How to Be a Good Manager: 8 Quick Tips

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Being a manager in any industry can be a fulfilling job, but it can also be a difficult one. You will need to find the right balance of friendliness and authority. You will need to create a good team atmosphere whilst achieving the bigger goals. So how do you strike that balance?

1. Do Your Job

First and foremost do your own job. Managing people isn’t an excuse to let them do the work whilst you look on. Of course, sometimes your job may involve being more strategic but your staff will respect you for doing what needs to be done and being willing to pitch in like everyone else at times. Many of us have had managers who use their role as an excuse to do less or attend more meetings. Get the balance right and earn respect from your staff.

2. Acknowledge The Positive

See the positives in your staff and their work. Don’t be one of those bosses who only sees what’s missing rather than what’s been achieved. It is demoralizing for staff to have someone only see what they have done ‘wrong’. Positivity breeds positivity. Genuine and meaningful praise goes a long way. If this is difficult for you, get in the habit of noting down positive things you notice about how your staff work. Give feedback regularly and let them know that you see the good work they do.

Don’t Be Afraid to Manage

Things don’t always go smoothly in any workplace. You are a manager, so you must be willing to manage. Some people find it hard to set boundaries or give feedback but it is important to get over that hurdle. If you need some help with this don’t be afraid to ask your own boss for help or request training. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. You can make a work situation worse by not being clear with staff if you are hesitant about managing. People appreciate genuine leadership. Practice managing and making the tough decisions. These things get easier with practice but people will appreciate knowing where you stand and any changes they need to make.

3. Be Vulnerable

If you make a mistake, be big about it and apologize. It can be scary and seem like you are making yourself vulnerable, but your staff will appreciate your honesty. No one expects a manager to be super human. Everyone likes someone who takes responsibility for your actions. Being honest will help you create a culture of honesty.

4. Be Real With People

The way we work is changing. You don’t have to be superhuman or untouchable. Be the real human being that you are. Let people at work know about your life and find out about others. If you let people know the “real you” it is much easier than having different personalities for your work and home life.

Communicate

Let your staff know what’s going on behind the scenes, as appropriate. If something will affect a member of staff, make sure they are included in the communication. This doesn’t mean you have to let your staff know everything. Sometimes keeping communications back until the correct time can save panic and needless worrying. Communicate appropriately and consistently but be aware of how communication (or lack of it) can affect your staff.

5. Lead By Example

If you want your staff to behave in a certain way (professional, good team players), then lead by example. It is not fair to expect your staff to do something if you are not doing it yourself.

6. Be Self Aware

Be aware of your moods and how you communicate. You may not realise how much of an impact you have on your team as a manager. You may know you are in a bad mood about the dog chewing your shoes this morning but staff may feel that they have done something wrong if they don’t know this! Be aware of how and what you communicate. Your team will pick up on it.

7. Have Fun

Having fun at work can help make the work easier for everyone, forge positive relationships and strengthen your team. There is usually room for more fun in any work environment, but if the nature of your work makes that difficult, be sure to schedule fun activities when you can. Meeting for lunch or drinks after work can help build relationships and help your team to see you and each other in a new light. If you create a positive work atmosphere it also becomes easier to deal with challenges as they arise.

8. Trust Yourself

At the end of the day, there is no one right way to be a manager. Trust yourself and learn through your mistakes.  Managing others is a great way to develop and enhance your leadership skills and create a positive work experience for yourself and others.

Are you or have you been a manager? What advice would you add to this list?

(Image courtesy of planetlight under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 generic license.)


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Jen Smith is a Life Coach and Mentor living in the UK. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.
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Discussion

  1. wasim alrayes on the 9th February

    I would also like to add be a team player, as part of being a good manager if you can have good relation ship with your team and employees, they will want to work for you, if you go that extra mile for them, they will appreciate it and you will get the best out of them.

    • Mario Garcia on the 9th March

      Great point… “Team player” is one of my favorites words as a manager.

  2. Jen Smith on the 10th February

    Great point Wasim – a good relationship with your team pays dividends. As you say, people want to go the extra mile for people they respect and feel appreciated by.

    Jen

    • usman on the 29th June

      i think every one is a leader who believe on his own self and who can control his nerves in difficulties.

