What Is A Good Manager?

Good Manager To Employees

Have you ever thought about what makes a good manager? Or a great manager? Or an awful manager? We know it when we see it, or worse, when we work for it. But what traits really make a good manager? And can we even agree on what makes a good manager?

What do you want in a manager that you work for? Honesty? Fairness? Generosity? Friendship? Perks? Trust? What makes a good sales manager may not be what makes a good office manager. One of the problems is that many employees want different things from their managers. How can a manager be all things to all employees?

How To Be A Good Manager

For one thing, they certainly shouldn’t be trying to do that. Good managers should be fair to all employees. This does not mean to treat everyone the same. It means be fair. Everybody is motivated by different things, so offering one employee something that they care greatly for may really motivate that employee… but have no effect at all on others. So good managers simply cannot do the exact same thing for each team member. They must always be fair, though.

Great managers are trustworthy, too. Everyone can probably agree that trustworthiness is something that is essential. They can’t be promising things that they cannot follow through with. They can’t be telling co-workers about your personal conversations. They can’t say one thing, and then do another.

So, we can be comfortable that good manager skills require fairness and trustworthiness. What else? To be a good manager, we would likely expect someone who leads by example. Someone who doesn’t just push all their work onto their subordinates and/or take credit for their team’s work. This manager is likely doing different work than their team, but they should obviously be working.

Effective managing probably indicates someone that can motivate their team. This doesn’t have to be some over-the-top cheerleader type shouting “Rah, rah!” Motivation can come in all forms. To be a good manager is to understand what motivates each member of your team, and pushing them to accomplish more than they think they can. There are a number of tools for how to motivate your employees.

One would expect a really good manager to have sound business decision making skills. After all, poor decision making skills would likely not get anyone promoted to management.

What about the management skills that take a good manager to a great manager? These are often the most difficult skills to teach. Things like employee appreciation, hiring great employees, managing team conflict, giving fair performance evaluations. Some managers exhibit great leadership, but many are not that way at all. They just quietly run an efficient, productive group with little tension.

Great managers come in all shapes and styles. What makes you a good manager is not doing one thing really good, but mastering all of these things and applying everything you learn from this site, from books, from school, from other managers, etc. Take it all in and apply the best of it.


Are you a good manager?