Skills for Administrators

Three kinds of skills for administrators are identified:

1) Technical Skills
2) Human Skills
3) Conceptual Skills

To these a fourth skill may be added i.e.

4) Design Skills

Technical Skills:

It is the ability to use the tools, procedures, processes, and techniques of a specialized field. A doctor, an engineer, a singer, and an accountant all have specific technical skills in their respective areas. A manager needs enough technical skill to accomplish effectively a particular job to which he or she would be held responsible. For example, Mechanics work with tools, and their supervisor should have the technical ability to teach them how to use those tools.

Human Skill:

It is the ability to work with people, understand them, and motivate them as individuals and as well as within the groups. A manager should be able to create an environment in which people feel secure and free to express their opinions. The human skills call for teamwork and cooperative efforts towards accomplishment of goals. It helps managers to interact wit other members of the organization and also lead their own work groups.

Conceptual Skill:

It is the mental ability to coordinate and integrate all of the organization’s interests and activities. It involves the manager’s ability to see the organization as a whole and to understand how its parts depend on each other. It also involves the manager’s ability to understand how to change in any given part can effect the whole organization.

Design Skill:

It is the ability to solve problems in ways that will benefit the enterprise. To be effective, particularly at upper organizational levels, managers must be able to do more than just see a problem. They must have, in addition the skill of a good design engineer in working out a practical solution to a problem. If managers merely see the problem and become problem watchers they will fail. Managers must also have that valuable skill of being able to design a workable solution to the problem in the light of the realities they face.

Strategic Skills:


It is defined as a plan, a guide, a direction or course of action into the future, a path to get from one place to another. It is concerned with a firm’s long range future and its overall strategy of growth. Top level managers are responsible for this type of planning.

The formation of strategies depends on the conditions one is working in. If an individual is working in stable conditions, customers are stable, technology used is fairly stable. Then the operations will be same in the past as well as future. There will be small changes from time to time, but no strategic change can be observed.

But in other situations a manager has to worry about strategy. If the company is planning operations in which the technology is changing, in which there is a need to develop new customers of there is a need to innovate, then you have to do something dramatic.

Whatever the dramatic development may be, it has to be specifically stated. This is a must for the effectiveness of the manager as well as the people around him. The manager must be able to clearly say what he wants to do.

Your strategy is the way you want to change things in the long term. It must be something you can follow tenaciously for that long term. Something you will support and sustain in the long run. It is something that is going to take effort.

Normally going around with the normal job takes around 80 percent of a manager’s time. The energy and time available for strategic development is limited to 20 percent of the work time.

Positive thinking managers make use of their spare time, whenever available, to think about strategies. Lying in their baths or saunas or while traveling, their mind is racing ahead with the strategies to be adopted; and not the cares and concerns of routine operations. This means they have got reasonable amount of time for strategic thinking. But out of the total operational time available, only 20 percent is available for strategic development. One’s ambitions for strategy development therefore must be restricted to one or two top priority plans.