If you are like I am, you have probably had several
jobs over the course of your life. Stop and think for a minute about your bosses
You probably have had some you respected and others you couldn't
stand. Have you ever thought about what makes a good manager?
If you are in a
management position yourself, you probably want to know what makes a great
manager so you can be the best you can be.
A manager usually has two
sides to his accountability. He must please his boss and please his team members
at the same time.
The boss's idea of what makes a good manager may be very
different from the ideas of the staff. To please his boss, the manager must get
the job done, whether it is meeting a quota, or overseeing smooth operation of
an organization. The boss isn't really concerned with the day to day details
that can be very important to someone on staff.
However to be most
effective as a leader, the manager can't just dictate corporate policy without
taking the feelings and thoughts of the staff into consideration. This approach
causes morale to suffer which in turn hurts productivity. A great manager takes
time to listen to team members even if he can't get the corporate boss to do
anything about their concerns.
If you ask a group of people what makes a
great manager, I bet one of the most common responses would be "respect."
matter what your job level or skill is, you want to be treated with respect.
Respect fosters loyalty and the respect works both ways. When the staff sees you
trash talking your boss or upper management, this will undermine their
confidence in you, even if they agree with your viewpoint. Managers should
strive to be respectful of all co-workers and keep personal feelings out of the
Although it may be difficult at times, maintaining a professional
demeanor is the best choice rather than being too chummy.
What makes a
good manager will vary according to the particular job as well. If you are
leading a team that works with dangerous machinery, being heavy handed when it
comes to following regulations will keep everyone on the team safe. However, if
you are leading a team of graphic artists or writers, a heavy handed approach
might stifle creativity.
To be an effective manager, you should earn the
trust of your team members. When they trust you, they will be more open to
change and will obey your requests without stopping to quibble about it because
they question your judgment.
That means you have to be very knowledgeable in
your industry and be willing to admit you don't know it all. Be willing to seek
help from experienced team members and don't steal the credit from them.
Just like with parenting, you have to earn trust and respect.
If you make
threats, you have to follow through. Always be true to your word and be
consistent. Remember, you want to know what makes a good manager, not what makes
a good friend. Friendship is for off hours.
That doesn't mean you can't form
camaraderie in the workplace, because you should as it will make working
conditions more pleasant. However, it is best to set limits so when it comes to
work, everyone acts professionally.
When you learn what makes a great
manager to your team members and act accordingly, you will have happier
co-workers with lower turn-over and higher quality productivity. This will
translate into a better job performance for you in the eyes of your boss. After
all, your job as a manager is what's at stake and your ultimate goal is to
please those higher on the corporate ladder than you.
Being a good
manager takes a lot of skill. Some of the qualities will come to you naturally,
but keep in mind; you can learn how to manage people effectively. In fact, if
you are sincerely interested in what makes a good manager, you should think
about taking a training course through your work or elsewhere so you can pick up
some techniques you wouldn't think of on your own.
If nothing else, take
a moment and look back on the supervisors you have had over the years. You'll
quickly recognize some of the traits you don't want to inflict on anyone working
with you and you can gain inspiration from the great ones.
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