Every manager has different personalities, management styles, and different ways of dealing with issues. But have you ever wondered what sets the best managers apart? What are the qualities of a good manager?

The perfect recipe for disaster is a manager who doesn’t understand who they are, what they’re good at, and what they need to work on. Being a good manager isn’t simple, it takes time and practice.

If you’re a manager and looking to upgrade yourself, this post lists out 30 qualities that managers should have.

What are the important qualities of a manager?

Communication skills

Clear communication helps team members and staff understand what they need to do and what you expect from them. Unclear communication makes staff feel lost and diverts their attention to irrelevant matters.

Communication skills are used in different settings, with different people, and for different purposes. So whether you’re in a conversation or writing an email, talking with your staff or your supplier, persuading your customers or resolving employee conflicts, the best communication practices should be applied.

Read more about how to improve your business communication skills.

Honesty

When you lead your team with transparency and honesty, you establish trust within the workplace. Studies from Tiny Pulse show that 61% of workers believe that the top important factor that keeps employees satisfied is trust towards managers.

Plus, employees need direct and honest communication so they understand what they need to do, rather than subtle answers that only show politeness but won’t get anyone anywhere.

Competence and intellectual resources

Being competent means you have enough knowledge and skills to perform efficiently in your role as a manager. If you have no idea what’s going on in your business, it’ll be difficult for employees to trust and follow you.

Having intellectual resources helps you learn fast and improve quickly. Do you think logically and strategically? What about your intuition? Can you assess the results and evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies?

Confidence

Managers need to be confident because their confidence affects all aspects of their company. The choices you’ve made, the goals you’ve set, the strategies you’ve employed—you need the confidence to believe in what you’ve done and to continue your path. Nothing is more reliable in staff’s eyes than a leader who is in command.

Autonomy & responsibility

Managers are responsible for leading their business to success. You need to be committed and responsible for the operations of your business, as well as the development of the people working in it.

You should take responsibility for every choice you make and accept the consequences of bad decisions. Pursuing certain courses of action with a firm stance will certainly take you and your company far.

Focus

As a manager, you’re probably drowned in things that require your attention. This is where you need to summon your focus to pay attention to only priorities. Without focus, you’ll soon get lost in minor tasks, tedious details, and unnecessary distractions.

focus

Creativity

A manager with creativity can bring so many things to the table. There might be complicated issues that you can’t resolve in conventional ways. The ability to think outside the box and being creative enough to come up with innovative solutions is a huge plus.

Open-mindedness

If you’re open-minded to new and strange ideas, your team members won’t be afraid to get creative. They’ll feel free to share whatever they think is good for the business, and you can improve procedures and solutions accordingly.

Optimism & positivity

The business world is full of struggles. There’ll be times when things don’t go the way you want. A major decrease in the number of customers, an employee starts to make your life difficult, some workers become disruptive—all these things can make you feel and act negatively. As the captain of the ship, you should be optimistic and positive enough to motivate your people.

a manager is motivating her team members

Decisiveness

This quality is among one of the most crucial qualities of a manager. You have to make tons of decisions every day. You can’t pass the buck to anyone, even when facing tough choices. So being able to assess the options and making decisions swiftly help your business run smoothly without any delays.

The fear of dangers, risks, and imperfections only pull you behind while everyone else steps ahead. You need to be willing to make tough decisions even when there isn’t enough information to consider and all you have is your intuition.

Commitment

Great managers don’t constantly look for another better job and leave behind their current company. This affects employee morale and their trust in the business. “Why would we stay if the leader didn’t even bother to?”

People can see how you commit to your work, from how you perform and strive to improve yourself, the amount of time you spend for work to what you’re willing to sacrifice. So if you aren’t truly committed to your business, employees might’ve already noticed.

Delegation skills

Delegating work to others can be difficult for some leaders because they’re afraid the outcomes won’t match their expectations. Some don’t want to be seen as incompetent.

If you’re that manager, you need to know that important tasks and the overall picture need your attention. Without delegating minor tasks and tasks that can be completed by someone else, you won’t have enough time and energy to solve everything on your own.

Some tasks you can delegate:

  • admin tasks
  • tasks that are near due dates but you can’t solve them in time
  • tasks that someone else can do better than you
  • tasks that someone else has the skills to do
  • training and onboarding tasks, etc.

Having a vision

Without a vision, your company can’t be taken far. The vision creates an orientation for where the company will go, and how everybody will work. And you need to use your communication skills to make the vision known to everyone in the team.

