The Skills Required To Be an Effective Manager

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Management skills express the belief that economic change can be made into the most powerful engine for human betterment and social justice (Drucker, 2007).

A perfect manager is an asset for a company. A good manager should have the knowledge about functionality, processes and standard operating procedures of an organization. It is said that leaders are born leaders; some of us have that charisma by birth whereas there are some that needed to learn their way towards it. In this document we will discuss which skills should be there in a good manager? Which are the qualities being a manager we should have in order to ensure a smooth sailing at work? Let's discuss further what makes a good manager.

To be an effective manager one should have leadership skills. There are many ways in which a person can tackle different situations through various leadership roles. A good leader should be a good guide as well. He should be able to guide his team to perform well. He should not dominate all the time.

A good manager should also have a visionary sight for the assistances of the organisation. He should plan the future steps for the development of the company.

One of the most noteworthy skills of a good manager is effective management of time. A leader should be able to plan the schedule and be able to equally divide the time between tasks. Such a person can be an asset for the organisation.

A good manager should encourage the team to perform well to achieve the organisational goals effectively. He should encourage innovative ideas. If some of the members of the team are not performing well, he should tackle the situation with professionalism and should decide accordingly.

Even in a disaster circumstances, a person with good managerial and leadership skills should be able to execute well. He should be mentally strong to handle any kind of situations.

He should also be responsible enough to retain a good and friendly environment. A manager should be profound towards others in the workplace. A happy atmosphere would only lead to more productivity and profitability for the orgnisation.

With these skills, a person can definitely strive to be a good manager and thus be an asset for any organization!

Analysis of the Skills

Skills are the abilities or talents that are required to perform a job functions (Truesdell, 1998 ).

As we know that the recipe to become a good manager contains lots of ingredient and spices. Here in this document we will analyse one personal and one professional skill of a good manager. Some of the skills in human beings are God gifted and some we develop by learning and practice.

Personal Skill

Personal skill is an ability to understand and manage self, management of change, learning to learn, personal responsibility, aesthetic responsiveness and wellness. If a person cannot manage himself/herself as human being, so how can he/she manage anything else?

When the children have a strong foundation of personal skills, they manage themselves and cooperate with others (Ellison, 2001 ).

In this document I will analyse Communication Skill as my personal skill, which is helping me a lot in my personal life and as well as in professional life.

Communication

Effective communication is all about conveying your messages to other people clearly. It's also about receiving information that others are sending to you. Doing this involves effort from both the sender of the message and the receiver. In fact, communication is only successful when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information as a result of the communication.

This awareness needs to be married with reflection on our experiences and adjustment where necessary in our style of communication (Ellis, 2009).

The author is very fond of travelling and making new friends. Infect while one is travelling and communicating with people from different places and culture, it really helps to know others . By doing this we are making new friends, increasing our personal relationship and as well as enjoying the diversity of the cultures.

For me earthquake in Pakistan in the year 2005 was a lession learnt. I was living in Islamabad the capital of Pakistan. When the earthquake shook the earth, the scenes were very horrible. I went to the local office of Red Cross and told them that I want to volunteer myself to go and serve the earthquake effecties. Because of my strong communication skills I had many friends and I also took them to the Red Cross to serve as volunteers. Many of my friends are still working for the Pakistan Red Crescent Society.

Thus I used my personal communication skill to help my own nation and to help my own people. By communicating better we can quickly and easily resolve the minor and bigger issues of our personal life. In addition by better communication we can help other in time and can be beneficial for our friends and companions.

Professional Skill

Most professional skills are outlined and regulated by the professional association of that particular field e.g. Engineers have their own professional associations that deal with specific skill requirements at each level of development. Professional skills differ from profession to profession but there are some basic professional skill which goes on with all the professions. Let's analyse one of the general professional skill.

The development of professional skills, requires practice, experience, role mentorship and evaluative feedback (Kasar & E., 2000)

Presentation

It is important to work hard and finish or complete your work on time or before time. But more important is to present that work to others. If one is working hard but he/she is not presenting himself/herself in a presentable manner, then he/she cannot excel in his/her career.

I would like to share my experience of coming to UK. When I landed at the airport I was accompanied by the lots of Asian students. Most of them were very much afraid and were looking confused. Because they were looking confused, the entry clearance officer was putting more questions to them. Because of their appearance and bad presentation many of them were on hold at the airport. On the other hand I was composed and confident; I went to the visa officer, greeted him and gave him my documents and passport with a smile. Because of my better presentation and confidence the entry clearance officer granted me the entry without putting a single question.

