What Are the Four Important Types of Managerial Skills?

by Devon Willis ; Updated September 26, 2017
Managers need to earn the trust and respect of subordinates to be effective leaders.

Management is not a simple task; it requires skills that need to be learned and knowledge and expertise gained through hands-on experience. Managerial skills represent the knowledge necessary for performing specific tasks related to the job, knowledge that typically needs to be acquired through practical task fulfillment. In every job, there's a learning curve during which the person learns skills and gains knowledge to perform the job effectively. Skills should not be confused with talents, which are inherent abilities.

People Management Skills

The ability to work with people, and motivate and lead individuals or a team within an organization, is an essential management skill. Being able to interact with subordinates, peers and superiors on a regular basis is part of the job that requires people management skills, which includes communicating effectively, motivating employees, creating a favorable work environment, ensuring the workplace is safe and fostering a spirit of cooperation.

Conceptual Skills

Managers must also have conceptual skills, the ability to understand varying degrees of complexity in specific situations, and reduce the complexity level by acting promptly and efficiently. An example would be the recognition and understanding of competitor changes in marketing strategy, and the counter strategy that needs to be designed and implemented. Other aspects of conceptual skills include visualization of the relationship of the organization to the industry, community, and political and economic scene. It also involves thinking in terms of relative emphasis and priorities of conflicting objectives.

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Technical Skills

Technical skills cover expertise in a specific field, for example, finance, human resource, public relations, accounting and marketing. Technical skills are required to carry out specific tasks that fall within the purview of the job. Examples include analyzing marketing statistics, writing and implementing computer programs, completing financial statements, drafting designs for automobiles, writing legal documents, and planning marketing strategies. Managers whose technical skills are not up to par with those they supervise will often find themselves disrespected.

Decision-Making Skills

Good leadership stems from an individual’s ability to make good decisions. As a leader, a variety of factors that can affect a decision need to be considered. Part of the decision-making process is the ability to make firm decisions. It also involves a high level of skill in knowing when flexibility is needed to adapt to change, and making fast adjustments depending on the situation. A manager who demonstrates a high level of intelligent decision-making will create confidence in his leadership.

About the Author

Devon Willis started writing in 2002. He has worked for publication houses like Edward Elgar Publishing and Nelson Thornes in Gloucestershire, England. He has a B.A. in journalism and a M.A. in mass communication from the University of Gloucestershire and London Metropolitan University, respectively.

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