People are the most complex and confusing things in our known world. They are full of different shades of every type of personality and belief system that makes each person unique. Despite these differences, humans are also very basic and need certain things from the workplace and each other. Managers that understand the basics of human behavior and personality are also able to manage those personalities at work.
A strong manager has two important essential skills that include the ability to manage people and the industry knowledge to understand the processes they are overseeing. The later being gained through experience working in their respective fields with the former gained through education and reflection. Managers that can both manage people and understand their processes can find congruence between the two.
Industry knowledge helps the manager fulfill the function of his or her job. It is a result of taking practical experience and using it to ensure you are meeting company objectives. Employees often need to be coached and counseled on how to build the products and services the company sells. Managers will likewise need to convert organizational objectives into actionable steps employees can follow.
Managements job cannot be complete without getting people to actually do the work that achieves those objectives. This means that managers have to understand their employees and what inspires them to greater performance. They will need to understand employees motivations, needs, and hurdles within the workplace. They must be able to formulate a concrete explanation of these needs and find a constructive outlet for action.
A core element of the managers job is to find ways for people to achieve their needs through appropriate pathways. It is difficult to do this unless you have a basic understanding of people. Understanding employees requires listening to them, understanding how they use language, and what their goals and desires are. Strong managers can then channel these efforts into some useful activity.
To do this well means they have to maintain the ability to keep their eyes on the larger objective while being able to manage daily employee issues. Employees argue, miss work, need to be trained, and have issues that should be addressed in order to keep everyone moving in the right direction. The manager understands what is important among these issues and what isn't.
Knowing and understanding people is half of management's job. Without this knowledge the overall success of the organization is likely to limited. Managers should be hired based upon their ability to manage other people and encourage them down certain paths. The greater the ability to manage large groups of people by developing mechanisms that serve the needs of people, the higher the skill of the manager and greater their utility.