Managerial courage

Managerial courage is shown through everything you do, meaning you can:

  • overcome uncomfortable situations and handle problems in business confidently
  • know what to say, when to say, and how to say it
  • tackle problems whether on their own or with the team, rather than avoid the problems

Things aren’t always black and white when managing a business, and good managers are ready for any challenging circumstances.

Building a trusting work culture

Trust is a big element that keeps the workplace running. Make your workplace culture a place where no one is looked over their shoulder to perform the best job.

Trust is more like a two-way street and can’t be built in a day or two. You need to find people you can trust, and establish trust gradually with them via different activities and interactions.

Not micromanaging

Trying to control every detail only makes staff feel you don’t trust them. Some managers do this simply because they want the best outcomes for the team, but too much micromanagement can damage the happiness and productivity of the team.

Caring about employees

A business can’t run efficiently without skilled and satisfied employees. Don’t always focus solely on your products or services, try to invest in your people, too.

For employees to feel good and dedicated, the manager plays a big role. You need to constantly keep an eye on employees’ ability, organize activities to engage them, and create opportunities for them to develop themselves. You also have to care about their physical and mental well-being.

A caring manager also understands the importance of recognition and rewards. Team members understand that management appreciates their efforts and make more dedicated contributions. This increases employee engagement, loyalty, and retention.

Empathy

Empathy is an important factor that affects employee engagement and retention. If you fail to put yourself in employees’ shoes and listen to their voice, they’ll be disappointed and disengaged, and they’ll leave eventually. Understanding what your people are going through will build harmonious workplace relationships, and make employees feel involved and cared for.

Approachability

Managers need to be approachable enough for employees to seek support and guidance when needed. You should be a reliable and friendly source for your staff to raise questions or ask for advice. Being rude or gruff won’t do you any good.

Analytical abilities

You can’t just manage a successful business without touching the analytics stuff. Knowing how to analyze things properly is better when it comes to decision-making. You can spot and interpret patterns and data, and use them to make better decisions.

Being able to deal with pressure

As a manager, you’re responsible for every aspect of your business. Things can pile up on your plate too quickly and become burdens on your shoulders. Being able to keep your emotion stable to withstand the pressure will help you overcome stressful periods easier.

Patience

You need patience to endure and overcome challenging circumstances—waiting for the final results, resolving conflicts, listening to others’ ideas, etc.

For situations that make you lose your control, patience keeps you from acting impulsively and uncontrollably. Practice your patience by taking deep breaths and reconsider things carefully before making any moves.

Inspiring employees

The manager plays a big role in influencing and inspiring staff. To be an inspiration for employees, you need a combination of different skills and other qualities of a manager—being responsible, having a vision, showing managerial courage, motivating employees, etc.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, manage, and control your emotions in different situations. It also includes understanding the emotions of people around you. Your emotions influence your behaviors and thinking tremendously, so being able to keep them at bay is important.

Accepting that you can be vulnerable

You don’t have to be a superhero 100 percent of the time. You can make mistakes, make bad choices, or fail. Don’t ignore failures and criticisms or try to hide them. Be willing to acknowledge them and learn from the vulnerable moments.

Knowing how to find the right companions

The companions that you choose can make or break your business. It’s important to practice seeking the right people for your team. Figure out the must-have traits and the deal-breakers so you can easily spot suitable candidates. Once you’ve found the right companions, you can share the work without too much fear or micromanagement.

Flexibility

Changes are unavoidable when managing a business. You may run into a difficult staff, a no-call, no-show, or conflicts. That’s when you utilize your flexibility. Are you flexible enough to adopt different management styles for each situation or solve employee scheduling problems?

Integrity

Integrity shows in your business ethics and your moral principles, and how you adhere to them in the way you run your business. Having integrity helps you gain respect from employees and even customers.

Organization

These skills allow you to establish organized and efficient procedures in your company. For example, you can establish a better scheduling process so that your workers always know their shifts and go to work without any confusion. Plus, when things are organized, you can easily spot delays or obstacles that hinder the business operation.

Being a role model

This is among the top qualities of a good manager that recruiters look for because a manager sets the biggest example for other people in the business. You don’t have to be the perfect boss, but before you say or do anything, just remember that you can directly affect the way employees behave at work.

Do you need all of these qualities to be a good manager?

How many good qualities of a manager do you have? The good news is it’s normal if you don’t have all of them. Some of them overlap each other, too. So no pressure!

However, a real leader doesn’t just assign tasks and give orders. Being aware of what you’re good at and work on other positive qualities will certainly up your game as a manager.

So you’ve got a list of areas you can work on, how about your employees? Check out these 23 areas of improvement to help them grow together with you!

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