Creative Problem Solving Skills
Developing effective management skills to deal with specific challenges and problems of each organization is the urgent needs of many businesses and organizations in the global competitive environment, rapid changing of technology and environment. The new tendency of training and development of successful organizations over the world today is developing effective skills in dealing with specific challenge of their own organization to reach their own mission and objectives in the new organization that characterized by networked, flat, flexible, diverse, global organization.
“Effective Management Skills” to help people and organization improving their own effectiveness and efficiency. Globalization and rapidly developing technology shows we are in a period of intense competition. Proper management is vital in these complex environments. The quality of manager and effective management styles can determine the culture of the organisation, the productivity of its staff, and, ultimately, success or failure.
A manager should have the ability to direct, supervise, encourage, inspire, and co-ordinate, and in doing so facilitate action and guide change. Managers develop their own leadership qualities and those of others. Management utilizes planning, organisational and communications skills. These skills are important in leadership also, but even more so are qualities such as integrity, honesty, courage, commitment, sincerity, passion, determination, compassion and sensitivity.
An effective manager should have the following skills.
Creative Problem Solving Skills:
Describing and analyzing a problem.
Identifying causes of a problem.
Developing creative options and choosing the best course of action.
Implementing and evaluating effective and efficiency of the decision.
2.1 Listening skills.
2.2 Presentation skills.
2.3 Feedback Skills.
2.4 Report writing skills.
Conflict Management Skills:
3.1 Identifying sources of conflict – functional and dysfunctional conflicts.
3.2 Understanding personal style of conflict resolution.
3.3 Choosing the best strategy for dealing with a conflict.
3.4 Developing skills in promoting constructive conflicts in organization and teams.
4.1 Distinguishing distributive and integrative negotiations, position and principle negotiation.
4.2 Identifying common mistakes in negotiation and ways to avoid them.
4.3 Developing rational thinking in negotiation.
4.4 Developing effective skills in negotiation that benefits all parties involved.
Self-Awareness and Improvement:
Understanding the concept of self-management.
Evaluate the effectiveness of self-management.
Developing creative and holistic thinking.
Understanding the importance of emotions in works as well in self-development.
Understand of self-motivation.
Effectively managing self-learning and change.
There are certain other qualities required for a good manager to manage his staff.
A Manager has to take a long-term view; while a team member will be working towards known and established goals, the manager must look further ahead so that these goals are selected wisely. By thinking about the eventual consequences of different plans, the manager selects the optimal plan for the team and implements it. The manager ensures that work is not repeated nor problems tackled too late, and that the necessary resources are allocated and arranged.
The Manager has access to information, which the team needs. The role of a manager is important because authority, which the manager holds uniquely within the team and the manager, must exercise the power for the benefit of the team for the effective productivity.
In any company, there are problems, which can deflect the work force. The manager should be there to guard against these and to protect the team. If a new project emerges which not given an impossible deadline. If someone in your team brings forward a good plan, you must ensure that it receives a fair hearing and that your team knows and understands the outcome. If someone is in your team has a problem at work, you have to deal with it.
Inspires a Shared Vision
An effective manager is often described as having a vision of where to go and the ability to articulate it.
Qualities of a Manager
A manager has to direct, inspire and motivate his men at work. He has to clearly set forth the objectives for them and inject in them enthusiasm to achieve the objectives. He has to be a competent person in the area of his specialization. He must be a man of open mind, moral and emotional integrity and capable to understand and solve problems.
It is difficult to give an exhaustive list of all traits and qualities which go to make a successful manager. However, some of the important traits contributing to the success of managers are as follows:
Ability to think
It is difficult to think and think clearly and purposefully. Ability to think in clear terms and with definite purpose in view is a must for a manager to succeed. He must be able to think rationally.
A manager must be able to take into consideration the overall effect of his functioning on the company as a whole. Sectarian view, thinking in terms of ‘my department’, is not conductive to the smooth working of the company. Therefore, a manager must take a comprehensive view of each of hia action.
One of the functions of a manager is to direct his subordinates. It means he must communicate with them. Effective communication depends upon clarity of expression. Even the best conceived idea or instruction is worthless unless it can be communicated effectively. Therefore,
Though a manager need not be a technician, it is necessary that he possesses the necessary degree of technical competence relating to his field. This would help him to handle his subordinates effectively. Technical skills are more important at the supervisory level.
Human Relations skills
Human relation skills refer to ones ability to work well with others on a person to person basis and to build up cooperative group relations to accomplish organizational goals. A manager must keep in mind that he has to lead his subordinates and not to drive them. He should possess adequate knowledge of the factors and forces which go to ensure good relations, motivate people for best of their performance and generate cooperative and competent human behavior.
