing yourself
15. Leading

Managerial Skills

Whetten and Cameron provided an empirical derivation of effective leadership skills. They are:
1. Verbal communication (including listening)
2. Managing time and stress
3. Managing individual decisions
4. Recognizing, defining, and solving problems
5. Motivating and influencing others
6. Delegating
7. Setting goals and articulating a vision
8. Self awareness
9. Team building
10. Managing conflict
David A. Whetten and Kim S. Cameron, Developing Management Skills, Harper Collins, New York, 1991.

Profit Sense - An Important Managerial Skill

I now feel profit sense is an important managerial skill. Every manager should spot profit opportuniites and evaluate them for assuring that the profit is there in the proposal and select the best portfolio of  profitable projects and initiatives for his department or section.

Links to Knols with Material on Managerial Skills

 
1. Forecasting: prelude to planning
2. Strategic planning
What is Business Strategy?
3. Budgeting
Budget, Budgeting and Budgetary Control
4. Marketing
The Marketing Concept - Kotler
5. Innovating
6. Resolving conflict
7. Disciplining
8. Rewarding
9. Improving Productivity
Earlier link was provided to 7 Principles for Improving Workflow. A new link is to be given now.

10. Managing costs
11. Managing time
12. Managing change
13. Managing ethics
14. Developing yourself
15. Leading

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Videos on Managerial Skills

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 A Recent Book Recommended for Trainers and Self Learners
Training in Interpersonal Skills - Book Information and Review


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Original Knol - Number 428

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