Successful Conceptual Management Skills at Work
Management is more than just telling employees what to do it requires a particular set of skills to be successful.
Management has a significant effect on productivity and employee retention. A great manager needs to understand business, finance, communications and have in-depth knowledge of their respective market, relevant to technologies and policies. Although managers are not necessarily the most important people in the organization, their work is essential.
According to a study by Marqui Management a management consulting firm, management skills often overlap with leadership qualities as they both include taking initiative, problem-solving, decision making, communication and time management. Good managers are usually good leaders, yet the two remain different, how?
What are management skills?
Simply put, management skills are the abilities of people in management positions to perform specific activities or tasks. Any skill can forgo development through learning and practical experience. When we talk about management skills, we focus on proficiency and the way you should perform your daily tasks. To become more productive, you will need three key skills to help you manage and to ensure the efficiency of your responsibilities.
Author of, Skills of an Effective Administrator, published in the 1974 Issue of the Harvard Business Review, Robert Lee Katz identifies three types of skills that are essential to a successful management process, they are the technical, human and conceptual skills. Each set should be learned but why should you focus on conceptual skills?
The importance of conceptual skills
By mastering conceptual skills, you will convey confidence for a more abstract way of thinking, allowing you to oversee and analyze everything and without being overwhelmed. Visualize the entire organization and being able to predict the future of your department or the corporation as a whole. It is vital for a manager’s vision to align with the future of the business.
Conceptual skills are less crucial for mid-level managers and not a requirement for entry-level positions. However, as you transition from the bottom of the management hierarchy, the importance of these skills will increase. However, everyone can still benefit from further developing these abilities because it is always helpful to know how your role fits into the broader goals of the organization. There are many conceptual skills which can be defined by three.
Communication is the foundation for every relationship, even in the workplace. In 2015, James Harter and Amy Adkins wrote that communication is one of the great things managers do to engage their employees.
With less than one-third of Americans engaged at their jobs in a year, a study by Gallup concluded that management accounted for 70 percent of the variance.
Diplomacy and delegation are two skills that will help any manager stand out and boost employee performance.
Whether it is two members of your team debating how to handle a task, or another manager violating your territory, avoiding workplace conflicts is easier said than done. If you respect your employees and help them find a compromise, you have a better chance at gaining respect. In the same way, it is better to face a conflict between two workers without offending either one of the parties.
Being diplomatic is not always easy, especially in tense situations, but the more sensitive and respectful you are, the better your relationships with your employees. Mastering this will make you a better manager.
If you are a manager, there is a reason why you have several employees who report to you. Completing a project is often a team effort, but getting involved in every single task can be a distraction from your responsibilities. A great manager knows when to delegate and when to intervene directly.
Delegation does not make you lazy; it makes you efficient when you know the appropriate time to give up control, it could free up time in your agenda for more significant responsibilities.
Two: Time Management
At the management level, time is arguably the most valuable resource. Again, you are not only responsible for your tasks, but the jobs of several others as well and this requires strategic planning and organizational skills.
Individual managers may or may not be personally involved in formulating the corporate strategy, but even those who are not yet able to plan, can get specific goals and then take responsibility for developing ways to achieve those goals. You might have to adjust another person’s plans to the new circumstances. In any case, you need to know and understand what your resources are, develop schedules and budgets, assign tasks and responsibilities, which will require you to be very well-structured.
Organization means creating structures to support or realize a plan. This plan includes the creation of a design for the office, new strategies, multi-tasking during projects and how to move towards deadlines while measuring milestones.
Research classes or workshops to advance your understanding of Microsoft Excel and keep everything in spreadsheets for convenience. Aspects of organization can also mean helping the employees under your leadership to manage their time and tasks properly, which brings us to the third conceptual skill.
Leadership is a required skill for management positions, regarding production and overall efficiency in the workplace. Anyone can give orders, but it takes a great leader to increase employee engagement, like the other two skills, leadership is a skill which is developed. Management is the role of overseeing and taking responsibility.
Another thing distinguishing great from poor managers is the ability to build and motivate a team. Of course, creating this type of environment often means hiring the right group of people first, but even after you have built a strong team, your work does not stop there. Team building is a continuous and evolving process, if you succeed, you have a better chance of getting reliable employees and better overall results. Looks for ways to get each of your employees active in some form of career advancement training.
Monitoring means keeping track of what is going on and this can range from supervising employees, reviewing business models, tracking inefficiencies, to verifying the timely and budgetary execution of a given project. This supervision is the maintenance phase of administration follows the implementation of the previous skills. It is also helpful to carefully monitor the efforts of each employee so that you can offer the right guidance and mentorship.
Leadership positions are some of the highest paying jobs in the country. Because of this, leadership, whether good or bad, can have a huge impact. It is a significant factor in employee retention and production and though it lists as number three, should not be taken lightly.
How to improve conceptual skills
Conceptual skills, like human skills, are not as well understood as technical skills by management employees. Various methods have been tested to help with developing this ability. According to Katz, one of the best ways to improve conceptual skills is through coaching by a superior. Assigning responsibilities, then instead of giving answers, respond with questions or opinions.
Katz said, “Another excellent way to develop conceptual skill is through trading jobs, that is, by moving promising young men through different functions of the business but at the same level of responsibility.” This gave the young men a chance to be “in the other fellow’s shoes.”