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Managers as leaders

Discuss about the Managing People in Organizations.

People management in organizations is becoming more critical in the modern world in a bid to maximize productivity and attain efficacy. Managers are therefore faced with the responsibility of managing workers so as to improve the value of their companies. The concept ‘manager’ encompasses several tasks and directions an individual can trail in order to become successful as a manager in the specific environment. The name ‘manager’ epitomizes quite a general term to indicate a person’s profession. Nonetheless, such general approach does not relate to the quintessence of the profession itself. The present paper is a reflection of what I have learnt throughout my management course.

Before undertaking this course, I was a bit confused on the role of a manager as a leader. Like most people, I have always used the term leader to synonymize the term manager. In my teenage years, I worked for various organizations part time. The duties and responsibilities of a manager seemed to be similar in all organizations. Growing up as a learner, I associated the role of management to the teachers. To me, the teachers acted as ‘commanding officers’ who ensured that everything in the classroom ran smoothly. They taught, gave us homework and were in charge of enrolling newcomers. It never occurred to me that one could actually become a leader before ‘attaining’ the title manager. Are there managers who are not leaders? That was the first question I asked myself.


A manager need not only be a good technician, but should also focus on the workers instead of concentrating on tasks. Managers are thus expected to rely on other individuals instead of relying solely on themselves (Chun, 2012). My perspective lies with Chi et al. (2017) that managers are required to be team ‘artists’ since management is ‘independent and nuanced’. They further argue that team spirit is one of the most important qualities for a manager to possess. According to Virgil (2015) there is no difference between management and leadership. He defines a manager as a leader who works at his own organization level. However, some researchers claim that there is a difference between managers and leaders. Hervey and Fuimano (n.d.) argue that managers and leaders have different skill sets, and only few individuals possess both. He further argues that leaders are accountable for selecting the course of the organization and the setting the goals. A leader can therefore employ a manager to help in the accomplishment of such tasks. In my opinion, a leader is a manager with the ability to secure the trust of his employees and motivate them to undertake their responsibilities. Managing individuals relates to managing their actions, consequently aiding them in contributing towards the organization’s objectives. Managers should therefore aim at developing their leadership skills if they have to run successful organizations since effective management can only be achieved after attaining effective leadership qualities.

Management Skills

During our various discussions throughout the course, we came several books and articles centered on management. For instance, According to Nicoleta Valentina (2014), a good manager puts organizational goals first. All the authors we came across identified models of managerial amalgams. Although managerial skills vary depending on the type of organization, most skills are basically the same.

Decision making and planning, organizational and leadership skills are some of the most important skills each that managers should possess. According to Louise and Clayton (2013) decision making and planned encompasses composition of organizational goals and choosing the best approaches that can be employed to achieve them. Organizing presumes that a manager has the ability to choose and involve essential resources and individuals into accomplishing the objectives. Leading presumes that the manager has the ability to team up individuals to accomplish the objectives while controlling skills allow the manager to monitor progress of the projects.


Communication skills are also vital in managing people. Communication is an important tool in the accomplishment of organizational goals. A manager should have excellent communication skills coupled with interpersonal skills. Communication skills enable managers to explain organizational goals to the employees and to inform shareholders CEOs of the performance of the organization. Interpersonal skills on the other hand allow managers to interact with people from various backgrounds, motivate them and involve them in decision making. Other managerial skills include technical skills, time-management and conflict resolution skills. Interacting with various classmates has allowed me to realize that managers should involve their employees in decision making to boost their motivation, contrary to my overly controlling behavior each time I am given a leadership position. I realized that I also had to work on my interpersonal skills if I was to make a successful manager in future.

Nobody is born with managerial skills. We develop different skills as we grow and interact with different individuals. For instance, technical skills can only be gained in school, where one accumulates professional knowledge in their preferred situations. Developing managerial skills is vital for people who have a vision to become managers in future.

