Analyse and discuss the merits and best use of management skills Throughout the essay I hope to be able to interpret the management skills that are essential in today’s working environment. I will also hope to explain my own positive and negative experiences I have come across throughout my working career. The main areas I will cover in this essay on management skills are Leadership, Teamwork, Partnership, Networking, Delegation and Negotiation. We all want to be the best manager we can be, whether it is for your business, small project or social event or to meet targets in your workplace.
Unfortunately most people have experienced bad managers or at least bad management skills in your work or personal life. The benefits of being a very good manager is that you have a productive and happy workforce or team enabling you to achieve great results and for team members feel valued and feel they are making worthwhile contribution to the project and to themselves. Agha Hasan Abedi quotes “The conventional definition of management is getting the work done through people, but real management is developing people through work” So how do you enable the people to achieve the best for your team?
One way is to have excellent leadership skills, so a manager can lead a team to success, whether that would be one section of a project or being able to hit all the targets, to give the company financial benefits. An excellent leader would be a manager that could lead by example, showing their team that they can work hard, put the effort in, are not shunning the menial and difficult work and are willing to “get their hands dirty” with the team to create success. A leader also has to be the person viewing the team analytically. . e. looking in on the team so that they have the knowledge of their team’s positive and negative points, so they can utilise the person with the right skills for the right task and to train the staff to enable someone or everyone to achieve their goal and the teams overall accomplishment. I once worked for the Welsh Assembly in the data capture department for the farming subsidies; I had one main and three deputy managers and worked with between fifty and sixty temporary agency and assembly staff.
The managers never once talked individually to their staff to see what their experience was or what their needs were to be able to give the right procedure or training to the right person. Everyone was grouped together and was told to get on with it. This meant that regularly we would have to go over work already done as there were so many mistakes and the quality of the project was put in jeopardy. The end result was that the farmers were often paid very late for land they did not own for farms that did not exist. The Welsh Assembly did pay one farmer over ? 40,000 for farm land that was situated in the North Sea!
Just by talking and listening to their staff, working beside them and finding the right person for the job, a lot of time and money and reputations could have been saved. Teamwork – no goals can be achieved or positive results gained for a project without co-workers, subordinates or friends working effectively together. For any group of people to work together effectively there must be someone who will stand as the manager of the team; so they can lead the team into working as a whole to achieve success; someone who can address any problems and help to find a solution ensuring everyone feels positive in their role in the team.
As a manager of a team you need to be able to set the direction, provide guidance and support, co-ordinate the teams’ activities, ensure that each team member plays his or hers part, promote the learning and development of team members, consult the team on issues affecting its work and in conjunction with team members, monitor, and review team performance. If all this can be achieved a manager can lead their team to success time and time again.
Striving to gain larger profits, market share or to outmanoeuvre business competitors requires capitalizing on highly effective partnerships either internally within a field or business or externally to start collaboration from an assisting field. Partnerships can also ensure the business or project has the capabilities to support it and can evolve initiatives. The strategy of connectivity to other people and entities is now crucial for innovation and overall success. “Businesses today must propagate connections that provide resources they don’t possess in house and enable them to move quickly to profit. states Mr Stephen Dent from Partnership Continuum. Smart partnerships win not only because of what they do but, even more importantly, from how they do it. They win from leveraging their connectedness and from valuing the building of relationship skills. Partnerships can produce astonishing results—but only when information flows freely, people trust each other, and are loyal to each other and their mutual success. Managers and people can get things done by networking.
Networks are organized connections between people with shared interests when they exchange information, enlist support and create alliances getting agreement with others on a course of action and joining forces to make it happen. It is an essential way of getting things done in organizations – it ensures that the informal organization works. They exist to meet a need and can be dispersed if that need no longer exists, only to be reformed when it reappears. Networks may just consist of people with similar aims or interests who communicate with one another or get together as required.
To start networking you have to identify people who may be able to help, seize any opportunity that presents itself to get to know people who may be useful, have a clear idea of why you want to network – to share knowledge, to persuade people to accept your proposal or point of view, or to form an alliance. You have also got to know what you can contribute – networking is not simply about enlisting support, it is just as much if not more concerned with developing knowledge and understanding and joining forces with like-minded people so that concerted effort can be deployed to get things done.
Ask people if you can help them as well as asking people to help you. Operate informally but be prepared to call formal meetings when necessary to reach agreement and plan action. Make an effort to keep in touch with people. Networks are sometimes set up formally in organizations, for example the ‘communities of interest’ that are created to exchange and share knowledge and experience. Networks can also exist outside the business.