The ability to communicate with people is the most important skill by managers and team members. The Manager is also the team’s link to the larger organisation. He must have the ability to effectively negotiate and use persuasion when necessary to ensure the success of the team and project. Through effective communication, manager support individual and team achievements by creating guidelines for accomplishing tasks and for the career advancement of team members.
If Managers are negative – they bring staffs down. Manager with enthusiasm, with a bounce in their step, with a can-do attitude. Many people tend to follow people with a can-do attitude. Enthusiastic Managers are committed to their goals and express this commitment through optimism.
Managers will be chosen based on their ability to successfully lead others rather than on technical expertise, as in the past. Having a winning track record is the surest way to be considered competent. Expertise in management skills is another dimension in competence. The ability to challenge, inspire, enable, model and encourage must be demonstrated if managers are to be seen as capable and competent.
Ability to Delegate Tasks
Trust is an essential element in the relationship of manager and his or her team. You demonstrate your trust in others through your actions – how much you check and control their work, how much you delegate and how much you allow people to participate.
Cool Under Pressure
In a perfect world, projects would be delivered on time, under budget and with no major problems or obstacles to overcome. A leader with a hardy attitude will take these problems in stride. When leaders encounter a stressful event, they consider it interesting, they feel they can influence the outcome and they see it as an opportunity.
A team builder can best be defined as a strong person who provides the substance that holds the team together in common purpose toward the right objective. In order for a team to progress from a group of strangers to a single cohesive unit, the leader must understand the process and dynamics required for this transformation. He or she must also know the appropriate leadership style to use during each stage of team development. The leader must also have an understanding of the different team players styles and how to capitalise on each at the proper time, for the problem at hand.
Communicate the big picture
If you want your employees to work hard and be committed to your business, you have to keep them in the loop. Open communication helps foster loyalty and gives employees a sense of pride. It helps them understand how their work contributes to the company’s success.
Delegate work and responsibilities
Some employees, share their workload with them and assign the work according to people’s strengths and weaknesses, and let employees develop their own good work habits and abilities.
Help employees set goals
Setting deadlines and goals helps keep employees focused, busy and motivates them to do their work. Talk to each of your employees about the company’s goals, and work with them to set individual goals directly linked to your business’s mission. Make sure employees understand their professional growth path in the company.
It is impossible to know about personality conflicts, lagging productivity or other problems in the office if you have your head in the sand. If you notice a change in an employee’s work habits or attitude, try to get to the root of the problem before it starts affecting the rest of your staff.
A manager must be a good organizer. Ability to organise well is a quality of a vital importance to make a successful manager.
A manager must possess the desire to move ahead, to introduce change for better, to do something new. He must always look for doing something bigger and better.
A manager must be able to keep his personal likes and dislikes away from his organizational responsibility. It means that in solving the business problems of his company, he must not allow his personal feeling to influence his decisions. This requires stable emotional feelings.
A manager must enjoy the unshakable confidence of both his superiors and subordinates. Botha as a person and in his actions, he must be known as a person of high moral integrity. He must remember the saying that it is not enough to be good, one must also appear to be good.
Roles of a Manager
Management is the effective utilization of human and material resources to achieve the enterprise objectives. The human resources or people use material resources such as machines, materials and money. It is for the management to ensure that people use material resources in the most efficient manner. Only then the objectives of the enterprise could be achieved. For the effective utilization of resources, the workers may be given adequate instructions and training. They must
also be properly motivated so that they work with devotion and loyalty for the achievement of organisational objectives.
For this, every manager guides and direct the efforts of a group of persons in the organisation. He defines the objectives of his group keeping in view the overall objectives of the enterprise. Each member of the group is assigned a specific task so that the targets of the group as a whole may be achieved. This is necessary for achieving the objectives of enterprise.
Some of the characteristic that are common to most of the managers are as follows:
Managers spend a major portion of their time in achieving coordination between human and non-human resources.
Managers do much work at an unrelenting pace.
Managerial tasks are characterized by brevity, variety, and fragmentation.
Managers prefer live action- brief, specific, well-defined activities that are current, non-routine, and non-reflective.
Managers prefer oral to written communication.
Managers maintain a vast number of contacts, spending most time with subordinates, linking them with superiors and others in a complex network.
It has observed that managing involves certain functions. While performing these functions, a manager has to play multiple roles. A role consist of the behavior patterns displayed by a manager within an organisation or a functional unit.
Henry Mintzberg identified ten basic roles performed by managers at all levels from foreman to chief executives and classified them under three heads: interpersonal, informational and decisional.
These roles describe what managers actually do.
