Aspiring Managers Benefit from A Paradigm Shift Towards Critical Thinking, Analytics, and Emotional Intelligence

New Delhi, December – In a rapidly evolving business landscape, the expectations for aspiring managers have evolved beyond conventional technical expertise. A paradigm shifts towards holistic skill sets encompassing critical thinking, analytics, and emotional intelligence is redefining the landscape.

Critical Thinking: The Non-Negotiable Attribute

Dr. Jones Mathew, Professor of Marketing, Program Director – PGPM Chairperson – Rankings and Accreditation, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, highlights the pivotal role of critical thinking and analytics in today’s management education. “The ability to question, evaluate, and analyze a business situation is paramount. Since data is the new source of competitive advantage for businesses, data handling and, more importantly, data interpretation skills in managers are not an option but a necessity,” states Dr. Mathew.

As the scale of managerial responsibilities expands, the ability to solve problems for a team becomes a crucial aspect of evaluating managerial quality. Sanjoy Sircar, Professor of Finance and Director, PGPM, Great Lakes Institute of Education, Chennai, emphasizes, “Problem-solving is often about asking the right questions rather than having the right answers. One cannot arrive at the correct solution without an accurate diagnosis. So, the ability to think critically and ask the right questions is a non-negotiable characteristic that distinguishes an effective manager from an ineffective one.”

Analytics has become a primary input in decision-making, requiring managers to think analytically and use analytics-based toolkits effectively. The expectations from managers have evolved dramatically, necessitating a reorientation of management school pedagogy to meet these new demands. However, amidst these changes, the crucial role of emotional intelligence often goes unnoticed.

Emotional Intelligence: A Crucial Element for Success

Dr. Madhulika Saxena, Assistant Professor – Business Communication, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, underscores the changing yardstick for success in the global landscape. While technical know-how and academic abilities remain essential, emotional intelligence, effective communication, and the ability to balance tasks and relationships have become critical ingredients for success. She states, “Emotionally intelligent leaders are self-aware. They are empathetic and consider others’ feelings while making decisions. Effective communication keeps misunderstandings at a minimum and productivity at an all-time high. Cultivating a feedback culture also prepares the employees for constructive criticism without feeling intimidated. A company culture of open communication is grown from the top down, so global leaders must lead by example.”

The Future of Management Education

In the face of a hyper-dynamic business ecosystem, the future of management education lies in cultivating continuous learning abilities. Management programs must instill the concept of ‘learning to learn,’ enabling students to remain valuable assets in the ever-changing knowledge landscape.

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