Managers are in the business of cultivating people. Like gardeners to their plants, managers must ensure that their employees have everything they need to grow well. They provide employees with the ideal environment and the right fuel to flourish in their roles. Good managers are able to do this and more.
In contrast, bad managers wear out employees, exhaust their motivation and passion for their job, leave them to stagnate, and eventually, cause them to wither into disengaged and apathetic members.
Good managers are made, not born, though. They become what they are through experience, constant learning, and practice. So what makes a good manager?
An Eye for the Goal
Good managers set clear goals and know exactly how to achieve them. Most of all, they know to communicate these goals with their team.
Goal-oriented managers have the focus and the ambition to succeed. Their enthusiasm and energy can be tangible and overwhelming, which can give them tunnel vision.
The hallmark of a good manager is their ability to genuinely motivate and involve their employees in accomplishing their organization’s goals.
Expertise in The Field
Trust plays a vital part in manager-employee relationship, but trust cannot be built when managers do not have the competence or the discipline to do their job well and vice versa.
Managers take on many roles. Chief of which is a mentor role. As mentors, they are in charge of the growth of their employees and cultivate the potential of every team member by imparting their knowledge and expertise. But a person cannot give what they do not have.
Every manager must be experts in their fields. Aside from the qualities, they must have the knowledge and experience to accomplish the organization’s goals and command the trust of their employees.
Fortune 500 leader Robert Cooper, PhD, defines emotional intelligence as “the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence.”
Thus, for good managers, emotions are not something to leave outside the office. Instead, they are necessary in understanding and building trust with employees.
Emotional intelligence aids managers in comprehending and managing their emotions and other people’s. With this, they’re able to solve problems efficiently, diffuse tension, and handle conflicts effectively.
Emotional intelligence directs a good manager to make sound yet compassionate judgments, especially when dealing with people. It’s a quality that every human must have in abundance.
One can argue that managers only need leadership skills to be good, and it’s true. Leadership skills encompasses the qualities mentioned above.
Leadership skills include the ability to make good decisions, empathize with people, effectively handle disruptions, adapt to different situations, communicate openly, influence and motivate others, and efficiently accomplish goals.
Every good leader possesses all these qualities in varying degrees. But these qualities don’t always come naturally. Leaders acquire them through experience and hone them consciously, in everyday life.
Like how they take care of their employees, good managers must also take care of themselves. They must ensure that they are always in the condition to give their best at work. They look after their physical, mental, emotional, and social health. They should ensure they pass drug tests and other medical tests to maintain a clean bill of health.
Aside from the skills and qualities of an effective leader, managers must also be passionate about what their organization stands for. They must be a good influencing force and encourage employees to follow organizational standards and policies. Good managers are role models of engagement and commitment.