February 23, 2017

Top tips on how to be a good manager

Some people take very easily to management and are naturally good at it. They inspire and motivate their team, support them and get great results, individually and collectively.

Others need to work a lot harder at it and hone their management skills in order to get the best out of their team. Different styles of managers also suit different organisations, teams and employees.

While no-one can or should be expected to overhaul their personality in order to make themselves a better manager, there are some simple ways to improve your management capabilities. Here are our top tips on how to be a good manager:

1. Reflect on your management style. Think about how you manage your team. Look at the good and bad bits. If one employee causes particular problems, then take an honest look at how you manage them and how the situation could be improved. Are you too at fault?
2. Get a coach or mentor. It is so useful to have a neutral, experienced person to talk to and use as a sounding board. It is particularly useful if your organisation is going through change, if you have recently had a promotion and feel out of your depth or even if you just want that facility to take a step back, reflect and discuss progress.
3. Have the right team. When recruiting, work hard at getting people who have the necessary skills and attributes and will contribute to organisational success. Consider how team members work together, where the strengths and weaknesses are.
4. Communicate well. It is essential that managers can communicate well with their team, on a team and individual level. Be clear, consistent and honest (where appropriate) with people. Good communication not only means that everyone knows what is going on and why, it also creates the right environment, one of openness, trust and co-operation.
5. Listen well. Managers have to be able to listen well. Proactive, empathetic listening is an art and one which all managers need to possess or at least, work at.
6. Empathise. Being able to understand people’s perspective and understand what motivates them, upsets them and demotivates them is really important. Even if you don’t agree with their emotions, you have to recognise them and know how to deal with them.
7. Be a good role model. If you want a hard-working, collaborative and engaged team, then set them that example. If you don’t practice what you preach, you will damage your credibility, your team won’t respect you and team motivation will be adversely affected.
8. Delegate. An essential part of good management is knowing what responsibilities and tasks to pass on. It’s not just about making your workload easier though. It’s also about developing the skills and responsibilities of the team and showing them that you trust them to do a good job.
9. Recognise and reward success and effort. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, particularly if they have put a lot of effort into something or excelled at a task. Make sure you recognise and reward success. It doesn’t have to be a monetary reward. A simple thank you goes a long way, as does public acknowledgement of a job well done.
10. Develop employees. Facilitate training where it’s needed, but just importantly, create the right environment – one that encourages continuous learning and knowledge regeneration.