Learn the Top Qualities of a Good Manager – Try These Effective Management Techniques!
A career in management is a good option for anyone who is a natural leader, but even those who struggle with it can learn the qualities of a good manager and become an effective leader. Careers in business management and project management are on the rise and are varied. Managers work in construction, in sales, in advertising and marketing, with computer systems, and in many other settings.
To be a good manager requires an appropriate education in business and management. A degree in project management or business management can prepare you with a lot of skills and knowledge about how to work in a business environment and how to lead a team of people. A post-secondary program will teach you a lot, but to go from being a good manager to a great and effective manager requires digging a little deeper into the management skills that the most effective people in the field use every day:
- Good managers make time for their team members and build trust.
The essential quality of a manager is working with and leading people. Managers don’t work alone. To be effective, the first thing they have to do is build trust with their team members and make time for them. If workers feel as if their manager or leader doesn’t have time for them, there will be no trust and little motivation to give their best efforts.
By making time for the people you lead, you will develop a critical trust-building skill, which is to build rapport. You don’t have to be friends with your team members, but you have to be able to talk to them, engage them, and listen to them, even if one or more individuals is difficult to engage or get along with. Making time to listen and really talk with team members is a crucial element of being effective at managing people because it builds rapport, trust, and a sense of really being part of a team.
- Effective management requires thoughtful delegation.
As a manager you will never be very effective if you don’t delegate well. What often holds people back from delegating is a fear of not having control over every element of a project. Effective management requires that you give tasks to team members because, not only can you not do it all, but your team has skills and traits you don’t that will contribute to the success of a project.
Delegating requires trust in your team members, which you can develop through working closely with them and getting to know them. Delegation alone is not enough to be a truly effective manager, though. You need to do it thoughtfully. Knowing your team members is the first part of this. When you know their strengths and weaknesses you can be a better manager.
- Qualities of a good manager include smart goal setting.
Any type of manager is most effective when there are clear and attainable goals set for their team. As a manager it will be your responsibility to set goals for the team and to help individuals develop and meet their own goals. Working without an endpoint in mind is chaotic and accomplishes much less than when a team has a set of goals to work toward.
For project management in particular, goals are crucial. An effective project manager listens to what the client wants for a project, works with supervisors and team members to develop specific goals to achieve it, and ensures that the goals delegated to each team member are clearly communicated. A manager’s work doesn’t stop there, though.
Great managers are engaged in smart goal setting, which means setting tasks that are specific, achievable in a reasonable amount of time, and that can be broken down into smaller milestones. An effective manager regularly follows up with each team member to make sure those milestones are being met and to lend a hand when someone is struggling.
- The best managers recognize achievements.
Try to remember the last time you had a big success at work, or maybe at school. You probably felt really good about it, but did your boss or teacher recognize your achievement? Did he or she tell you good job or share your success with others? If so, you probably felt even better, if not a little bit embarrassed. If you didn’t get any recognition, you probably felt bad, like you weren’t being appreciated.
This is a good lesson to take into a career in management. Remember what it feels like to be noticed when you do something right or solve a problem. This is how team members want to feel. They want to get recognition from their leaders, and when they do it supports morale and motivation to achieve even more. Being thoughtful enough to notice and to recognize when team members achieve something is one of the most important qualities of a good manager.
- Effective management means being diplomatic.
When you lead a team of workers there will be ups and downs. Everything will not run smoothly all the time, which is why good managers are important. You may face a team member not pulling his weight or another that is difficult to get along with, or you might have someone on your team who tries hard but just doesn’t have the skills to do the job well.
When you encounter these problems, or any kind of clash that arises between people on your team, you have to be able to handle the situation with diplomacy, avoiding offending one side or the other. This means addressing each side of the problem with respect, with active listening, and with an offer of help, not a dismissal or a pointless criticism. Taking sides is not usually the best way to handle conflicts, but listening to and addressing the needs of both sides does help to solve problems while maintaining positive relationships.
- Communication is one the essential qualities of a good manager.
The importance of being able to communicate cannot be understated as a requirement for effective management. Communication skills needed to lead a team of people include being able to transmit ideas, goals, instructions, and more through emails, text messages, phone calls, and through in-person talking. Without clear, direct, and sometimes repetitive communications, team members may be confused about their roles and assignments and what is expected of them.
Good communication also includes listening, a skill that too many people overlook. While as a leader your ability to relay your messages to your team is crucial, without listening well you will never reach the heights of great management. Active listening is important because it helps managers better understand their workers’ skills, strengths, weaknesses, concerns, abilities, and other things about them that help the manager better lead them. Furthermore, a team member who feels he or she is not heard will not be satisfied.
- The best managers know when to loosen up and have some fun.
No one wants a boss that is always serious, that never goes out for a drink after work, and is never willing to laugh, tell a joke, or relate something personal to connect with others. A manager that is too serious and not willing to loosen up with their teams seems more like a robot than a person and is difficult to relate to. This doesn’t mean that managers should be inappropriate, but they can have fun while still being professional.
The best leaders know when to be serious and driven, focusing on work and goals, and when it’s best to take a minute to share a laugh or a personal story. If you want to be a truly great manager you will have to learn this balance. It’s not something you can learn in a class, but it comes from experience and an inherent understanding of how to relate to others.
Are You Ready to Start a Career in Management?
Do you think you possess the qualities of a good manager? If you think you have what it takes for this kind of career, leading and inspiring people, you can learn how to be an effective manager by completing a four-year degree program in business and management. Skills for effective management can be learned, but it helps if you have a natural disposition to lead people.
There are many career options for someone with the right education in business and management, from project coordinators to retail managers to project managers and even construction managers. If you like the idea of being a leader and you are interested in business, this could be a great type of career for you. Get started by looking into programs in your area that offer degrees in management or project management. A good education is a must as you learn how to be an excellent and effective manager.