The top 5 traits a great manager should possess
Those in management and executive-level roles are key to the morale and productivity of teams, to the retention of staff, and therefore to the success of the business as a whole.
Great managers possess a slew of qualities and skills that won’t be immediately apparent by looking at a list of qualifications or timeline of experience.
Possessing a range of soft skills is just as crucial, particularly as new styles of management have emerged during the pandemic, driven by the rise in remote work and a moving away from outdated dictatorial, authoritarian management methods.
Now more than ever, managers need to be mentor, support giver, nurturer and career coach. They need to attend to their team’s mental wellbeing as well as their output. They need to help their team excel in every sense, nurturing their skillsets and bringing out the very best in them whilst having the emotional intelligence to be an empathetic leader.
It’s vital that candidates for management roles know what they should be demonstrating and that employers know what to look for, both in interviews and from what is contained in CVs.
These are our top 5 traits that a quality manager should possess and demonstrate:
Strong and intuitive communication
The ability to communicate effectively with all team members and enable them to communicate with each other is key to facilitating a harmonious and productive working environment.
You need to be able to communicate your vision, goals and ideas but it comes down to more than just that. Those that understand that communication is two-way and that listening is just as important as talking to team members will earn respect from their team. Managers that take the time to listen, understand and support their team will foster a happier, healthier, more productive and creative team.
It’s also vital to be open, honest and transparent with your team. A close-working team needs to be able to trust each other and especially their manager.
Emotional intelligence isn’t just about understanding the emotions of others but your emotions too and it is vital in a management position.
When you are aware of your own emotions, you become less immediately reactive and more able to understand the motivations of others.
Emotional resilience is also important. Staying calm and collected in the face of challenging times at work will help your team to feel calmer under pressure. Leading by example is key.
Ability to adapt
The ability to quickly pivot and adapt in the face of change is even more important in a post-pandemic world.
We now need to expect change and managers must be ready to make quick decisions and act adaptively to help their organisation to grow and thrive. They need to be resourceful, open to opportunity and not be afraid to take a different path – and take their team on that journey with them.
Again, this is where having the confidence to lead by example and keep calm in challenging and unexpected circumstances becomes so important.
This all comes down to the ability to understand and appreciate the talents of those in your team as well as the ability to trust your team members.
Not only does successful delegation help with time management, but it will also instil confidence in your team. No-one likes a micromanager.
Those that feel trusted and trust their manager in return will feel freer to contribute thoughts and ideas, leading to a team brimming with creative solutions. Understanding the different skillsets within a team and deploying them in the best way is a skill in itself.
Courage in convictions
A leader must necessarily make tough, strategic decisions, sometimes with very short notice.
A great manager won’t shy away from these decisions and will make confident choices quickly (though with due diligence) in order to keep the momentum up in the business.
They will also be prepared to deal with the possibility of an unsatisfactory outcome. If this happens, a great leader will ensure that they protect their team, take responsibility, keep calm and work quickly with the team to find an alternative solution.
Whether the management role is to lead a team of hundreds or two, in a small department or across a global company, the qualities that make a great manager remain the same.
A great manager inspires and encourages, supports, empathises and empowers. They will help their team to reach their full potential to the benefit of the individuals and the business.
On the flip side, a poor manager can be the reason employees leave. It’s why when hiring a managerial or executive position it is essential to look beyond experience and qualifications (though they are important too), to delve into whether a candidate has the leadership qualities it is vital to possess as a good manager.
Candidates for management roles need to find ways to demonstrate they have these traits and skills. Managers can make or break a team. Be the one that makes it.