Management is an art of getting things done through others. The quality of a successful manager depends on the efficiency and effectiveness in doing these things. Although the educationists and practitioners hardly agree about which are the most important skills that a manager requires, the following are, undoubtedly, some essential requirements for a manager which brings forth his success.
Planning and Organizing Skills: Planning is the first activity any manager needs to undertake. Planning means deciding what needs to be done and when it requires to be done. Managers are often required to forecast the future trends in the market and prepare some contingency approaches accordingly. After planning, a manager needs to organize the four Ms – men, money, machine and material, in the right order. Without proper planning and organizing, there might be hardly any organizational objectives that can be accomplished.
Communication and Interpersonal Skills: The ability to work and communicate well with others is one of the most vital abilities and often makes the difference between success and failure. Communication skill, an essential component of interpersonal skill, is also required for a manager which enables the later to interact effectively with others and getting work done efficiently. These skills are “particularly critical for managers, whose primary job responsibilities include hiring, supervising, mentoring and retaining employees”.1
Persuasion and Presentation Skills: Convincing others is a function that managers often need to perform. The most important purpose of presentation for a manager, is to persuade others – to think, feel and act in a manner as desired by the speaker. In most case, persuasion fails when the focus is more on the content of the message rather than the way it is presented.
Decision Making Skills: The quality of managers’ decision is the yardstick of their effectiveness and value to the organization. It is very important for the managers to take the right decision at the right time because managers are primarily evaluated (promoted/rewarded or demoted/penalized) on the basis of the importance and results of their decision.
Motivating Skills: “Motivation is the willingness to exert high levels of pressure towards organizational goal”2. “The manager’s challenge, then, is to channel this energy and direct it towards organization’s ends”3. Thus a manager must know, what motivates his workers the most in order to make each individual employee to perform to the best of his ability.
Change Management Skills: “Changes are imperative for any organization and managers should have the required skills to implement and communicate change to their subordinates” (Atkinson, P. 2005)4. Both structural and individual obstructions are often expected while implementing changes inside an organization and hence, managers should deal with these factors very carefully, rationally and ethically.
Visionary Skills: Effective managers should have a vision for their organization which goes much beyond the results for the next year or so. Great visionary skills are always important for managers to form mutually beneficial relationship with their followers, promote a climate of innovation, team-work and friendship within the organization.
Creative Skills: For business organizations to sustain themselves in the intensely competitive business environment, it is becoming necessary for the managers to be creative and innovative. It helps them to be alert regarding the changes in the business environment and workplace. With this skill, managers can help their respective organizations to be flexible and enjoy a competitive advantage over other rivals in the market.
Emotional Intelligence Skills: Emotions are all-pervasive in any organization. To keep the morale and enthusiasm of their employees to an optimum point, managers are required to possess this skill. As Mayer thinks, the quality of a manager includes the ability to recognize, use, understand and manage emotions for both self and others5. Without a good skill of emotional intelligence, it is practically impossible for managers to build up a successful team.
Multi-Cultural Communication Skills: This is one of the most important skills that a manager requires in today’s world. To be successful in foreign markets, managers should understand cultural differences in terms of attitudes, values, religions, customs, education, and language. Today’s MNCs stress heavily on the development of multi-cultural communication skills on their managers for any successful business deals with other cultures.
Effective management is all about doing the right things at the right time. In face of downsizing, mergers, risks, hazards, changes, conflicts etc., organizations desperately need managers who should possess quality skills as discussed above. Managers are also required to have these skills for successful day-to-day operations of their respective organization. Thus, from the above discussion, it is beyond any iota of doubt that effective managers must possess these skills, which often, makes the difference between being hired and fired.