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Importance of Leadership and Management Skills

Leadership and management are the most discussed issue in behavioral science. These two terms are highly related to each other. Leadership is the process of influencing others so that they can work hard to achieve the goal. On the other hand, management is the process of managing, guiding, and supervising the employees so that they can contribute to the achievement of organizational goals.

Importance of Leadership and Management Skills

Importance of Leadership and Management Skills

The leader’s role is to show the path to his followers whereas the manager’s role is to coordinate and guide them so that they can work efficiently and effectively. This report is about identifying the similarities and differences between leadership and management. The purpose of this report to show how leadership and management differ with each other in terms of skills requirements. Moreover, this report tried to discuss the skills and qualities necessary to become a good manager and a good leader. In addition, the report also identifies the strategies to overcome barriers to effective communication. This report sequentially discusses the difference between leader and manager, skills and qualities of a good manager and leader, strategies required to overcome barriers in communication, to serve the purposes of this report.

Comparison of the importance of leadership skills and management skills

Leadership and management are two terms which were used both interchangeably and separately by many authors. The debate between leadership and management and their relative importance on organizational performance is still continuing (McCartney and Campbell, 2006). Leadership and management are composed of completely different skills requirements. These two skill sets are rarely existing simultaneously with an individual. The skills of a leader and a manager greatly differ from each other in many aspects. For instance, the leader and manager differ in terms of the level of motivation, personality, and how they behave and act. There are a lot of dissimilarities between leader and manager in spite of being similarities between them.

The difference between leadership skills and management skills and their importance in organizational success are discussed below.

Leadership Management
Leadership is involved with influencing and motivating people to reach the goal. Leadership skills emphasis more on motivating people. Leadership involves more visionary skills that are a leader supposed to be a visionary person. He likes to see dreams. Leader guide his followers with trust and credibility. Credibility is important for a leader to achieve the trust of the follower. The follower will not act according to the wish of the leader unless he creates trust among them. A leader uses his power to influence others. So, that leader requires skills more on motivation. Leadership requires skills for bringing change and innovation to the organization. Leadership skills are important to adapt to a changing and dynamic environment. Leader work willingly and enthusiastically, no policies and rules guide him rater he sets the guidelines and principles. He transcends the dream of himself into the followers for achieving the goals. Management is related to managing the people in the organization so that the organizational activities are done properly. Management skills put emphasis more on controlling skills. On the other hand, the manager requires sufficient skills to Implement the dreams or vision of the leader. The manager supervises his subordinates through controlling mechanism. Management skills of control are necessary for executing the vision. Scholars argued that a manager cannot attain a goal unless he has control over his subordinates. The manager uses his power to regulate employee behavior. Hence, the Manager requires more administrative skills. A manager should be proficient enough to maintain the status quo and maintain stability in the organization. His skills are important for the smooth functioning of the organization. Management relies more on principles, policies, procedures, and rules set by the organization. The manager conveys the objectives of the organization to the employees and acts as a mentor or team leader for achieving the organizational objectives.

Despite having a huge distinction between leadership and management, many researchers thought that a minimum level of leadership skills is required to be a good manager, and a minimum level of managerial skills is required to be a good leader.

Skills and qualities required to be a good manager

Research is still continuing to identify the answer to the question ‘what makes a good manager’? To be a good manager or managing the organization effectively requires some skills and qualities of a manager. Management skills or managerial skills refer to the ability of a manager to run the managerial activities properly. Whetten and Cameron (Whetten et al., 2000) provided a list of skills that are essential for managing the organization. These managerial skills set are composed of three broad categories of skills such as interpersonal skills, group skills, and personal skills.

Name of the skills Description
Developing self-awareness Self-awareness refers to the ability to have a clear and conscious idea about oneself and surroundings. A manager should be aware of himself and respond accordingly to the needs of the environment.
Managing stress The manager should have the ability to manage stress in the organization. The research found that almost half of the managers severely suffer from stress.
Solving problems creatively Problem-solving ability is a must for a manager. The managerial role is complex. A manager has to face many problems every day. The manager requires both analytical ability and creativity to solve the problem creatively.
Empowering and delegating Empowering means increasing the ability of subordinates whereas delegating means assigning the responsibility and authority to the subordinates.
Leading positive change The manager is supposed to be a change maker. The manager should bring change through creativity and innovation.
Building an effective team Developing a team and promoting teamwork in the organization is a very effective skill of a manager.
Gain power and influence Exercising power in legitimate ways and influencing employees is a very important skill of a manager.
Communicating supportively Manager requires extensive interpersonal communication skills so that they can convey the goals of the organization and motivate the employees.
Motivating employees Motivating employees refer to inspire employees in such a way so that employees are directed toward the achievement of goals.
Managing conflict Conflict is a common scenario for any organization. A manager should have the ability to manage both destructive conflicts very effectively.

Qualities of a manger and role of ethics and social responsibility

Besides the different skills manager requires some other qualities to be a good manager. Different qualities of a manager including a set of qualities that make him different from conventional people. These qualities include following

  • Having a visionary outlook.
  • Making the right decision at the right time.
  • Should be independent and autonomous.
  • Emotional intelligence.
  • Ability to command.
  • Building trust among others.
  • Supervise supportively
  • Having intellectual ability.
  • Disciplined and ordered
  • Having a commitment to the organization.
  • Role of ethics: Ethics is an abstract term that refers to the strong belief about right and wrong. The ground of ethics is an individual belief. Ethics plays a significant role in shaping managerial behavior and attitudes. Manager supposed to be an ethical person. The manger should promote ethical behavior throughout the organization. An ethical manager can ensure that the organization is run in accordance with the high ethical standard. Ethics increases the credibility of a manger to both internal and external parties.
  • Role of social responsibility: Social responsibility is the obligation of an organization to society. A manager should be responsible for the needs of the environment and society. It increases the acceptance of a manager as well as helps him to be a responsible manager.

