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University of Lincoln Lincoln Business School

B.A.(Hons) in Business Management

Unit 2 Integrating Professional Experience (BUSMANUB)

Exploring the importance of interpersonal skills in developing good management practice, with reference to the author’s experience at work

Submitted to: 27 June 2013

Word Count:

Essay: 4375

Learning Log(s): 2184


Introduction Prompted by the author’s experiences at work which involved two incidents of ineffective management, specifically disciplining a sub-ordinate and managing conflict with a colleague, this essay will focus on exploring views in the literature which are related to interpersonal skills that are critical to effective management. Interpersonal skills are defined as “The set of abilities enabling a person to interact positively and work effectively with others” (Business Dictionary.com) and according to James and Jongeward (1978) possessing good interpersonal skills can be directly related to success in life.

In the workplace, the importance of interpersonal skills is emphasized by reports that more managers are dismissed due to poor interpersonal rather than a lack of technical skills (Lloyd, 2001; Johnson, 2002; Langbert, 2000). Promotion in the workplace is associated with analytical skills and technical ability, with minimal attention placed on interpersonal skills, which become increasingly important as one’s level and responsibility within an organisation grows (Conger, 2005). The progression of technological dominance to a knowledge economy, where people are central in the workplace, requires a mind-set change with more focus and perception of interpersonal skills. Thus, by improving their interpersonal skills, analytically and technically skilled individuals may improve their effectiveness as managers (Robbins and DeCenzo, 2005). Collins (2001) and his team monitored the performance of two thousand companies over a period of fifteen years and demonstrated that the shift from a...

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