Interpersonal skills “include the ability to communicate with, motivate, and lead employees to
complete assigned activities,”  hopefully building cooperation within the manager’s team.
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Managers without these skills will have a tough time succeeding. Interpersonal skills are of
greatest importance to middle managers and are somewhat less important for first-line
managers. They are of least importance to top management, but they are still very important.
They are critical for all small business owners.
The fourth basic management skill is decision making (Figure 12.4 “Management Decision
Making”), the ability to identify a problem or an opportunity, creatively develop alternative
solutions, select an alternative, delegate authority to implement a solution, and evaluate the
Conceptual skills “determine a manager’s ability to see the organization as a unified whole and
to understand how each part of the overall organization interacts with other parts.”  These
skills are of greatest importance to top management because it is this level that must develop
long-range plans for the future direction of a business. Conceptual skills are not of much
relevance to the first-line manager but are of great importance to the middle manager. All small
business owners need such skills.