Manager: Personal Traits, Levels and Skills

After reading this article you will learn about the meaning, personality traits, levels and managerial skills of manager.

Meaning of Manager:

The successfulness of management is depending on an effective, skilled Manager. It is, therefore, necessary to understand the term, “Manager”. Manager is an in-charge of the organization or an activity. He/she is one of the employees in an organization. But there is a difference between Managers, and subordinates.

Subordinates are those people who are working under a manager or supervisor. They are responsible only for their activities. But Managers are responsible not only for his/her activities but also subordinate’s activities. This is the reason for which Managers have some authorities.

The term “Manager” may differ from organization to organization. For example in a bank he will be called as manager, in a school principal, in a cricket team captain. Thus, even though this name may vary, they are the in-charge and responsible for activities and organization.

Personality Traits of a Successful Manager:

Hence the Manager should be skilled and efficient, and they should have certain characteristics, which create a climate for success for themselves and their subordinates, some of the important personality traits of a successful manager are given below:

(a) Knowledge,

(b) Decisiveness,

(c) Ability to handle conflict, and 

(d) Emotional stability.

A. Knowledge:

A manager, almost, may have to face very complex problems. So he/she should have a reasonable degree of knowledge in order to differentiate between facts, inferences and hypothesis as well as speculations, and process this information into useful data for decision making purpose.

The knowledge about competitive markets, about technological advancements and about social changes is very important for taking action.

B. Decisiveness:

Since, the fast and right decision-making is very important or the success and growth of any organization. Managers, should have the skill to recognize and define the problem and also to anticipate problems before they get out of hand. Many opportunities have been missed because of indecisiveness and taking time in checking all the facts.

A good manager, therefore, should be able to make decisions. He/She should possess conceptual logical ability, intuitive and courageous judgment and ability to analyse the problem.

C. Ability to Handle Conflict:

There is a chance to cause conflicts among employees in an organization since, these conflicts generally lead to stress and tension, manager should be highly tolerant of stress and should be able to handle conflicts and differences in a constructive manner.

D. Emotional Stability:

Emotional stability is very important for effective, leadership conversely, emotional instability often leads to wrong. So a manager should be emotionally stable and be able to look and assess the problem with objectivity.

Levels of Manager:

There are basically three levels of Managers in an organization.

These are:

1. Top level or higher level management.

2. Middle level management.

3. Lower level management.

1. Top-Level Management:

The top-level management is a higher level of the organizational hierarchy. Top-level manager is responsible for whole organization. They are primarily involved with the policy making, Long term planning and organizational strategies. Top- level managers are: President, Vice-Presidents, Chief executive officers and directors.

2. Middle Level Management:

The managers who are at the middle level are called as middle level managers. They are carrying out the policies and directions set by the top-level management. They are concerned with short-term goals and specific results. Middle management generally, consists of divisional and departmental heads such as plant manager, production manager, marketing manager and personal manager.

3. Lower Level Management:

Lower level managers will be at the bottom of an organizational hierarchy. They will be called as first level managers or supervisory managers, for example, foremen, Unit heads, supervisors and superintendents. They are responsible for their subordinates. Technical skills and knowledge is very important for these managers. They assist to make a link between the workers and the middle level management.

The levels of management can be shown as in a diagram Fig. 1.2:

Levels of Management

Managerial Skills and Knowledge:

Managerial skill refers to the personal skills, which a manager should possess. A manager’s most important function is to reconcile, to coordinate, to compromise and to understand the various viewpoints and talents of the people working under him. A manager can perform these functions, successfully if he has got the required managerial skills.

Skill may be defined as the ability to transform knowledge and experience into action. It can also apply to mental activity of a manager in directing the people at work. A manager requires mental, moral and physical strength to perform the functions.

The basic skills and knowledge are:

1. Technical Skills and Knowledge.

2. Human Knowledge and skills.

3. Conceptual knowledge and skills.

Technical Skills:

Technical knowledge and skills include understanding and being proficient in using a specific activity such as a process, procedure, or technique. These skills involve with the knowledge, methods and techniques and the ability to use these techniques in performing a job effectively.

Example:

Engineers, Accountants and Mechanics. This skill is highly necessary at the lower level of Management and desirable at the Middle Level Management.

Human Knowledge and Skills:

Human knowledge and skill is ability to work with others and to direct and motivate people with a view to securing optimum performance on their part. The manager is required not only to know what he wants to be done by subordinates but also to communicate his ideas and beliefs to them.

Application of Human knowledge and skills may involve motivating the persuading the subordinates to effects economics, and so on. This skill is necessary at all levels of management.

Conceptual Knowledge and Skill:

Conceptual knowledge and skill is ability to view the organization as a whole. To be able to conceptualize, the manager needs to be imaginative and thoroughly knowledgeable. Then only he can be able to think in abstract terms, and conceive ideas.

Application of this skill may involve with the formulation of a plan to introduce a new product to explore new markets, or trying out new methods of production. It is necessary for top-level manager.

According to Robert Katz, while all three skills are essential to effective management, their relative importance in the case of each manager will depend on his role in the organization. Thus, technical knowledge and skills will be mostly demanded at the lower level management.

Human Knowledge and skills are equally important at all levels of management. Like that, conceptual knowledge and skills are more important for top/high level of management.

This can be shown in the following diagram Figure 1.3:

Levels of Management

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