How to expand your managerial skills
As companies face the strains of dealing with both the ongoing economic downturn and the rapid development of technology, as well as the usual challenges of business, the management skills at every level of an organization are being put to the test.
A brief definition of management
Management can be loosely defined as the coordination of people and activities to achieve set objectives, using the resources that are available. In reaching the goals that have been set, management strives to be efficient and effective in making use of time and money, as well as the other resources at hand. Within this general framework definition of management, the tasks involved can be divided into sub-sets. Therefore, management covers areas such as planning, leading, and controlling, among others.
Different sectors of management
The areas or sectors that fall under the umbrella concept of management can be rather diverse. This can present challenges for managers, who may need to learn or experience a full breadth of skills and topics in order to become effective at their jobs. One of the fundamental sectors of business management is strategy and planning, which requires the ability to envision the future state of a company or enterprise, and to devise methods of reaching that state. The necessary tasks to do this will almost certainly require the skills of another aspect of management, which is communication and marketing. Here, different approaches will be needed according to different communication tasks, to achieve the required outcomes in, for example, staff motivation or sales.
This is linked to a third area of management, namely interpersonal relations, where a managerial skill set is crucial in order to effectively lead people within the organization and to work successfully with contacts from outside. In addition, the necessity for skills with the latest technology is almost unavoidable in a modern business, while all of these sectors of management are underpinned by ability in the area of problem solving. Through experience and training, managerial skills in all these sectors can be expanded.
Different options for expanding managerial skills
Given the diverse nature of the skills necessary to deal with all these different areas of management, a comprehensive knowledge of the various aspects of business is required. It is certainly true that such vital entrepreneurial and managerial skills can often be accumulated as experience over a period of time. Nevertheless, training in aspects of management is also advisable, indeed essential, in many cases, for example in the area of business administration. While some things can be self-taught to some degree, many aspiring managers also find that having a mentor or a coach can be helpful, either for management as a whole or for the specific sectors of management. For a more comprehensive approach, on-the-job learning may be a possibility, but formal training, often leading to a recognized qualification, is still, for many people, one of the most effective ways to expand knowledge and learn new skills.