Good Managers Aren’t Good Because of Technical Skills

A recent report cited at bnet, gives info from Google’s evaluation of the requirements for good managers. They started from the premise that good managers had strong technical skills. They ended in a completely different place – No surprise to me. In fact, technical ability came in dead last on a list of requisite skills.

Employees want their bosses to be good communicators, to make time for one-on-one meetings, to be masters of precision questioning, and to take an interest in their careers and lives. They want their bosses to care about them as people. The list of skills, in order of preference, from the Google company:

  • Be a good coach
  • Empower your team/don’t micromanage
  • Express interest in your team member’s success and well-being
  • Be productive and results-oriented
  • Be a good communicator and listen to your team
  • Help your employees with career development
  • Have a clear vision and strategy for the team
  • Have technical skills so you can help advise the team

The challenge is to figure out where and when people learn these skills. Can we teach people to be good managers or did they have to learn it at home when they were growing up?


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