Commonly Cited Skills
Management is a precise process that an individual can be taught in various educational centres, but certain important skills should be acquired to facilitate easier fulfilment of tasks. For this to happen, an individual has to dedicate adequate time to the process and high level of discipline should be observed. Based on this, communication and problem solving are identified as the two main managerial skills that any leader must adopt if in indeed he or she needs to be successful in the organisation.
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Research shows that any manager has to possess certain qualities, one of them being familiarity with the costs of production while the other entails setting goals based on the defined organisational mission. Additionally, the manager is often expected to have adequate skills that are necessary in the management of people and these skills include communication, leadership, and empowerment.
This shows that communication skills are needed in the management of people and problem solving is critical as regards to conflict resolution and decision-making. A good manager should have access to his or her employees, the ability to assess situations and events, and the ability to use the available information to improve the performance of the organisation in the highly competitive market. Again, highly rated managers are known to be innovative implying that they rarely resist change, which is always inevitable.
Based on this, they will always do everything under their control to ensure that they stop the status quo and replace it with lasting change. Therefore, they have to be organised, alert, and able to prioritise, as this would help them view the future aggressively. Any manager has to be ready to take risks since studies show that organisations that are ready to venture into delicate businesses are able to develop. However, the leader has to be time consciousness to ensure that he or she does not plunge the organisation into trouble. An analysis of the features of a good manager shows that problem solving and communication skills are crucial in the success of an individual wishing to represent the organisation at a managerial level.
Problem Solving Skill-Strength
The main function of the management is to determine those things that should be done in the organisation and ensuring that results are achieved. This means that administration work entails an extensive process of making coherent choices for resource allocation in order to realise the goals in the ever-risky milieu. This implies that the role of the management is to identify resources, both human and capital, execute the duties, and evaluate the performance of the entire organisation.
The goals of the firm cannot be realised without application of planning techniques, best implementation strategies, and control concepts. Research shows that the management is charged with at least five major functions and the first one is planning, which entails generation of the mission statement, goals, and strategies that guide members of the institution in achieving both personal and organisational goals (MacGregor, Ormerod & Chronicle 2001, p. 13).
Organising is the second aspect of management related to establishment of business structure and classifying the tasks, everyday jobs, and the powers of each individual to ensure that confusion does not ensue. The third aspect of management pertains to staffing, which comprises of recruiting the most qualified individuals based on merit, as they are the key resources of the organisation. The staffing process involves enlisting, employing, training, assessing, and paying the workers.
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The fourth aspect entails directing and is mainly concerned with harmonisation, leading, and inspiring employees, including the stakeholders. Finally, the management should have the authority to control and this entails evaluating the performance of workers, reporting data, and comparing results with the established standards. In case something is not being done in the proper way, corrective measures must be taken.
Based on this analysis, it is true that any person intending to lead an organisation must possess problem-solving skills in order to come up with the best policies when making decisions. The manager has to understand that human behaviour varies based on gender, occupational status, culture, and educational level. Therefore, the manager has to apply problem-solving skills diligently to ensure that conflicts do not arise in the organisation, as they have the potential of bringing down the performance of the firm.
Research shows that certain steps should be followed when providing answers to various problems and this includes handling conflicts among employees. First, the management has to inform all the concerned parties of the existence of the problem, as this will enable each one of them to prepare adequately before responding. The manager is supposed to give all the aggrieved parties optimism, but he or she should not forget to be realistic. Secondly, the problem has to be explained clearly and the manager should keep off from making snap judgments that are simply based on anecdotal data, as this will not help in understanding the root causes of the problem.
For instance, an employee performing poorly should not be blamed for lacking adequate skills since the problem might be lying with the line manager who might have failed to communicate effectively the expectations of the department (McEvoy 1998, p. 657). Problem definition calls for the manager to analyse issues from various dimensions since this will definitely play a role in developing a comprehensive solution. The third step in problem solving process is selecting an efficient strategy and the preferred one is brainstorming, which entails creation and recording of thoughts as they arise.
The fourth step, information gathering, is as important as the rest of the steps, even though many managers tend to neglect it. In fact, research shows that no solution can ever be provided without adequate evidence and this cannot be attained without consulting other people, as this will facilitate the understanding of the scope of the problem. The manager may draw examples from other places by looking at the available data as regards to the problem and analysing the courses of action that were taken.
