What Are the Traits of a Great Manager?

April 16, 2013 by  

Most of us can recognize a great manager, so why is it so hard to find one?
Almost everyone in business remembers that one special manager from their past who exemplifies the norm, commanded our respect, and treated us respectfully, even in the most difficult situations.

Here is a list of the 10 functional traits of a great manager:
1. Leadership: the culture of the team is set by the leader, if he/she is supportive, encouraging, acknowledging, decisive and competent; the team will be productive, goal oriented and engaged.
2. Delegation: the best leaders delegate the most…they choose the right person for the right job, then allow them to run with the ball, no micro-managing, just appropriate direction, time lines and support as necessary.
3. Competence: good managers exhibit expertise in their field, make productive decisions, and are open to outside the box thinking.
4. Set clear achievable goals: unrealistic expectations do not work for anyone, they only create frustration. A good manager guides his/her team members toward achievable milestones and reviews accomplishments and possible improvements with constructive criticism, support and encouragement.
5. Recognition: great managers acknowledge accomplishments, gives credit where credit is due…in this way, self starters are recognized for their efforts.
6. Active Listener: in order to get to know their team well and be able to lead them effectively, the manager must practice active listening…the key to the development and maintenance of good relationships.
7. Empathic: having the ability to “walk in another person’s shoes”, and to have insight into the thoughts, and reactions of others when facing change is key in today’s fast moving world of new technology. Empathy requires the suspension of judgment of another’s actions or reactions, while understanding them, and treating them with sensitivity, respect, and support.
8. Honesty: never lie to your team, trust is a most important aspect of good relationships and once it is broken, it is most difficult to repair. So be able to walk the walk and admit mistakes…it shows you are human!
9. Sense of Humor: life is way too short not to be able to laugh at ourselves…having some fun at work is a good idea, happy employees are usually more engaged and creative.
10. Keep your Cool: A great manager is an effective communicator and a composed individual, with a proven tolerance for ambiguity. He/she never loses their cool, and is able to correct the team members without emotional body language or comments.

Whole books have been written on this subject. Great managers must have the necessary technical skills; however they also must have excellent people skills.

Now that you understand the traits required in a great manager, perhaps it will not be so hard to find one.


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