As earlier stated, it is important for managers to possess interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills are developed from childhood and advance as we grow up. Nonetheless, it is essential to extricate a set of important interpersonal skills for our future professions. Communication is one of the main necessities in managerial work since it helps in developing relationships and interacting with different individuals. Development of communication skills starts through communication with members of your family, peers and tutors. In my opinion, these individuals belong to different organizational levels and thus are worth experimenting with. It therefore becomes important to evaluate our daily communication with individuals, our challenges and success in order to improve interpersonal skills.

Development of Managerial Skills

It is also important for managers to develop decision-making skills. Decisions affect not only our professional work but also our daily lives. Decision making skills enables us as individuals to analyze the problem at hand to come up with the best solutions. For best solutions, it is essential to apply basic analytical skills to weigh solutions and consider the best alternatives. I have always realized that my decision making skills are wanting. For instance, I tend to succumb to peer influence when it comes to making weekend plans. This course has helped me to learn that to be a good manager; I have to start making firm decisions by applying my analytical skills rather than deciding unconsciously.

Good managers are defined by certain characteristics. One such characteristic is creativity. Cattani (2017) defines creativity as the ability to come up with unique ways of accomplishing different tasks. Creativity is especially important in change management. During one of my part-time jobs, I realized that managers are met by resistance in times of change. Such resistance prompts conflict, creating new problems for managers to solve on a daily basis. I was therefore determined to learn about change management before applying for a managerial position. Creativity enables a manager to come up with different solutions to solve conflicts amongst employees. In addition, a creative manager is able to encourage employees to think creatively, thus increasing the firm’s productivity. One important aspect to remember is that involving employees in decision making helps reduce resistance in times of change since it gives them a sense of belonging.

Another characteristic that helps in managing people in organizations is flexibility. Managers who are flexible can easily adapt to new situations as they occur. For instance, when faced with tough economic times, a flexible manager is able to change the product line. In my opinion, flexibility allows managers to work effectively in any environment. Employees, on the other hand, tend to emulate their superiors. A flexible manager can therefore easily lead employees through a change process (James, 2015).

Conclusion

Managing people in organizations requires both leadership and management skills. This course has helped me to realize that such skills must be developed on theoretical foundations using our daily life as active hands-on experience. An effective manager should however be ready to learn and develop their managerial skills thorough out their life.

References

Cattani, G. (2011). Project-Based Organizing and Strategic Management. Bingley, U.K.: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Chiu, C. (., Balkundi, P., & Weinberg, F. J. (2017). When managers become leaders: The role of   manager network centralities, social power, and followers' perception of leadership. The  Leadership Quarterly, 28(Dynamic viewpoints on Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories), 334-348. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2016.05.004

Chun, K. H. (2012). Whose Interests Should the Managers Serve - Insights from the Recent  Korean Cases on LBO Transactions null [article]. Asian Business Lawyer, 63.

Hervey, P., & Fuimano, J. (n.d). Essential skills for managers' success. Becoming an outstanding leader & manager: understanding the differences between managing & leading.

James W., B. (2015). “Resistance to Change—A New Perspective: A Textbook for Managers Who Plan to Implement a Change” by Daniela Bradutanu. Acta Universitatis Danubius: ,           Vol 9, Iss 2, Pp 127-129 (2015), (2), 127.

Louise K., C., & Clayton, W. (2013). Developing Decision-Making Skills for Uncertain Conditions: The Challenge of Educating Effective Emergency Managers. Journal Of     Public Affairs Education, (1), 53.

Nicoleta Valentina, F. (2014). THE IMPACT OF HR MANAGERS’ ROLES ON IMPLEMENTING BEST HR PRACTICES AND ATTRACTING AND RETAINING BEST EMPLOYEES. Management & Marketing, Vol XII, Iss 2, Pp 190-204 (2014), (2),    190.

VIRGIL, P. (2012). SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP. Analele Universit??ii Constantin Brâncu?i Din Târgu Jiu : Seria     Economie , Vol 2, Iss 2, Pp 126-135 (2012), (2), 126.

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