What Makes A Good Manager?

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What Makes a Good Manager? 
Are You Management Material?  This is an excellent question to ask as you are getting promoted to manage others or have already been managing for awhile.  There are many managers out there, but there are few good ones.  The goal of a good manager is to achieve stellar results through inspiring, leading, and developing your team.  Developing skills to become a good manager is not easy.  Just because you were a good team member does not automatically make you a good manager.
One who leads or guides is considered a great leader.  You have to possess leadership skills.  Vision without action is a daydream.  Action without vision is a nightmare.  You have to lead the team in a set of efforts.  It is important to set and communicate clear direction to your team on what needs to be accomplished and how it can be accomplished at a high level.  There are many ways to get things done.  Choose the best way and stick with it.  Lacking the confidence to set direction, your team can easily get overworked and it can turn into a nightmare for everyone.  A good leader has confidence and provides clear direction.
Make sure you delegate well to accomplish greatness with a team.  If you limit yourself to only delegating specific tasks, then you are restricting your team from helping you solve the larger problem.  Assess your team members' skills early, delegate issues based on only what you think they can handle.  Own the large issue, break it down into smaller ones, and let each team member help you solve the smaller ones.  If you hold on too tight and only delegate tasks, then you will just end up doing most of the work yourself, and the team members might also be demotivated from not being challenged.  Therefore, remember to delegate issues not tasks.
A good manager supports open communication.  It is ultra important.  If you cannot get your team to be open and ask questions, you'll never get anywhere.  Find a way to encourage your team members to ask clarification questions.  Give them some feed back on their works in progress.  This will make your job easier in the long run, as you cannot easily guess if someone may be confused or stuck.  By encouraging communication, you can create a safe environment for your team to ask questions, get feedback and escalate concerns.  Communication is defined as a giving or exchanging of information.  Talking is defined as putting ideas into words.
Being a manager is not just about getting more things done.  You also need to invest time to develop your team.  This means understanding each person's skill level, career goals, and creating opportunities for them to learn new skills while at the same time accomplishing what the company needs this team to accomplish.  This probably sounds like a lot of extra work, but it's worth it.  When you care about the success of each of your team members, they will in turn care about your success and go above and beyond to perform.  A good manager invest time in people development.  Find the value of an employee by inspiring them to be incredible.
In conjuction with a mindset to develop others, as a manager, it is critical to know how to provide constructive feedback.  No one is perfect.  Everyone has strengths and development areas.  It is your job as a manager to let each of your team members know how to leverage their strengths and provide good examples of where and how to develop.
This may sound simple but if you worked hard to get something done with your team, your ego may instinctively want to claim the credit since you are the team leader.  Resist!  Nothing demotivates a team more quickly than a manager who claims all the credit.  Always give credit to your team.  They will appreciate it.  Leadership is smart and will naturally credit you even if you do not claim it.  Your team will think you are a great manager.
A good manager defines their own management style.  The qualities of what makes a good manager may be the same but the style you will use to manifest these qualities depends on your personality.  Do not try to copy someone else's style exactly just because you admire them as a good manager.  Find a few role models in management and incorporate a little bit of each into your own management style.  Only when you take time to develop your own style, can these manager qualities be manifested consistenly and genuinely.
Effective management is a challenge.  There are six skills that are essential for any person who manages people and projects.  They are as follows:
  • Clear Communication
  • Assertive Communication
  • Creating a Connection
  • Integrity
  • Motivational Skills
  • Decision Making Skills

As a manager, it is crucial to aid in the flow of information.  It needs to be clear and effective.  Have a clear cut style of communication.  Use accurate words to express facts and ideas.  Ask the people you work with to do the same.  A clear communication style defines good management at its roots.  Make sure your employess understand what you are asking.

Assertive communication is the ability to express your thoughts, ideas, wants and emotions in a strightforward, no hesitant way, while also being tactful and respectful of the other person.  communicating assertively often starts with mastering the previous skill, but it goes way beyond this.  It means creating a win-win blend in the communication with a wide range of individuals, which is very powerful and unfortunately, very rare.  The fundamental communication skill for both managers and employees.  Good managers are persistent, bold and confident in their communication skills.

A good manager creates a connection with their employees.  Business may ultimately be about results, but it is still an exchange between individuals and it has a very human component.  an important part of what makes a good manager is their ability to connect with others.  Building a rapport and trust.  Good managers know how to be authentic, open and friendly with other people, especially their subordinates.  They demonstrate interest in others and they can make interpersonal interaction informal and relaxed.  Others find it highly enjoyable to work with them or for them.

A good manager displays integrity.  Building a conncection and trust is so important.  Integrity is the alignment between thoughts, words, and actions.  A manager with a lot of integrity is the one who says what they think and does what they say they'll do.  As a result, the subordinated employees know they can count on their manager.  Team transparency, constructive attitudes and performance naturally arise from the employee.  If you're wondering why such conditions are so rare in many organizations, it is because high integrity is rare.

Motivational skills are a great tool for a manager to have.  They are subtle.  Understanding people's motivations and properly responding to them help a good manager.  A manager with this quality is able to match the motivations and strengths with the tasks and compensationsf ro one of their employees.  Considering the uniqueness of each employee and the structural complexity an organization can have, this is quite the skill to master.

A manager's role is like putting together a puzzle.  The pieces of the puzzle are the people, tasks, goals and data.  Assembling them means creating strategies, distributing tasks, supervising their execution and providing feedback.  All of these managerial activities involve a lot of decision making.  A good manager needs to think rationally, analyze variables effectively and strategize with skill.  What makes a good manager is serious stuff, good management is no child's play.  Managers should never get too cocky about their skills and need to continually invest in their self growth.  Think about the motivations that compel you to do a good job and to achieve great outcomes.  Focus on them yourself.  Set a good example for your employees to follow.  Be someone pleasant to work with.  Be the best so that others have an incentive to match you.

A good manager gets to know their employees.  They use smarter goals and delegate authority.  Get some insight into the lives of the people you hired.  Learn about who they are and where they are going.  Find out what motivates each individual to do a good job so you can capitalize on it.  Convey goals that are specific, realistic, and measurable.  As long as your employees can see the light at the end of the tunnel, they will keep working towards it with enthusiasm and focus.  You know the bottom line.  Instead of micromanaging everyone else's work, explain to them what your bottom line is, and assign them a certain amount of authority so that they can take charge of the task at hand.  By opening up new possibilities, your employees will be encouraged to do the job the way they would do it if they were in charge.  Provide a clear system of incentives for your employees.  Everyone enjoys a reward.

Once you have ahieved success, do not forget to celebrate!  Do not lose sight of the reality that this is an ongoing process that is a regular part of your role as a manager.  Think of creative ways to increase your motivational strategies.  Make use of retreats, team building exercises and travel where relevant.  Always keep in mnd that a motivated workforce will be a happier, productive, profitable and ensures a fun place to work.  Do you have what it takes to be a good manager?

Test Questions and Form

True or False

1.  One who leads or guides is considered a great leader.

2.  A good leader has confidence and clear direction.

3.  A good leader finds the value of an employee.

4.  Letting your employees know how they are doing is considered constructive feedback.

5. Everyone likes to hear "good job".


You must hold a TDSHS MRT Certification to use these credits for ARRT requirements.

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