The fifth step, information analysis, is related to data collection because the manager has to assess the problem to understand its details to ensure that it is relevant to the problem under study. In analysing data, the use of flow diagrams, system maps, and cause-effect graphs might be helpful. It is recommended in the sixth step that any solution provided should be based on the data gathered (Malouff & Schutte 2007, p. 43).
The manager might come up with several options, but an assessment of the alternatives should be conducted in the seventh step to ensure that the most viable solution is provided. As stated above, human problems are different and solutions cannot be applied uniformly since some adjustments might be needed to resolve certain issues. Implementation of the solution follows in the eighth step and this only comes after the manager is convinced that the option taken is the best. Therefore, the implementation process should be applied on a limited scale to test the whether the option taken is viable. Finally, the management has to wait for feedback to understand whether the solution has any impact on the organisational performance.
Communication Skill-Complimentary Behavior
Without communication, the manager might not understand the problems affecting the organisation. Therefore, effective communication plays a critical role in resolving differences among employees, building faith and esteem, creating an atmosphere for idea development, and enabling problem solving. Many managers have never paid attention to several aspects of communication and they end up underperforming because the information they pass is always misinterpreted leading to conflicts and disappointments at personal and professional levels.
In the modern society, which is also referred to as the information age, messages are sent, received, and processed in large numbers. However, effective communication calls for an extra effort since it does not simply rely on exchanging information, but instead it depends on understanding the message (Barker 2013, p. 76). If applied effectively, communication has the potential of deepening employee connections, which has an impact on the performance of the organisation, as it facilitates cooperation, decision-making, and problem solving.
In fact, an employee is able to pass negative messages without eliciting harsh reactions if he or she employs effective communication. Communication is a combination of various skills, including non-verbal and listening skills. Listening calls for the manager to focus entirely on the narrator, avoid unnecessary interventions, and keep off from judgments. Through listening, negative emotions can be relived since the employee will feel appreciated. Moreover, it saves time and provides a safer environment for individual fulfilment.
Justification of the Management Skills
The best theory to explain the role of the modern manager is the human relations theory, which criticises Taylor’s management model that viewed human beings as mere objects who respond to rules and incentives. The theory notes that the manager has to understand his or her staff by instituting an efficient communication model and employing the best problem solving skill.
The main assumption of the theory is that human beings are sensitive to information, which means that the organisation has to develop the best approaches regarding information handling and circulation (Whetton & Clark 1996, p. 153). In case the management fails to distribute information as expected, it should be prepared to resolve the conflicts and handle the damage meaning that the manager has to be equipped with modern problem solving techniques that follow specific steps as discussed in the previous section.
Guidelines/Principles of the Theory
One of the major principles of the theory is that the management has to treat workers as human beings and not as machines, which means the main problems facing any employee should be understood. In this regard, the manager does not have to employ the old-fashioned techniques that were previously suggested by Taylor since they are ineffective in the highly competitive market. It should be understood that not all employees respond to financial incentives since others simply demand for recognition whereby their efforts should be appreciated by giving them some offs or leaves.
The management should be concerned with fostering a positive attitude whereby employees are encouraged to form groups and unions to champion their interests instead of acting alone. Furthermore, the theory suggests that the management should try to understand some of the effects of teams and groups on the performance of the organisation. The existing methods of supervision and control should be reviewed to ensure that only the effective ones are retained. Finally, the working conditions of employees should be improved to bolster their productivity.
List of References
Barker, A 2013, Improve your communication skills, Kogan Page, London.
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MacGregor, JN, Ormerod, TC & Chronicle, EP 2001, “Information-processing and insight: A process model of performance on the nine-dot and related problems”. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Vol. 27, no. 1, pp 176-201.
Malouff, JM & Schutte, NS 2007, Activities to enhance social, emotional, and problem-solving skills: Sixty-six activities that teach children, adolescents, and adults skills crucial to success in life, Charles C Thomas, Springfield.
McEvoy, GM 1998, “Answering the Challenge: Developing the Management Action Skills of Business Students”, Journal of Management Education, Vol. 22, no. 5, pp 655-670.
Whetton, D & Clark, SC 1996, “An Integrated Model for Teaching Management Skills,” Journal of Management Education, Vol. 20, no. 2, pp 152-181.