This article throws light upon the three important skills required by a manager. The skills are: 1. Technical Skills 2. Human Skills 3. Conceptual Skills.
Skill # 1. Technical Skills:
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.
This also includes contributing to corporate mission/departmental objectives, customer focus, multitasking; working at multiple tasks at parallel, negotiating skills, project management, reviewing operations and implementing improvements, setting and maintaining performance standards internally and externally, setting priorities for attention and activity and time management.
Skill # 2. Human Skills:
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 are able 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.
This also includes ability to transform ideas into words and actions, credibility among colleagues, peers, and subordinates, listening and asking questions, presentation skills and spoken format, written and graphic formats, coaching and mentoring skills, diversity skills; working with diverse people and culture, networking within the organization, networking outside the organization, working in teams; cooperation and commitment.
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.
Skill # 3. Conceptual Skills:
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 analyse 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 own 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 moves 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.