  3. Bryce Christiansen on the 10th February

    #5 is my favorite. It is really easy for me to recognize a manager I’ll like and this is typically one of the top determining factors.

    • Jen Smith on the 12th February

      Yes, me too Bryce! Walking the talk is so important. Without the action to back up the words, you will lose the respect of your employees. Thanks for joining in the conversation. :)
      Jen

  4. Toote on the 10th February

    Hope that you don’t mind that I translated the article to Spanish with the appropriate attribution: http://www.enespanol.com.ar/2011/02/10/8-consejos-rapidos-para-ser-mejor-jefe/

    • Jen Smith on the 12th February

      Thanks for spreading the word Toote. It may just be worth dropping the editor a message to let them know.
      Thanks, Jen :)

    • Mike Vardy on the 15th February

      Thanks for letting us know…and spreading the WorkAwesome word! Even better, thanks for properly attributing the author. Jen deserves the credit!

  5. ronika on the 11th February

    Excellent points. It’s so important to earn the respect of your employees. I’ve never understood managers who expect their employees to work late and leave early. I would also add that managers, as difficult as this might be, should try to avoid succumbing to the urge to gossip with their employees.

    • Jen Smith on the 12th February

      I totally agree Ronika! I think some managers think because they are in that position, they are entitled to do things like that, but I really think leading by examples pays dividends. As a good manager I had once said, “don’t expect your staff to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself”.

      Your point about not gossiping with employees is a great one. I have had managers that have done things like that (including whispering with another member of staff about other employees whilst in the office!). It erodes trust and respect and creates bad feelings ultimately. Definitely one to be avoided!

      Jen

    • Michelle on the 5th March

      I totally agree with your point of managers gossiping with and about staff members! For as long as I can remember I worked under a manager and there was always one that felt the need to gossip! Today I was offered a branch Manager position after being an external sales executive for over 15 years. I have been treated like dirt and been back stabbed so many times, I lost count years ago! Today I stand up to say, I will do my utmost best to treat all my staff with equal respect and work just as hard as they do. I know what it feels like being yelled at and even at time sworn at! Thanks for the tips! xxx

    • Pooja Lohana on the 5th March

      Congratulations Michelle! And sooo good to hear that.

      Pooja

  6. Anthony Steiner on the 13th February

    Holy crap! This entire thing explains why my last job was a failure… my previous manager would do well to put this article to practice, lol.

  7. Gina Romero on the 17th February

    Great article Jen! I would like to add one point:

    Eliminate ‘blame culture’ by making it ok to make genuine mistakes. Indemnify people who are honest about their errors & work proactively to solve the problem rather than pointing fingers.

    Unfortunately, too many work environments are ‘blame focused’ which not only makes people fearful & dishonest but lowers morale & kills team spirit!

    • dominic caia on the 13th February

      Great call Gina, I call it “accountability”

  8. Vic on the 7th May

    Indeed, be real with people. Being real is showing honesty, openness and also humility to your subordinates. It can also mean that you truly is sincere to them. By doing, understanding exists between managers and subordinates. Great article, thanks for sharing Jen. Surely managers will learn from this post.

  9. Hub on the 4th July

    Jen great article, now everything is making sense!

    • IRMA QUINTANS on the 15th August

      Hello everyone! its fun reading all of these tips and conversation in this site ive learned a lot as a manager its helps me doing my job much better! thanks Guys!! God Bless you all!

  10. New Manager on the 1st August

    Hi, I would like to thank the write for this awesome article also I want to take his opinion about being a new to management…What is the best way to make the relation between me and the employees stronger and let them to feel comfortable working with me…I can feel that they don’t even take it from me any serious! I was at the same position but later I got a raise and I become the manager! so what is the best way to set the limits and make things to be so real? …

    • VS on the 10th December

      I also was promoted from the team to become a manager. The first thing you need to do is to stop every urge to show off or enforce the newly acquired “power”. Give them respect and they will respect you back. “Ask” for favors rather than “order” them to do things. Never ever use any personal information you might know about your employee against them or gossip about them. Involve them as “part of the solution” rather than giving out their share of work. That will cause them to be disconnected from the solution. Turn your project/work around as their project/work by “empowering” them to making decisions along with you. Ask for opinions and when you find good suggestions give them credit for it. We all know how good we feel when we work on a project/work we own, or we thought of, even if it is a small part of it.

