What goes into making a good manager? Leadership skills, the ability to think straight under pressure, and the trait of being able to come up with quick and practical solutions to problems. Apart from these, one also needs excellent communication skills and a certain level of technical skills too, in order to be a good manager.
However, among the list of management skills, there lies one particular group of skills that not all can master. It takes time and a deep understanding of the principles of business and human resource management to develop them. They are conceptual skills in management. To know more about these skills, read ahead.
What are Conceptual Skills?
Conceptual skills are probably some of the most important management skills. There are some very basic principles behind conceptual skills. The inputs by people who are hired especially for their exceptional conceptual skills often influence the decision-making process in an organization, be it about something like a change in the employees dress code to something as big as a revamped advertising campaign for a product. Some functions of these skills are mentioned below. They might help you understand it better.
A person who has conceptual skills has the ability to carry out a detailed study of the possible and probable inter-relation between various ideas and 'concepts'. It is a cognitive skill that requires the person to have a deep understanding of what has to be studied, what can be ignored and how to ascertain how much importance should be given to which concept. It also relates to how to use the inter-relation between the various aspects of the matter and come up with a concept or an idea to make it better. It is an integral part of how business management actually goes about.
A conceptual person can combine problem solving with the practice of conceptualizing a practical issue. For instance, if there is group of people who are opposing the construction of a bridge near their houses, the person will go deeper into the problem, find out why it is so, how to convince them without offering them just money, get them to understand how the bridge will in no way harm the peace and harmony of their homes, and finally get them to agree to the construction.
Study as a Whole
A conceptual person will not look at the organization as a part of the industry. Using this skill, he will look at it as a whole. The main focus will be on how to study, analyze, and develop new strategies that will enable the smooth and better functioning of the organization as a whole. He may compartmentalize each section within the organization and come up with various concepts to help them individually, but the overall progress of the whole organization is the ultimate goal.
Apart from problem solving, conceptual skills also play another very important part as far as manager skills are concerned. This involves coming up with creative and innovative ideas and concepts pertaining to the growth of the organization. For instance, a company needs to boost the sales of its new product - a tangy tomato ketchup, with a hint of mint in it.
A person with conceptual skills is the one who will treat the 'increase of sales' as a concept rather than a physical target. He will perform the important functions of management. He will study and speculate, he will analyze and comprehend. He will then come up with a concept which will use the distinct 'flavor' of the ketchup as its USP. As you can see from this, the person has come up only with a concept of the flavor being different. The next step of forming a suitable advertisement is the job of the ad department and the technically skilled managers will handle the technical aspect of making the whole concept a reality.
You can come across conceptual skills examples in your day-to-day life too. They are not restricted only to top level management in a big organization. They can be as simple as a child wondering why clouds are formed and coming up with his own version of the reason. Developing them is not difficult. You just need to hone the analyzing abilities that you possess.