Most of us have worked for several different managers, and some of them have been better than others. Examples of bad management include micromanaging and controlling behaviors, unclear communication, or even managers who try to get what they want by being aggressive and inciting fear in employees. Of course, these might be some extreme examples, but there are managers out there who think that barking orders and being authoritative is enough.
However, good managers tend to get the best out of people without doing any of that. They are usually the type of person who naturally motivates and inspires others, they are firm yet fair, trust their employees to do a good job, and lead by example. To be a good manager or leader, it’s not only important to have the technical knowledge and a strong ability for the job that you do, but there are several personal qualities that will make it easier for you to lead a team.
A good manager will be a good communicator. They understand not only the importance of communicating instructions clearly to individuals and teams but also the importance of active listening with all their employees. A good manager is somebody who listens to understand first and respond second. They are skilled at getting their point across in a way that can be understood easily by everybody, and always clarify with employees rather than assuming that everybody is up to speed. They are the type of person that employees feel at ease to have a conversation with and comfortable communicating with because they are just good at it.
The best managers do their best to try and understand how the team is feeling. Whether they are celebrating a big win or feeling deflated at the end of a tough day, a good leader puts himself or herself in the shoes of the employees and approaches the situation with empathy. They understand that every team member is a unique and individual human being and can empathize with everybody’s personal situation, using this compassion for others as a way to help their team come up with better solutions and work out problem-solving ideas that help their team succeed no matter what.
We have all had a boss who spends all day in the office and only comes out to speak to team members when something goes wrong. Or, even worse, there’s the type of manager who feigns availability by sitting with the team but is rarely ever actually available when you need them. A good manager is somebody who makes herself easily reachable and available to her team. She is clear about when she will be able to answer questions and listen to concerns and knows that there is more to good management than simply telling people what to do.
Willingness to Learn
The best managers are often some of the humblest people that you will ever meet. Many times, they are working on themselves personally and professionally, perhaps even getting a business degree online from Aston University alongside working full-time because they know that there’s never going to be a point where they have learned everything. Good managers are always willing to learn something new and they never assume that they cannot learn something from any one person. They are eager to draw on the experience, knowledge, and skills of their team and understand that they might be able to learn a lot from their team members and vice versa.
If your manager isn’t confident in themselves and what they do, chances are that the team is not going to feel comfortable following their lead. People like to work with and be led by others who have a lot of confidence in themselves and are comfortable with their abilities and knowledge. A good manager is somebody who inspires others with their confidence and can often instantly be trusted as an expert in their subject simply because of how much confidence they have. They are confident in their decision-making process and will rarely be seen doubting their knowledge and skills because they know how much work they put in to get there.
While a good manager is confident, they are not so confident that they think they never make a mistake. Any good manager knows that everybody makes mistakes from time to time, so they don’t pretend to be perfect. No matter what has happened, the best leaders understand the importance of holding themselves accountable, putting up their hands and admitting their mistakes, and asking for advice from their team and others when it is needed. Along with admitting their mistakes, they are eager to use them as a learning curve and often use bad decisions as a catalyst for improving their skills and knowledge to ensure that it isn’t repeated in the future.
Honesty and Transparency
A good manager knows that everybody hates being kept in the dark, especially when it comes to their job. As a result, they do not seek to keep anything from their team and make sure that their team is the first to know about any planned changes or events that might affect the workplace. They give their team the chance to express their opinions and keep them up to date on everything from small successes to big chances they will need to adjust to in the future.
Finally, a good manager is going to be the most supportive leader that the team will work with. They are excited about helping their team reach success and do everything that they can to clear the path in front of them and remove any roadblocks. They are clear with their expectations of their employees and help them reach goals by setting smaller, SMART goals for teams and individuals to reach along the way while providing them with adequate training and instruction.
A good manager isn’t just somebody who understands the job well. In order for somebody to effectively lead and motivate others, it’s important that they display these personal characteristics at work.