Actually, a great presentation is a combination of three elements: content, design and delivery (Rotondo & Rotondo, 2001)

Personal/Professional Skill Contributing In Organizational Strategy

Skills play a vital role in an organizational setup. One can develop his career by employing and demonstrating personal and professional skills effectively. In the modern age skills play a vital role to develop your career. If you demonstrate good personal/professional skills with right attitude and direction, you will defiantly be rewarded. Personal skills shows that how well managed you are and when you come to work you can organize your work as you have managed yourself.

As far as professional skills are concern they can be developed by training and practice. Normally the environment itself teaches you a lot to build up your institutional memory. It is better to understand what kind of professional skills are required for you to perform you duties and one should try to learn and practice those skills.

Task2

SWOT Analysis of Personal Skills

A SWOT analysis asks us to list all our perceived strengths and weaknesses in terms of skills attributes, interest, attitudes, likes and dislikes. At the same time we are asked to highlight any potential opportunities and threats that we may have to face (Thomas, 2007).

Strengths

Communication Skills

Punctuality

Weaknesses

Don't like repetitions

Unorganised

Opportunities

Personal Relationships

Learn to manage self

Threats

Stress

Key Findings from the SWOT Analysis

As I mentioned good communication as my strength in the SWOT analysis, So by employing my strength of good communication skills I am able to clear many tests and interview. I have had built up personal relationship for my personal and organizational benefits. My other strengths like punctuality support my communication skill additionally to make a good impression on others. By communicating better I always have an opportunity to involve and attach with other easily, by doing that basically I am expanding the circle of my friends.

As far as my weakness is concern, I don't like repetitions. I only understand the practical and logical things. I don't like repetitive tasks and this is the biggest reason of my casual lifestyle.

SWOT Analysis of Professional Skills

The SWOT analysis which includes the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, Opportunities and threats investigates internal and external as well as positive and negative factors of a corporation (Bohm, 2009).

Strengths

Leadership

Presentation

Quick decision maker

Team player

Weaknesses

Bad in record keeping

Bad in financial management

Opportunities

Can apply for management jobs after DMS

Learn to manage documentation and self

Threats

Carelessness

Overconfidence

Key Findings from the SWOT Analysis

As per SWOT analysis of my professional skills I am very good at presentation, leadership, decision making and teambuilding skills. Infect these are my core strengths throughout my career. I was working as a Network administrator in Pakistan and was designing, planning, implementing and maintaining the networking projects. Apart from technical issues I was managing and leading my team well.

I always had this problem of mismanaging documentation and as well as the financial matters. Indeed it is really important for a manager to learn and improve to keep proper documentation and to keep the financial matter up to date and in proper order.

Analysis of Personal/Professional Skills by Using Fishbone Diagram

This is pictorial aid to some form of thinking formed and made popular by a renowned management guru by the name of Ishikawa. A typical base format of fishbone diagram is shown in the figure 1.

Personal Skill

Confusion or over concentration

Losing interest

11th hour decisions

Lack of attention

Bad time Management

Not having thing in writing

Carelessness

Casual lifestyle

Too Many things to do

Figure 1, Fishbone Diagram of personal skill

In the diagram in figure1 a problem has been discussed. The author has a problem of bad time management. I have discussed different reasons and causes of bad time management which are self-explanatory. The most crucial is my casual lifestyle which I need to change immediately otherwise it will start shadowing on my professional career as well.

Professional Skill

Area of work is IT and Telecommunications

Organisational politics

Not been trained

Non cooperative staff members

Bad in managing finance or budgeting

Insufficient time to concentrate

No trainings or workshops at organisational level

Unavailability of funds

Too Many things to do

Figure 2, Fishbone Diagram of professional skill

As far as professional skills are concern I have had many problems in managing finance or budgeting. The major reason for that was that my profession is IT and Telecommunications. Due to this reason the management was not training me to handle financial matters. But according to me indeed it is a need of the time that I should learn finance and budgeting. When we talk about IT/Telecom project planning and designing, we cannot ignore the fact that there will be money involve and we need to budget accordingly.

Learning Styles

Theories of learning have evolved over the last century as a result of numerous experiments conducted, often with animals. Different school of psychological thinking has made their various contributions to the pool of knowledge. No single theory has obtained complete agreement among psychologists about the details of learning process, but many accept the basic premise that the learning occurs whenever one adopts new or modifies existing behaviour patterns in a way that has some influence on future performance and attitude (Sims, 1995).

To gain a better understanding of yourself as a learner, you need to evaluate the way you prefer to learn or process information. By doing so, you will be able to develop strategies which will enhance your learning potential. Everybody has a preferred learning style. Knowing and understanding our learning style helps us to learn more effectively.

There are many ways to find out that what you're learning style is. I have used the model of Honey and Mumford to identify my learning style. According to them people have four different kind of learning styles the Activist, the Pragmatist, the Reflector and the Theorist.