The first set of behaviour concerns interpersonal roles, which include the following:
Figurehead: Executive managers perform a number of ceremonial duties such as representing their firm at public affairs and overseeing official functions. Lower level managers have ceremonial duties as well, perhaps on a lesser scale, including attending employees’ customers.
Leader: This encompasses a range of duties suggested earlier including motivating workers, guiding work-related behavior, and encouraging activities that help achieve organisational objectives.
Liaison: Managers find themselves acting as liaison between groups and individuals which are part of, or come in contact with, an organisation. This liaison role is important for establishing contacts with suppliers, coordinating activities among work groups, and encouraging harmony needed to assure effective performance.
Informational roles are concerned with communication among individuals and groups, but, managers must also be skilled in gathering and using information to help make effective decisions. They should be able communicators who can transmit information and articulate decisions. Mintzberg’s three informational roles are as follows:
Monitor: Managers monitor activity, solicit information, gather data, and observe behaviour. Well-informed managers are prepared for decision-making and can redirect behaviour to improve organisational performance.
Disseminator: Here communications are reversed. Rather than receive information, managers transmit information. Obviously, this is a crucial aspect of management. Subordinates, superiors and managers of similar work groups rely on timely of information disseminated with clarity.
Spokesperson: Top executives find themselves more involved as spokespersons than lower-level managers. A firm’s policy on competition, its philosophy customer care and its commitment to safety are topics common in executive speeches. However, managers at all levels are spokespersons who may be called upon to represent their groups. For example, when department heads meet to discuss operating budgets, they must be prepared to present information and support budget requests of their respective departments.
Mintzberg identified four roles within the list of his behaviour set. These are as follows:
Entrepreneur: In recent years, entrepreneurs have been identified with the commitment to innovation. Managers in complex organisation act in entrepreneurial way, by constantly trying to improve their operations. They seek new ways of using resources, new technologies for enhanced performance, and new systems of organizing human resources.
Disturbance Handler: This may be the best understood role of managers because they have always had the primary responsibility for resolving problems. It may also be the most stressful role as managers seem to find themselves constantly faced with disturbances that threaten the harmony and effectiveness of the organisations.
Resource Allocator: The third role links planning and organizing functions and organizing functions. Managers must plan to meet their objectives and distribute resources accordingly. There will never be sufficient time, money, materials, or manpower to accomplish all that is expected, so resource allocation offers involve carefully assigning scarce resources.
Negotiator: The allocation process bears on the role of negotiator. When scarce resources must be shared among many operating units, managers with superior negotiating skills will have advantages over others. However, negotiating extends to many managerial activities both inside and outside the firm. Purchase manager. For example, negotiates material prices and terms. Personnel manager negotiates union contracts. Negotiating, of course, doesn’t mean conflict but it does imply face to face bargaining between managers and employees to resolve problems or formulate performance expectations.
The ability to recognize the appropriate role to be played and to change roles readily is a mark of an effective manager. However, it may be concluded that at lower level, some of the decisional roles and informational roles are more important whereas at the top level interpersonal roles and decisional roles are of greater significance. At the middle level of management, informational roles are found to be more common.
Effective dealing of Problems
The first step in dealing with a problem employee is to identify the trouble. Many times, a simple, honest talk with an employee will dissolve issues such as occasional tardiness or minor attitude problems. Coaching requires a manager to work one-on-one with problem employees or to assign another employee to work with the employee to overcome their shortcomings. The mentor should provide the employee with feedback and solutions for improving their performance. Coaching requires patience and a substantial time investment, but it can help modify an employee’s behavior.
Poor performance is not always due to a lack of skills; the employee may simply be disorganized or sloppy. These habits can usually be corrected with proper guidance. If performance difficulties relate to a lack of skills, consider coaching or additional training.
In some cases an employee becomes a problem because their skills aren’t compatible with their assigned tasks or regular duties. In this case, offering the employee additional training or assigning them a different set of tasks is usually the most appropriate course of action.
When you notice that, an employee has made some errors, point out the mistakes to the employee and monitors their work more closely. If the problem persists, speak with the employee and detail the most serious examples of problems with their work. Remember to remain positive and focus on how important the employee’s contribution is to the company.
Create an effective message
Consider the specific informational needs of executives, middle managers, supervisors and employees, and tailor your message to fit each audience. An effective message should also explain how your employees´ day-to-day duties directly affect the company’s performance and should touch on the values and pride of the employees. A direct, face-to-face interaction can help reinforce positive attitudes inspire employees and help them adapt to the change.
Listen to your employees
Employee feedback is critical in managing change. Holding focus groups with employees is a great way to gauge reaction and monitor the progress of change. You also can encourage employees to provide feedback through email or the company intranet. Communication is the cornerstone to successful change management. Talking to your employees is not a one-time event, and you need to reinforce your message by communicating early and often.