Managerial skills are the capabilities or competences that managers require to be able to perform their functions and play their roles effectively. They are the unique capabilities or inherent talents that set a manager apart from the other ordinary workers.
i) Conceptual skills
Conceptual skills refer to the ability think in abstract and to visualize the organization in a holistic manner. These skills enable a manager to see die relationship between forces in the environment that other people cannot see. It is die ability to think creatively and understand complicated or abstract ideas. These skills are critically important to the top-level management since the top management is responsible for positioning the entity as a whole strategically in its external environment. They also responsible for formulating the vision and the long-term goals of the enterprise as a whole. These responsibilities imply that the managers should be able to see beyond time and space. The conceptual skills are moderately important to the mid-level managers and less important to the lower level managers.
ii) Diagnostic skills
Diagnostic skills refer to the ability to understand and interpret the underlying issues beneath a phenomenon and to draw answers from the underlying issues. The skills are critically important to the top-level managers, moderately important to the mid-level managers and less important to the lower level managers.
Diagnostic skills have certain variants:
- Analytical skills which refer to the ability to collect and analyze information, problem- solve, and make decisions.
- Decision making skills which refers to the ability to make deductive reasoning, drawing conclusions from givens and applying judgments to reach conclusions from n combination of evidence and assumptions
- Problem solving skills which includes mental skill, analytical and creative or logical thinking, it includes skills such as ordering, comparing, contrasting, evaluating and selecting. It also includes ability to anticipate problems, solve problems, untangle messes, bring order out of a chaotic situation and determine the source of the problem.
iii) Technical skills
Technical skills refer to the proficiency in handling the techniques of a given trade such as accounting techniques, engineering techniques and others. Technical skills are the knowledge and capabilities to perform field-specific, specialized tasks. They are practical, and often relate to mechanical, information technology, mathematical, or scientific tasks. These skills are critically important to the lower level managers as they are supposed to provide the
iv) Human relation skills/interpersonal skills/soft management skills
Human relations skills relate to die ability to deal with and work with other people. it is the ability to build up cooperative, work teams, secure cooperation of staff and to handle diversity. The manager needs to know how to manage relationships between himself and his subordinates, as well as manage the relationships among those who work under him. The manager should also know how to develop relationships with his superiors, and coordinate relationships across the hierarchy. The manager should to be able to build good relationships with customers, and see things from the customers’ perspective.
Human relation skills are equally important to all managers at all levels. These skills include:
- Being sensitive to others
- Fair treatment of people
- Ability to listen to others
- Ability to communicate warmth
- Ability to strike rapport
- Ability to understand human behavior
- Ability to empathize
- Being tactfulness
- Team player
- Avoiding stereotyping people
- A Feeling comfortable with different kinds of people
- Ability to handle conflict effectively.
- Ability to clarify misunderstandings
- Ability to creating an environment of social interaction
v) Political skills
Political skills relate to die ability to have your own way without appearing to be egotistic or self- centered. It is the ability to get your own share of power and use it without fear of losing it. These skills will enable a manager to establish the rigid connections then skillfully use these connections for the advantage of the firm.
The desired political skills in management include:
- Social Shrewdness – the ability to observe others and to accurately understand them. Socially astute leaders are good at reading people’s non-verbal behaviours and can intuitively sense the motivations of others.
- Interpersonal Influence – the ability to influence others using a compelling interpersonal style. In particular, leaders with strong interpersonal influence are good at establishing rapport with others, they communicate well with others, and thus, they are also good at getting others to like them. Getting others to like them, in turn, helps them influence others more easily.
- Networking Ability – the ability to establish relationships with others, People with high networking ability have strong ties with many people, including influential people at work. They are particularly skilled at leveraging their networks to obtain the needed resources to accomplish both personal and organizational tasks.
- Apparent Honesty – involves being transparent, honest, and sincere with others. Leaders with apparent sincerity believe their word is their bond – they do what they say they will do.
- Image Management – the ability to intuitively know what to say to influence others and knowing how to make a good impression on others.
vi) Communication skills
This is the ability to communicate effectively. Management involves working with people and through people. In addition, managers are the conduits of all communication flows in and out the organization. It is therefore important for managers to had exemplary communication skills. Some of these communication skills include: listening ability; empathize, communicate precisely and concisely as well as provide information on a timely basis.
Personal characteristics of a good manager
- Emotional intelligence – Emotional intelligence describes ability, capacity, skill, or self- perceived ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups.
Elements of emotional intelligence
- Self-Awareness: This is the ability to recognize and understand one’s moods, motivations, and abilities. Also understanding the effects, they have on others.
- Self-Regulation: This is the ability to control one’s impulses, the ability to think before you speak/react, and the ability to express yourself appropriately.
- Self-Motivation: This is having an interest in learning and self-improvement, It is having the strength to keep going when there are obstacles in life. It is setting goals and following through with them.
- Empathy: This is the ability to understand other people’s emotions and reactions. For example: Being able to understand cope with someone else’s hardships or sadness.
- Social-Skills: This is the ability to pick up on jokes, sarcasm, customer service, maintaining friendships and relationships, and finding common ground with others.
- Integrity: A good manager should be honest and straight forward and his character should be above board. He does not associate himself with falsehood and deception of any kind.
- Dependability/Reliability: A manager should be a man of his words; he can be counted on. A good manager should be a person that can be depended on and is reliable by the oilier organizational members
- Optimism: A manager should be positive about the outcome of events in the future. This attitude will help in building morale of the employees and inspire enthusiasm for better performance
- Confidence: A manager should believe in his abilities so that he can make decisions with confidence. This personality trait will enable a manager to be assertive.
- Foresight: A good manager should be able to see beyond lime and space. He should be able to envision the future outcomes and take action to exploit opportunities and mitigate against threats.
- Calmness: A good manager remains calm even in times of crises and tries to find solutions to gel. everyone else out of trouble.
- Flexibility: The manager should be adaptable to the changes in the management environment as it is dynamic and should also be adaptable to the demands of the situation. He should be able to accommodate changes when need arises so as to get the best out of every situation of every situation.
- Intellectual stimulation: A good manager should be able to provoke a questioning mind to the workers.
- Idealized influenced: A manager should be a good role model to the employees.
- All above average intelligence Quotient (IQ): The reasoning ability of a manager should be above that of an average mind so as to provide direction to the organizational member on various issues.
Business characteristics of a good manager
- Business acumen: A good manager should insightful and shrewd in business matters. Business is a game with lots of players. The manager should be able to get the best out of every transaction or business deal
- Industry Knowledge: A good manager should have sound knowledge of the industry so as to identify opportunities and threats and align the entity to-the industry norms.
- Financial skills: This characteristic is inevitable as many corporate failures can be attributed to poor financial management
- Legal knowledge: While a manager needs not be a legal expert, he should understand the legal environment that is relevant to the entity