After filling in the diagnostic tests I came to know that I am falling under the category of the Activists. According to the model I have used it describes me as and enthusiast who will try anything, enjoy a challenge and working with others, preferring to be the centre of attention. Weaknesses of and Activist are longer term implementation and perhaps not putting in enough thought before they get started.

Analysis of my learning style (The Activist)

As mentioned above that after applying the learning style model on myself I came to know that my learning style is activist.

Being an activist I have some strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths

More on practical side

Innovative and responsive

Just need a little push to start

Always on my toes to try something different

Always try to push myself to give 100%

Punctuality

Always good and attentive at start

Weaknesses

Hates theories and just talking

Cannot concentrate for a long time

Don't like repetitions or repetitive tasks

Not able to finish things well

Most of the time in hurry

Impact of learning style on personal development

As we have discussed above some of the strengths and weaknesses of my learning style. My learning style has had a big role in my personal development and as well as professional development. It is because of my learning style that I had chosen IT/ Telecommunication as my profession. As an activist I like to do practical things and IT/Telecommunication is the branch of electronics where we do things practically. We plan, design and implement networks. Apart from practicality there have been an innovation involved in my profession, I always try to do different or I try things differently. So my learning style has helped me a lot to develop my personality and profession.

Task3

SMART Goal Analysis

SMART is an acronym that can help us to effectively set our goals. It stands for Specific , measureable, attainable, reasonable and time oriented. Just as following a compass keeps us from getting lost, adhering to these five precepts enable us to stay on the path that will ultimately lead to our success. Setting goals the SMART way is not just limited to financial success but can help you to achieve success in all areas of life, including educational, spiritual and physical goals (Berges, 2007).

Personal Goals by Using SMART Goals

Specific

I have plans to be migrated to Canada by 2013.

Measurable

I have applied for Canadian immigration and I am in the queue since 2007.

Achievable

As I meet the criteria set by the Canadian government. I have two Master's degrees and on top of it I have plans to do MBA from UK, in these circumstances I believe that it is very much possible to achieve this goal.

Realistic

Indeed it is realistic to move to Canada because it has the charm and opportunities in the sector of IT and Telecommunications as compare to Pakistan.

Time oriented

It takes not more than 70 months to complete the whole process according to the old regulations.

Specific

I want to get hold of post study work permit by December 2011 .

Measurable

After completing MBA I can apply for post study work permit.

Achievable

As I am in UK and doing well in my studies, so it seems very much achievable

Realistic

It is realistic to get some hand on experience and improve my learning by getting work permit.

Time oriented

I will complete my MBA by December 2011, so I will be eligible to apply for post study work permit.

Professional Goals by Using SMART Goals

Specific

I have planned to finish off my MBA before December 2011 from a good British University.

Measurable

I am already in UK and doing well in DMS course.

Achievable

It is achievable because I have arranged the entire fee for MBA in advance.

Realistic

As I will finish my first term of DMS by January 2011, so I am on the right track towards MBA.

Time oriented

It will take almost 6 months to complete MBA after DMS.

Specific

Want to get a managerial position in the sector of IT/Telecoms by the end of 2011.

Measurable

I have experience of technical end that has expanded over 9 years. Now I am doing DMS to learn management skills to become a manager.

Achievable

It is achievable if I keep myself of track and complete my studies on time.

Realistic

I have completed first term of DMS, so realistically I am on the right track to achieve my goal.

Time oriented

By the end of December 2011

Personal Development Plan

In recent year role of personal development has become central to the success of those that have made the decisive jump from "doing ok" to "major noticeable and measurable" professional and personal success (Nutley, 2008).

Learning and development need

How does this support your professional and personal goals

Actions to be taken including resources needed to achieve them

Date for achievement/review

Getting post study work permit

It will enhance and enrich my theoretical learning by getting some working experience from UK.

I need to get MBA degree to apply for post study work permit.

December 2011/ I will review my PDP by June 2011.

To learn and improve management skills by doing MBA

I will qualify to apply for managerial jobs

As my first step toward MBA, I am half way through my DMS and it will be completed mid next year. Than I have plans to do top-up MBA.

I want to get MBA by December 2011. I will review my PDP by June 2011.

Reflective Analysis of Attained Goals

In this section we will have a reflective analysis of the goals that I have attained in past in my professional career as well as personal goals.

Let me share analysis of attaining my personal goal. I had an urge to come to UK for higher studies but due to financial constraints it was not possible for me to come to UK and study here. I set a goal four years back that I have to go to UK to get an international qualification.

What have I learnt from my experience?

In the pursuit of my personal goal, I have learnt that nothing is impossible. If you plan realistically, you can achieve your goals easily.

What went well?

