Almost everyone has a story about a previous Manager they love to hate. Many of us feel like we know what makes a ‘bad’ Manager – but what makes a ‘good’ Manager?
If you’re hoping to step up into a leadership position now or in the near future, then you’ll need to know what makes an effective Manager.
Read on to find out what separates great leaders from the rest, the characteristics of a good Manager, the top ten skills you need to be an effective Manager, and what different styles of management you could employ in your future role.
What traits do I need to be an effective Manager?
1. You’re a strong communicator and active listener
An effective Manager openly and honestly communicates with their staff and is always ready to listen to what their employees have to say. Transparency here is important.
2. You can recognise employees’ strengths and weaknesses
Some team members will perform certain tasks better than others. No one can be a faultless all-rounder, and you shouldn’t expect your team members to be perfect. But what you should be doing is matching your team members with their strengths and weaknesses and finding ways they can make the best use of their skills.
3. You want your employees to learn, grow and succeed
A good Manager will find ways to encourage their team members to grow and learn. If your employees come to you and say that they want to learn a new skill or tell you about their planned career progression, then you should try and help them facilitate this.
This relates to the above point, too – if some of your team members struggle in a particular area, like presenting or working under pressure, then maybe you could consider organising training sessions for them to improve these skills and work on their weaknesses.
4. You trust in your team
An effective Manager is always an efficient delegator. This means that you trust in your team to perform to the best of their abilities, and every member of the team is making the best use of their time.
Trust is also an important factor in creating a happy, motivated and loyal team. In this article from Harvard Business Review, they list the lack of trust as a huge factor in productivity loss and the inability to retain staff.
Delegating tasks efficiently, sharing information, investing in employees’ professional development and actively listening to your staff are all ways you can help to build trust between you and your team members.
5. You do what you say, and say what you’ll do
It can be frustrating and disheartening working for a Manager who never follows through on anything they say they’ll do. It can also be tough when your Manager is never fully honest with you.
Effective leaders will always do what they say and follow through, and will also be explicit and transparent with their employees when it comes to sharing information.
Don’t guarantee your employees something when you can’t confirm the outcome. It’s better to be open and make your employees understand the reasons why you can’t guarantee something, rather than making promises you can’t keep.
6. You’re able to resolve conflicts
When you’re leading a team of people, there are bound to be conflicts occasionally. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to resolve conflicts in an unbiased way, and you should always strive to find a fair solution before things get out of control. This requires emotional intelligence and conflict-resolution skills.
7. You lead by example
How can you expect to get the absolute best our of your team if you yourself aren’t putting your best foot forward? Employees want a leader they can trust and respect. And you won’t get that if you’re not putting in the effort to be a good example to your team. No one wants to work for a Manager they don’t respect on a professional level.
8. You stand up for your team
A leader must take responsibility for both the successes and failures of the team. You may have heard the phrase “great leaders pass the credit and take the blame”. Motivating the team to aim for success and sharing the collective wins is important. But so is shouldering the blame when things don’t work out.
Good leaders will never single out and blame team members. This won’t win you respect or trust if you try to motivate your team members by bullying them. Instead, when things don’t go to plan, you can work with the team to discover ways in which you can avoid similar outcomes happening again.
9. You never stop learning
Good Managers don’t rest on their laurels. They’re always looking for ways they can improve themselves and learn and grow.
Top 10 skills needed to be an effective Manager and lead a successful team
After reading through the above list, here are some of the skills you’ll need to make sure you’re being an effective Manager and getting the best out of your team.
2. Conflict resolution
3. Time management and organisational skills
5. Interpersonal skills
6. Providing constructive feedback
7. Emotional intelligence
8. Relationship building
9. Strength-based coaching
10. Problem solving
Different management styles
Did you know there’s a huge variety of different management styles? The kind of management style you adopt will depend on your personality, your line of work and what your team best respond to.
Here are just a few of the different management styles out there:
Democratic leaders also listen to others and gather feedback to help in their decision-making process. This is an approach that includes every member of the team so that everyone has a chance to contribute.
An authoritarian, or autocratic leader, is someone who is focused on results and efficiency. Often, they are the sole decision maker. They trust their team to do as they’re instructed to achieve the desired results.
A coach leader has a special gift for singling out peoples’ strengths and weaknesses. A coach leader will help team members set goals, provide feedback and constructive criticism, and push people to reach their full potential.
This is the complete opposite to the authoritarian leader. The hands-off leader will often delegate tasks to other team members because they have a strong, clear insight into how their team functions, and understand they work best when not under strict supervision.
You’ll often find transactional Managers in fast-paced, sales-driven workplaces, such as a call centre. They’re focused on results and efficiency, and they usually encourage their employees to perform well by offering rewards (such as a bonus). They’re also big on mentoring and training.
Fast-track your career with a qualification in leadership and management
Whether you’re hoping to step up into a leadership role within your own company, are looking for new opportunities outside your current workplace or just want to get your career off to the best possible start, OC can help.
The BSB42015 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management is an online course that will teach you essential skills for becoming an effective Manager.
It will teach you how to build effective relationships with your team members, how you can develop trust as a leader and how to develop your communication skills. You’ll also learn practical skills like how to develop an operational plan and how to implement and monitor WHS training.
If you’re eager to put your career on the path to success, then enrol today with OC.