Again, they may consist of like-minded individuals exchanging information and meeting informally, or they may be set up formally with regular meetings and newsletters. But however you make a network they are very useful, especially in these changing times. When I was working in the medical recruitment field for Lifeline locums I began networking when I realised that the business needed more market share of the Welsh NHS positions and to increase the amount Private/NHS general practitioners we could locum. I joined a lot f medical recruitment committees and medical business networks to try and get to the right people who could introduce me to persons who could help the company win business inside the confines of the NHS. I was also informed of a number of NHS tenders to provide locums for certain hospitals that I believe won through networking. This raised the company’s profits fourfold and ensured I had a healthy bonus for the years to come. Even 8 years on I am still in touch with many of the people I made connections with then.
The art of delegation is a precise one that requires time and forethought, time to build a strategy, team member development and realism. Every manager is as good as their team around them and as a manager it is impossible to try and do everything yourself, whether it is because you are afraid of giving over some of the control or that you cannot trust other team members to do the work as well as you, sooner or later you will have to be able to delegate to someone.
Delegation can feel like more work and more hassle than it’s worth, however if you can delegate effectively, it is possible to hugely expand the amount of work that can be completed. When you arrange the workload so that you are working on the tasks that have the highest priority for you, and other people are working on meaningful and challenging assignments, everyone is happier. To delegate effectively, choose the right tasks to delegate, identify the right people to delegate to, and then be available if required.
When I was working in America I used a template like this to be able to make a logical step before I made the decision about whom I could delegate to, this also helped study what types of skills I would need. I could then try to find the best match I had within my team or what was needed to develop them to be able to complete it successfully. Although in my case this template, was normally scratched onto one of my paper food sacks from the fruit company I owned in Colorado. Delegation template| Skill/ Ability | Specific Task or Objective| Measures| Agreed(is it? | Realistic(is it? )| Timings(start/finishdates)| Actions | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Negotiating is the process of communicating back and forth, for the purpose of reaching a joint agreement about differing needs or ideas. It is a collection of behaviours that involves communication, sales, marketing, psychology, sociology, assertiveness and conflict resolution. A negotiator may be a buyer or seller, a customer or supplier, a boss or employee, a business partner.
It is a process of interaction by which two or more parties who consider that they need to be jointly involved in an outcome but who initially have different objectives, seek by the use of argument and persuasion to resolve their difference in order to achieve a mutually acceptable solution. Another important consideration is that negotiation implies acceptance by both parties that agreement between them is required before a decision can be implemented. In an ideal situation, you will find that the other person wants what you are prepared to trade, and that you are prepared to give what the other person wants.
Depending on the scale of the disagreement, some preparation may be appropriate for conducting a successful negotiation. For small disagreements, excessive preparation can be counter-productive because it takes time that is better used elsewhere. It can also be seen as manipulative because, just as it strengthens your position, it can weaken the other person’s. So, in conclusion to ensure that you become an effective manager and have the right skills to be able to steer your team to success you will undoubtedly have to work hard, find out about the people who are working with you and develop a trusting relationship together.
But that is not all; you will need to show you can work hard with them and for them, see what they can do with and without you. See what you could do to develop your team around you and every once in a while take a step back every now and then to see the bigger picture about you and your team. Even within these management skills you have to remember to look outside your team or company and see if there are benefits in creating a network from similar fields or departments that could help strengthen your abilities. Also look out for partnerships that could develop mutual benefits.
I hope this has explained the benefits of management skills and this has helped you to understand the examples of my previous working life. But I hope above all, that you remember to always stand tall and proud and be happy in your work. If you believe in yourself, others will to. | | | References Armstrong, A (2008) How to manage people. London. Kogan page limited Buckingham, M (2007) Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance. London (for Agha Hasan Abedi quote) Cole, G. A. (2004) Management – theory and Practice – Sixth Edition. London, South Western CENAGE learning Chapman, A. 2006-2011) Delegation (online) Business Balls http://www. businessballs. com/delegation. htm [accessed 12th December 2012) Dent, S. M. (2006) Partnership Relationship Management- Implementing a Plan for Success (online) Partnership Continuum, www. partneringintelligence. com (accessed 2nd Jan 2012) “Myopendraft” (2009) Management Skills – Networking (online) www. myopendraft. blogspot. com/2009 (accessed 2nd Jan 2012) Shah, K & Prof. Shah, P. J Date unknown Negotiating Skills (online) Available from http://www. laynetworks. com/Negotiating-Skills. html [accessed 14th Jan 2012) | |