The best part was that the right things were happening to me at the right time. I got a good job at the right time, that job lasted for more than four years and that was the platform from where I set my goals and started planning things for myself.

What could have gone better?

The only thing that could have gone better was the environment. I this very moment most of the countries are going through or recovering from recession. If the environment could have progressive there was a chance for us being an international student to get some hands on experience as well on what we have learnt.

How can I put into practise what I have learnt?

The best way to put my leaning into practice is to plan realistically in future, considering my present situation. When it comes to set goals, at times what we do is, we set our goals very unrealistic or unachievable. So when one is setting goals for himself of herself, he or she should be aware of his or her present situation.

In my professional career I had a very good experience of working for Red cross. While working there I got promotions at regular intervals. I would like to share my past professional working experience.

What have I learnt from my experience?

My key learnings from my experience of working with Red Cross are that it is important to work hard but the key thing is to show your work to get promoted within the organisation.

What went well?

The best part was that I was very much sound technically so it was very much easy for me to find my place and very easily I established myself and my repute in the organisation.

What could have gone better?

I should have learnt how to deal with organisational politics. I was not part of the politics and that was the reason many of the lobbies were against me. While working in and organisational structure one must learn how to deal with the politics within the organisation.

Another thing is that I could have projected my work more, because I was doing the hard work all the time and my bosses were taking the credit on my behalf.

Task 5

Evaluation of Activities in this learning programme

In this specific learning programme, we have learnt about the personal management, in other words before getting in the professional career one must learn how to manage self. During this learning programme of twelve week we have learnt different personal and professional skills and we have had the chance to practice those skills in the classroom and while doing the group work. Specifically this learning programme has provided us the base to learn the management skills at professional level.

The learning programme was evenly structured both for experience and inexperience students, which was the best part of the learning programme. The key skill which we have learnt in this programme were

Report writing

Presentation

Time management

Leaning styles

SWOT analysis

Smart goals

Stress management

Now let us evaluate these entire key learning one by one

Report Writing

Report writing is a key skill when it comes to the professional working environment. If we talk about the professional working environment, we have to write reports regarding our daily, weekly, monthly or yearly report. Report writing is also vital when it comes to career growth, a person who can show his work well has a better chance to get promoted, because ultimately it is the report which is going to the management which shows your performance.

Key learning

In this learning programme we have learnt about, how to write a report, what is the proper format of a report, what should be the language, what should be the style , what should be the formatting, how to start and end the report.

Constraints

As most of the students are from Asian origin and English is not their native language, due to that they were having communication problems. Because of this the teacher had to maintain a slow pace during the course and that really affected the practical work.

Recommendations

As far as theory is the concern the course was really good but somehow we are still short of practice. We understand the limitation of time but the essence of this course is learning by doing. So the sessions should have been more practical.

Presentation

Presentation is also very important skill to learn, especially in this modern age, if one don't know how to present himself, he cannot make progress in his professional career.

Key Learning

In this activity we have learnt; how to make presentations, what should be the contents, what should be the layout, presentation should be specific, how to present with style and confidence.

Constraints

Most of the students were not confident or they were feeling shy to come and present their work. They were given many chances to apply this skill.

Recommendations

It should be compulsory for the student for this learning programme to present in front of the class.

Time Management

Managing time and being punctual is the need of the time. It is one of the biggest cause to have a bad appraisal by your boss. It is one of the key skill of a good manager. A good manager should be able to manage his own time and also he needs to assign tasks at the right time to his team members.

Key Learning

We have been briefed about the importance of time management and after that an exercise was given to assess that how we manage our time and how it should be managed.

Constraints

We have only covered one side of the picture; we should have discussed the impact of bad time management on one's career. I would have been better if it could have explained by some audio visual support.

Recommendations

It is recommended to include audio visual aid in this specific learning activity to clear the concepts effectively.

Learning styles

It was the first ever experience for most of us to learn our learning style. It really helps if one knows about his learning style. By this way we can learn quick and also effectively.

Key Learning

This activity was very unique. In this activity we have leant that what is our learning style and how we can learn in a better way.

Constraints

Most of the students were confused while doing the exercise, because it was too long and complex.

Recommendations

It would be better if we put this activity in the start of the course, so that students should be aware of their learning style since beginning.

Rest of the learning activities were also quite helpful for us to learn more about self-management and management at work place. Doing SWOT analysis on personal and professional skills was very helpful to figure out the strength and weakness. In SMART analysis we learnt how to set goals and how to achieve them. The element of stress was also discussed during the course and a session was given on how to manage stress personally and at work place.

We can conclude that this whole set of activities was very much helpful to enhance and improve out daily life and management skills. It was also a learning experience to learn from the experience of the other classmates.

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