Skills and qualities of a good leader

Different research in leadership studies has explored several skills and qualities of an effective leader. Researchers argued that we cannot mention a particular quality makes a good leader. A good leader is composed of a set of attributes that makes him different from typical people and a manager. These attributes or qualities include the following. (Muteswa, 2016)

  • Clear vision: Leaders should have a clear vision. He should transcend the vision to the followers and influence them to achieve the vision.
  • Confidence: The leader shows an extreme level of confidence in his action so that the follower can rely on his /her.
  • Drive and dedication: Leaders should exhibit a high level of drive, dedication, and commitment to achieve the vision or goals. Leaders try with utmost dedication and full of energy until he reaches the destination.
  • Honesty and integrity: Honesty and integrity are very vital qualities of a leader. A leader should act honestly. His duty is to show the right track to the followers not to manipulate them. Leader achieves credibility through honesty and integrity.
  • Courage to make a decision: Leaders should have the courage to make critical and tough decisions. Sometimes he has to take decisions with sole responsibility.
  • Intelligence: various research on leadership behavior puts emphasis on the leadership skills of intelligence. A leader requires intelligence to gather, and analyze the abstract and complex situation.
  • Job-related knowledge: Robbins and others (Robbins and Coulter, 2017)emphasis on job-related knowledge of the leader. A leader should have sufficient knowledge about the areas he or she works. For example, a leader might be a political leader, in that case, he should have knowledge about political science.
  • Extraversion: Extraversion is a personality type. Extraverted people are very much friendly social, and outgoing. A leader should be friendly and social. He should be adaptable to any situation.
  • Self-accountability: Leaders should be accountable to themselves for their actions and decision. He should have the ability to acknowledge his own fault.

Strategies to overcome the communication barrier to effective communication

In an organizational context, communication is the exchanging of information, ideas, and opinions with and outside the organization. No message is being transferred properly unless it is communicated effectively. But sometimes, some factors create impediments to effective communication which is called barriers or obstacles. The barriers to communication are multidimensional. Managers of the organization have to adopt various strategies to overcome the barriers to fruitful communication. Research suggests the following strategies for overcoming the barriers to effective communication. (Bovee and Thill, 2017)

  • Language: In many cases language creates barriers to communication. Using easy and common languages in both oral and written communication reduces the barrier to understanding the message. A common language is important when communication takes place with multilingual people. For example, English is used as a common language worldwide. Using English in communication can reduce the language barrier
  • Ensure feedback: Feedback of any communication assures that the message has been communicated properly. The organization should ensure feedback mechanisms in organizational communication. For example, The replay of top management query about the sales. The reply of any message is feedback which ensures effective communication.
  • Listen carefully: listening is very important in case of oral communication. Employees should listen carefully when a supervisor or manager instructs employees. Unconscious listening may lead to poor communication due to misunderstanding.
  •  Control emotion: Emotion such as anger, anxiety, and frustration sometimes create barriers to communication. So, both the sender and receiver of the message should control emotion when communication takes place.
  • Cultural awareness: Culture creates a barrier to communication. People’s perceptions, values, and norms are greatly from culture to culture. So, cultural awareness and a minimum understanding of the different cultures are essential for better communication.
  • Watch nonverbal cues: Non-verbal communication takes place with the help of gestures, posture, and using a different symbol. Sometimes people are misguided by nonverbal communication because the symbol and gesture use in communication can carry different meanings in different situations and cultures. So, it is important to watch nonverbal cues very carefully.

Conclusion

This report showed that the concept of leadership and management differs in many aspects. A leader is a person whose duty is to articulate the vision in front of the followers and transform their effort in such a way so that they work hard and enthusiastically for achieving the vision. On the other hand, the manager is someone who is responsible for managing the activities of the organization. He or she is more focused on routine activities. In recent times, scholars of modern management argued that manger required some level of leadership skills to motivate the employees for achieving a goal, and leaders also required some levels of management skills for controlling the followers. Therefore, the skills and qualities required for a good manager and a leader to some extent may overlap with each other. However, this discussion would be a very helpful one to clear the basic understanding of leadership and management. Besides this, the strategies for overcoming the barriers in communication can help the manager to reduce the roadblocks in communication and enhance cooperation in the organization.

References:

  1. Bovee, C. L. & Thill, J. V. 2017. Business Communication Today, Pearson Education.
  2. Mccartney, W. W. & Campbell, C. R. 2006. Leadership, Management, And Derailment: A Model Of Individual Success And Failure. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 27, 190-202.
  3. Muteswa, R. 2016. Qualities Of A Good Leader And The Benefits Of Good Leadership To An Organization: A Conceptual Study. European Journal Of Business And Management, 8, 135-140.
  4. Robbins, S. P. & Coulter, M. A. 2017. Management, Global Edition, Pearson Education Limited.
  5. Whetten, D. A., Cameron, K. S. & Woods, M. 2000. Developing Management Skills For Europe, Pearson Education.

Written by

Md. Shadequr Rahaman

Email: [email protected]

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