What Makes a Good Manager?
You’ve heard it before: “Why is this person even in management?” You might have even gone so far as to think the manager you were referring to was managing just for the title and shouldn’t be managing at all. This article will explore some of the qualities that a manager needs to become a good leader.
Speaking Employees’ Language
People skills can be the most important quality an individual needs to be a successful manager. These skills encompass an individual’s ability to listen and communicate with others while staying calm in tense situations. In addition, knowing how to keep emotions in check makes a manager more approachable and better able to deal with a variety of personalities and situations.
Regardless of the company, managers tend to wear many hats, including dealing with a variety of people both inside and outside of the company. When a manager can deal with various personalities on a daily basis he/she will not only be able to work more efficiently, but will become a leader that employees can look up to. You may ask, “What about experience?” A manager can have all the experience in the world, but if they have trouble dealing with employees or manage by intimidation, experience means nothing. Put simply, experience does not necessarily make a good manger, but people skills do.
Power to the People
Managers also need to know how to motivate and empower their employees. Empowering an employee is a tool that should be used properly and continuously. When empowering an employee, good managers give them more responsibility and motivation, letting them know they are valued by management and their skills are appreciated. For example, many years ago while working at American Airlines as a ramp supervisor, there had been several issues with a shop steward who tried to boss around ramp supervisors. During one of the monthly meetings, the ramp manager empowered all of the ramp supervisors by allowing them to tell the shop steward, “You work for me, I do not work for you.”
When a manager motivates employees it can be done with just a simple “thank you.” Small tokens of appreciation go a long way in motivating employees. There are many other ways to motivate employees and each situation is different based on the company. Having a monthly recognition day where all employees are recognized for their contributions and years of service can be helpful. These employee recognition days can include a cake for everyone to share, an award certificate, or even a monthly contest of some sort where the winner gets to park in the boss’s parking spot. Whatever you decide to do, make sure even a small “thank you” is sincere.
It’s unrealistic to believe every day at work will be perfect, but it is realistic for a manager with the right set of people skills to continually motivate and empower their employees to succeed. When an employee feels valued by a manager, it can be surprising how productive that employee can be.