  11. Nasrat Barakzai on the 14th August

    Actually i have learn lots of useful informaton from these 8 tips there for i think it is really useful for a manager, even it is so simple but i was not aware of that gains thanks for that kind of great information.

  12. SUSAN MEREINA on the 22nd August

    All the 8 tips are of good help to me because i am new in this field of management and i am always afraid to point out thing but this page have really helped me learn a lot.

  13. Fanie Venter on the 13th September

    Put yourself in the place of your employee and give them the priveliges you gave yourself , if only for a short time . Then you wil know how they feel . Also get to know your basic conditions of employment act , labour Relations act and basic human rights acts. If all else fails consult your Union Chairpersons with the help of your Labour relations Officer.

    From a Chairperson.
    Hospersa ( left )
    P.S.A. ( Newly )

  14. Dena on the 5th October

    good ideass !!

  15. Harry Sibanda on the 12th October

    thank you for the tips will teach them to my staff members so that we become an effective team & produce the results our organisation wants to see.

  16. khan on the 16th October

    first of all i will say thanks for this eight points .
    really this is an very important points which i must appreciate the work done by you is nice .
    but if you have some other data or you know some good online books plz. tell me thanks ……….

  17. back to management on the 16th October

    Thank you so much for these 8 tips! I am returning to management for a 2nd time and I really want to be an effective manager this time around. The problems I have are much like the “new manager”, I was promoted to manage the employees that I worked beside and they are my friends. So, I guess my question is how to be an effective manager to employees that are my friends and we were equals?? Any advice is welcome!

  18. RESHU GUPTA on the 24th October

    #2,#4 and #…. I like these points.
    Being in the post of Manager and to understand the atmosphere around you in the company and also to understand the mind setup of your team members (Individually) is really a tough job.
    Be precise and always true and straight from your heart….
    is the best mantra for being good.

  19. adili on the 31st October

    They are real good points and clear all an anticipated mistates that woud otherwise cost a manager. But please, can you take into consideration of staffs with unpredicted behaviour who wouldn’t pay dividends to all almost eigth criteria above explaned, and still bring trouble to a manager. I stand ready to be corrected

  20. Johnny on the 5th November

    Yes, all these tips are a must in being a great manager. Also, you must not forget being consistent, fair and organized. I have been in positions where employees were on vacation and here I was thinking they did not show up. Being organized will prevent such things. Being consistent to the point where you ALWAYS handle a situation in the same manner or fashion. You may find it that you may take it easier sometimes on an employee that you favor. Things like that should not exist in your position. Be consistent all around.

  21. venkatesh on the 6th November

    All the 8 tips are of good help to me because i am new in this field of management and i am always afraid to point out thing but this page have really helped me learn a lot.

  22. Anil Bohare on the 14th November

    I like this article a lot. I am adding below tips in this.
    (1) Communication
    (2) Patience

  23. Graham on the 15th November

    Wort reading…

  24. tom on the 18th November

    Its hard for me to work with co workers that expect you to do all the work. my boss said i could get my 2nd raise. how do i go about ask about gettin that. ive always heard u do the work before u get the pay.i also have a manager who wont say anything the whole shift. weird,

  25. Andrew on the 29th January

    I am a new manager. I manage two workers in the ag. business. We are all the same age and I am left in charge to keeping things running. I care about my job and seem to worry to much. Which stresses me out. I feel that my workers may not take me seriously. I enjoyed the 8 tips. They will be helpful!

  26. LUCKY EGBOCHIE on the 5th February

    I have being a manager, for the past 1 year. My staff do not respect me as a manager. What will i do to make my staff repect me and do a good job to the tast of a customer.
    Tel:08032605690

    • P.Schutte on the 6th March

      My advice would be that you need to first understand why they don’t respect you. Sometimes we feel that we are not respected when it is only that we are feeling insecure. You need to be able to make a choices and not doubt yourself. Try asking others for their opinion on the subject before making your decision. That way you make them part of the choice and they feel that they are contributing and makes them feel part of the company.

