What Makes a Good Manager and How You Can Be One Too
22 July 2020
A team can only perform successfully and happily under the guidance of a good manager. Managing a team can be a demanding job and it comes with great responsibility. In recent years, the expectations of a manager have changed for both employees and employers. Managers may be expected to lead teams remotely, by using new technology, and in newly formed industries.
Becoming a successful manager involves learning and practicing behaviours, methods, and techniques from other successful managers. This is a continuous process, as there is always room to grow and strengthen your skills via more practice and continuous training and learning. Some say that you only become a good manager when you have mentored one yourself.
All good managers start at the bottom and work their way up, and are usually people who want to put in the time and effort to better themselves and the team that they lead.
Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at TMS.
What is the definition of a “good manager”?
A manager is a person who is responsible for managing a company, team, or process.
A good manager must be active rather than passive, with excellent listening and effective communication skills. These are the most valuable qualities of a leader as they help to establish trust with a team. Trust often ensures employee retention, productivity, and engagement, all of which are beneficial for an organization.
There is a saying: “a bad manager makes you work, whilst a good manager lets you work.”
A good manager will provide an explanation or context for the work they are requesting, which helps to work towards a common goal.
The three “ships” of management
The three main characteristics of a manager are leadership, mentorship, and ambassadorship.
Leadership involves making decisions about what work is completed and how.
Mentorship involves developing the team in a way that is mutually beneficial.
Ambassadorship involves representing the team within the broader context of the organization.
Refining these skills will enable you to be a better manager.
How to be a “good manager”
Here are some character traits that can be adopted and strengthened in order to become a good manager.
It is important to recognize that individuals make up a team, so a good manager will measure an individual’s success as well as the collective success of the team. The ability to motivate a group to strive towards a shared, specific goal is a major factor of good management.
Recognize what an individual needs to work at their best and adjust your communication to them. For example, one team member may enjoy being praised publicly but another may thrive with more personalized feedback. These pep talks and recognition will encourage positive work and attitude to continue.
A successful manager will enhance the strengths of their team and improve upon the weaknesses, by using engaging activities to keep the team motivated and boost morale.
When employees feel that they aren’t being listened to or understood, they can feel frustrated and unmotivated. A good manager should be able to empathize with their team and imagine what it is like to do their jobs.
Saying “thank you” and expressing gratitude can make an employee feel accomplished. Leaders should also provide constructive and positive feedback as this will add value to the work that is being completed. Being empathetic can build trust and encourage retention.
Have your team’s backs
A good manager will be supportive to their team members face to face, as well as champion them and their ideas and efforts across the organization.
They will also be candid and honest if they disagree with a team member. This consistency will ensure any challenges are resolved and that expectations are managed.
Make effective decisions
Being a good manager means that you can give appropriate and decisive direction to a team. It is an essential requirement of leadership. The manager’s choices are often the reason for success or failure.
They also know how to guide their team to achieve goals on time. However, the decisions must be well informed and timely.
Be trusted, not feared
A manager should not abuse the power of their position to control the team. This creates a fear-based workplace and is not a successful strategy.
Instead, a healthy team is built on trust. A good manager builds trust by being receptive, empathetic, and informative. They should also try to be accessible and available if somebody needs a conversation. During this time, they should be active and engaged. This could involve moving away from your computer or phone to avoid being distracted.
If a manager is overly invested in the team’s success they may be tempted to micromanage, which is damaging to workers’ initiative and motivation.
The best managers encourage innovative ideas and actively help their team members to accomplish them, which might involve relinquishing some control to a team member.
A good manager should be able to clearly and effectively communicate a message. They should be able to deliver the message to different people so that it is understood by all.
Effective communication is not just giving orders, though that might be necessary at times. A good manager will treat communication as a two-way street and listen as well as talk, ensuring everybody is clear on expectations and saving time and disappointment in the future.
When a manager leaves tedious and long tasks to their team only, they come across as a boss rather than a leader.
Good leaders are not afraid to get their hands dirty. They should be willing to jump into the action and get involved with the workload where necessary. Failures and successes are reflective of a team’s leader.
Great managers will hold themselves accountable for their own actions as well as their teams, even when things don’t go according to plan. This is vital as it demonstrates that employees should be mindful of their role within the team.
Management has challenges. In order to succeed in the position, you have to understand that your success is directly dependent on the success of the team.
Accountability can be used to measure the process and to determine the responsibility of a team.
Recognize and reward successes
An employee can feel more engaged, productive, and loyal to the company when they receive appreciation for the work that they do.
A good manager should consciously recognize and reward achievement, by gratefully offering thanks and ensuring that a more senior manager is made aware of the achievement. Some organizations may choose to provide an incentive when goals are met, for example, accrued annual leave, gift cards, or a celebratory lunch.
A Team will usually reflect the attitude and behavior of its manager. Employees ideally are inspired by somebody who is upbeat and with a positive enthusiastic attitude.
A good manager is emotionally resilient and able to understand how their mood affects the team. They should be calm and productive under pressure, and adaptable to change.
Managerial courage requires making difficult decisions whilst being responsible for your actions. This is an important quality for good management.
To face a problem most effectively, everybody should be united. The leader should be able to provide solutions to tackle situations together.
However, being a manager may require working with insufficient information and tight deadlines, which takes courage.
If you enjoyed reading this article on what makes a good manager, you should check out this one about virtual teams.