Good Signs of a Great Manager
Given that we spend so much time working, there's nothing quite as wonderful as having a top-notch manager. Whilst managing people can be extremely difficult - walking the line of firm but fair is much harder than it seems - there are a few things to look out for to see if you make a good leader, or whether you're being managed by one.
Say Thank You
Feeling appreciated is not only a great feeling, but letting others know you appreciate their effort feels just as good. If you're a manager, make sure to take notice of the little things your employees do to keep the cogs turning, because when those things get recognised, they'll continue to do them well.
Feeling like you're having someone breathing down your neck all the time is a massive turn off, leaving you to feel like you're incompetent and can't be trusted. A good manager leaves the decisions regarding your tasks to you - they hired you for your skillset, and trust you to execute the final goal in whatever way you see fit.
Affirms and Encourages Good Work
A good manager should be encouraging, giving you feedback when you do well, as well as when you do badly. Good work can often be taken for granted, making it seem like the only feedback you ever get is negative. A great manager will make sure to point out your strengths alongside constructive criticism, leaving you feeling confident that you're on the right track.
In The Field
Sometimes the lofty heights of management and C-Suite leave even the most well-meaning of people forgetting to get their hands dirty. Just like Jenny from the block, a good manager will remember where they came from and not be afraid to help out with the menial tasks when they need to be done, or the day-to-day that falls to their employees. The best managers don't see any task as beneath them if it needs to get done, and are always willing to help.
'I don't know' are three little words that people have a real problem admitting to, yet nobody knows everything, not even the boss, and letting employees know that it's okay to ask questions and to be unsure leaves everybody feeling a lot more comfortable in their surroundings. Admitting gaps in knowledge is not a weakness but an opportunity to learn, and fosters a sense of reliance on one another for genuine, honest help.
Bad things happen, and when they do a good boss doesn't fly off the handle. Being able to approach crises with a cool head, giving the rest of the team a sense of calm, means that an already stressful situation doesn't need to be made any worse. Crisis calls for unity, and a great manager will get everybody rolling their sleeves up together.
A great boss is always approachable. Whether it's regarding a pay rise, a promotion, upcoming leave, or a personal issue, feeling comfortable enough to ask your boss about it is a sign that they've created an environment where they see you as a person, not a number. Making sure that colleagues are treated as humans first, employees second is the key to a healthy, happy workplace.
What do you think the qualities of a great manager are? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.