    • experienced manager on the 16th May

      pull out the rule book, challenge the most problematic employee and dicipline them. That should do it. Nobody likes a soft arse.

    • Daniel on the 16th September

      You need to have a 1-on-1 with each of them to find out exactly what they want in general. It could be more money, more/less responsibilities or even a change in business processes. When you find out what they want make promises to them on what you can deliver. For example, if you are in sales you can tell them I will give you a raise if you can hit and sustain $X. The key here is to deliver on your promise consistently and timely.

      After you discuss what they want, you need to tell them what you expect as a minimum. For example you can say I expect you to show up on time everyday. Failure will result in a write-up. Make promises on corrective actions if the minimum is not met. Like above, the key here is to deliver on your promise consistently and timely.

  27. Navdeep Gill on the 8th February

    Very nice and practical ideas..i am a new manager and till now what i have experienced from my few days job is that, patience is the key to all success in life…So, my advice to all my mates participating in this conversation is be patient with your workers.

  28. Matin on the 12th February

    Dear friends, you are right.

    but there are some problems in some communities to manage them.
    for example, in Afghanistan the best manager is a manager who has the right to terminate an employ, other ways he can not be an excellent manager however he has all managing points. could you please tel me know what king of management is good for them.

    • Dipannita on the 26th June

      I have had my share of employees who seem to be trouble makers. What I do is hold a clear talk with them and let them know which behaviours are unacceptable.
      I have also had to fire a few employees (those positions which could be replaced easily) which I have done and also keep the trouble makers (people who could not be replaced easily at that time). It takes a lot of patience (to not say things that you may have going), determination (I have had a person shout at me because I did not approve of his request), and a lot of support from your superiors.

  29. young and silly manager on the 25th February

    To be a manager, only can handle the relationship with employee is not enough…… well, how about the management team members, how about our boss…… We, the manager, just like a bridge link between the upper and the lower layer. This job is really really not easy because the skill is different as when we face to our boss, our staffs and our team members!!
    I think I need a senior to be my teacher ….. all these can not be learnt from any one of the management course!!
    TQ

  30. Bongeka on the 5th March

    Great 8 tips indeed.If you’re a manager you have to talk the talk,walk the walk ,be visible and lead by example.If you can do just this, I promise you’ll never go wrong.

  31. P.Schutte on the 6th March

    All of this is very true, I would also like to add that as a manager it is very important to
    try and respect your employees culture (where they come from). You should be
    able to be flexable enough to say…”I understand”.

    Being able to know when to give a little and where to apply the brakes.

  32. Debapriya Banerjee on the 24th March

    Thanks to all of you. Management is really a big part of our life. It makes our life perfect.

  33. Doreen on the 10th April

    I like all that i have read above and i have just got a job of being an overall company manager and am wondering how to go about it, am just new in the field ( just graduated).

    Any suggestions and advices are very welcome,

    thanks,

    Doreen Anyijukire

  34. Danyka on the 25th April

    good web

  35. experienced manager on the 16th May

    great points there and agree with them all.
    Great article.
    I would add though that you shouldnt be afraid of been brutaly honest with employees that are under performing. stern, straight, honest sort it out or as lord sugar would say “your fired”. (obviously following your companies D&G guidelines before doing so) Some people cant be saved

  36. Ghazal on the 19th May

    a nice and appreciable thing to enhance the ability of any person

  37. Hamid on the 16th July

    I belive to be a good manager needs experince and it depends strongly on your personality and the way you are grown up . The tips might help to some extent.

  38. Obed on the 27th July

    i am going for an interview for a position in Manger Investigation, i have not been in a managerial position before, what should i expect?

  39. Linda on the 16th August

    i’m just looking for a little guidance here – i was appointed to manage a team of 8 medical typists middle of june this year:
    their personalities, of course, are varied and i’ve got a martyr (top performer), two sulkers, a drama queen, a warm self-confident woman who works well but chats quite a lot, and a quiet mouse with sharp teeth!

    on a recent team building day we worked on resolving longstanding interpersonal stresses within the team. the resolution we all made to become a stronger happier and more efficient team, has floated out of reach.

    i’m so tightly wrapped up in trying to keep everyone happy and still keep them working within parameters that i seem to have become too controlling and it’s lowering morale markedly. help!

