Researchers have identified a
number of skills that differentiate effective from ineffective managers.
Technical skills encompass the ability to apply specialized
knowledge or expertise. When you think of the skills of professionals such as civil
engineers or oral surgeons, you typically focus on the technical skills they have
learned through extensive formal education. Of course, professionals don’t have
a monopoly on technical skills, and not all technical skills have to be learned
in schools or other formal training programs. All jobs require some specialized
expertise, and many people develop their technical skills on the job.
The ability to understand, communicate with, motivate,
and support other people, both individually and in groups, defines human
skills . Many people are technically proficient but poor listeners, unable
to understand the needs of others, or weak at managing conflicts.
Because managers get things done through other people, they must have
good human skills.
Managers must have the mental ability to analyze and diagnose
complex situations. These tasks require conceptual skills . Decision making,
for instance, requires managers to identify problems, develop alternative
solutions to correct those problems, evaluate those alternative solutions, and
select the best one. After they have selected a course of action, managers must
be able to organize a plan of action and then execute it. The ability to integrate
new ideas with existing processes and innovate on the job are also crucial conceptual
skills for today’s managers.
Sources: Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2013). Organizational behavior. Boston: Pearson.