10 Ways To Identify A Good Manager

Graphic showing a team of professionals engaged in various activities, such as presenting, discussing, and working at computers on green bar charts of varying heights, symbolizing different levels of business productivity and team management.

Have you ever asked yourself how a certain someone got their job at a certain company? Not mentioning any names of course! I think it would be safe to say that we have all experienced incredibly bad management in our working lives. Workplace happiness is vitally crucial to one's health and well-being. Leaving aside for one moment what it does to the productivity of a badly managed organisation. Learn these 10 ways to identify a good manager. Determine if you have what it takes. Recognise what you may be missing out on and devise a plan of attack.

Bad Management

An article from Forbes. com explains what most companies do wrong when it comes to choosing their management material. Companies are assuming that a manager who has already managed elsewhere knows what it takes to become a manager within THEIR company. This is not always the case. More often than not a Leader is bought in to manage a team of people who have nothing in common with that leader's agenda.

Victor Lipman contributor to Forbes.com states “Your young managers of today will become your leaders of tomorrow. (And if your company is just going out and hiring leaders instead of developing your own, you have to ask: Why?)(forbes.com,2012).

Mr. Lipman also goes on to explain " management is often uneven throughout an organisation. You have your outstanding ones, your okay ones, and your downright incompetent ones who can do a lot of damage. In this biz, as in so many, consistency is a good thing”.(forbes.com,2012)

Now this statement should sound familiar to all of us, even those who have been in management positions and have had to share the load with other managers as well as employees.

Good Management

So What is in the making of a good manager I hear you say? Well it first and foremost comes back to the relationship between management and their employees. If this relationship is not one built on mutual respect, honesty and open communication it is more than likely doomed from the onset(forbes.com, 2012).

Good Managers should have the following talents:

  • Ability to motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
  • The assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
  • They create a culture of clear accountability.
  • They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.
  • They make decisions that are based on Productivity, not politics(R, Beck & J, Harter 2014).

According to (Beck & Harter, 2014) managers are responsible for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement ratings. Research has found that one of the most important decisions companies make is who they choose for management. Yet analysis suggests that they get it wrong 82% of the time. The very idea of looking outside of their workforce is their biggest error. There is more often than not someone well equipped with untapped talent within their team already and it is very unlikely to be the manager they have in place. So... if you are a manager and wish to assess your skills or an employee suffering under bad management here are 10 qualities to identify to ensure good management thrives in your work environment. Executive and life coach Jan Gordon believes a good manager should possess these 10 qualities..

1. Creativity

creativity is a crucial element in the engine of an organisation it sparks and propels projects forward. It inspires, captures, and motivates people to put their best foot forward.

2. Structure

Structure is a necessary evil in having things running smoothly and keeping employees within company guidelines is a must. However, it is important not to allow limitations of structure to impinge on productivity and the process of a project. A good manager can keep the flow and momentum of a project to be worked effectively within company guidelines.

3. Intuition

Intuition does not require a crystal ball, it just means that if a good manager has a high level of emotional intelligence they can perceive quite readily and cleary what others are thinking and feeling. This allows a manager to respond accordingly through a deeper understanding of a situation. The ability to tap into this intuition will mean that a good manager will become a great manager.

4. Knowledge

Gordon,2002 expresses the importance of having a thorough knowledge base in good management. She believes it to be more beneficial if the knowledge base is ingrained and integrated into their very being so that they can focus only on what the employee has to learn rather than using a knowledge base as a point of reference.

5. Commitment

A managers commitment to the success of a project and all team members brings about results that are more collective. A manager should hold the vision of the project for all and pull the team forward when things start to drag.

6. Being Human

"Employees value leaders who are human and who don't hide behind their authority"(Gordon,2002). It is important for a leader to be comfortable in their own skin and be themselves." Managers who respect and connect with others on a human level inspire great loyalty"(Gordon,2002).

7. Versatility

Flexibility and versatility are valuable qualities in a manager. To be flexible and versatile means that a manager can face and support adversity within a company and respond quickly and effectively to any situation when required.

8. Lightness

Lightness could easily be confused as being a clown or more of a friend to employees rather than a staunch manager. Neither of these depict lightness in a manager. It is perfectly fine to have fun in the process of a project and to be approachable to employees whilst leading them forward. Lightness in a manager can make all the difference to positive results and outcomes as it takes the edge of the seriousness of the task at hand.

9. Discipline/Focus

"Discipline is the ability to choose and live from what one pays attention to. Discipline as self-mastery can be exhilarating! Role model the ability to live from your intention consistently and you'll role model an important leadership quality"(Gordon,2002).

10. Big Picture, Small Actions

A great manager can see the big picture clearly whilst taking small actions towards that big picture. To be an excellent manager it is crucial to be able to do both. Having big visions of an overall goals whilst paying attention to the smaller details.

By understanding what good, if not great, management looks like, you can have a clearer picture of what to expect in the workplace. To some extent, we all have a pretty clear picture of what bad management looks like from personal experience. Never suffer from bad management again by understanding what it takes and means to be a great manager. Look at your workplace and decide what kind of management you are providing or enduring. It’s never too late to put your hand up to improve your performance and that of the organisation in which you work. Enrolling in management courses at the College for Adult Learning can equip you with the skills and insights needed to enhance your managerial capabilities and transform your workplace dynamics.