  40. Daniel on the 16th September

    I have an issue with Point 1.

    A good manager acts as a catalyst in the reaction of work. This means they don’t need to do anything other then be present for work to be done. This isn’t as easy as it sounds; it takes a lot of coaching and development to get your team to this stage.

    As a manager I am not at this stage yet. I am constantly striving to develop my team and many of them have been promoted out of my team. I tell my team everyday, it’s my goal to do nothing all day and I’m not there yet.

  41. vikas on the 22nd September

    great!
    These 8 tips which given here, are really helpfull to me for the team handling

  42. Niket on the 24th September

    My Manager appreciates employees who never say “No”.
    My Group Leader appreciates and praises those employees who play table tennis in working hours and then work late in evenings.

  43. Kumar on the 16th October

    Great Tips.

    Managing people is an art as many say.

    A manager should have good emotional stability. He/she can’t be at different moods always regardless of the situations at home or at work.

    A manager should know when he/she shouldn’t criticize a subordinate even if they are wrong. Always ensure that a manager values human rights with utmost priority.

    Even if a manager is a subject matter expert, his/her people management skill is the determining factor as to whether he/she is a right choice of leading a team that not necessarily a big team but a team consists of single member. This explains on how important a manager’s role is. If any manager reading this and thinks that he/she fits into this category, please speak to your boss and do the job independently as you are the subject matter expert and not a people manager.

    A manager’s people management skill must be audited by a confidential survey (by their direct reports) regularly and that will give a picture of the managers’ performance. A company might lose good talents if they have bad managers.

    Please conduct Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) Test for all the mangers/teams to understand each other better.

  44. Paula on the 17th October

    Couldn’t agree more! A great reminders to all leaders out there. An effective manager plus a good business management ~ this would help in achieving goals and building a strong relationship with our colleagues.

  45. Nouman Khan on the 7th November

    Management is the of Responsibility & Manager is a Good Leader , Equality is his team , Don not Personalized with employees in Pvt Company some time want to surgery butt be don’t do this Treat it is motivate then u will be a good manager
    thanks

  46. Soon to be manager on the 28th January

    Just want to add that a good Manager ALWAYS follow through on tasks, staff concerns, day to day issues, etc. in a timely manner.

  47. marlin on the 22nd March

    Ive read all your comments and starting a new job in a management capacity,this will really help alot.Now all i have to do is put into practice all the experience i have and everything i just read here.
    Thanx guys

  48. Amanda on the 13th May

    I am starting at a new golf course this year as a banquet manager, there is some staff there that are new, some from the year or years before and also some comig with me from my previous job; however, i was not a manager at my previous job and am kind of being thrown into this position. I dont know most of the staff and am their same age and feel they dont take me seriously( ie new girls ask other girls that have worked there for previous years ) questions instead of me also my boss has not been clear with me on my responsibilities and expectations they have for me , so i just worked a huge sunday buffet- and it blew up in my face( girls werent listening to me i didnt know how it was supposed to be setup or where anything was etc) now ive sat down with my boss and have a clearer idea of what my role is however i have shown to be a poor manager to my staff now so how do i reconnect and show myself to be worthy of their respect and hard work?

  49. clay in Namibia/Africa on the 23rd May

    “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
    your 8 points are very good I just want to add some,
    1. create clarity around direction and priorities
    2. Aligns the entire team around common objectives
    3. Develops an ability and a willingness to learn from mistakes
    4. Keeps moving forward and changes direction when necessary

    As a manager, rebuilding trust cost you 7.2 time’s, so one must follow your 8 tips and try to do it ride.

  50. Thobile Msibi on the 27th June

    Just want to add that a good Manager empower employees by:commiting for the long haul,reward and recognize positive result of empowerment,paint a picture of what they want to acomplish,they have fun with staff.

  51. Sarah on the 3rd March

    I just received a promotion at work that will probably upset a few people I work with directly. They don’t know about it yet but I want to be able to gain their respect. I know currently they don’t have much respect for me but I think it’s because they see me as a “push over”. I am wondering that when my title change comes into play what should I do with these 5 people that will be under me? Any suggestions will be a huge help:)

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