A business is nothing without good employees — and good employees need leadership and guidance from an effective manager. In this article, we shall be looking at some traits of successful managers. Keep reading!
A good manager helps to keep teams on track and guide the career of the employees they lead. The right manager can have a long-lasting impact, changing their entire organization for the better.
While successful managers don’t always take exactly the same approach, almost everyone possesses these six essential traits.
Table of Contents
- Strong Communication Abilities
- Conflict-Resolution Skills
- Time-Management Skills
- Flexibility Under Pressure
- The Ability to Delegate
- Knowledge of Employee Strengths
1. Strong Communication Abilities
Effective managers are almost always effective communicators. A good manager should be empathetic, candid and willing to both assert themselves and listen as necessary.
They can break down business goals and help employees understand clearly their responsibilities and how they fit into the bigger organizational picture. They’re also good at both offering feedback and taking feedback from employees.
This communication may happen both in structured environments — like a two-way feedback session or employee review — as well as out in the office, during day-to-day work.
By keeping lines of communication open with their team, they help ensure that everyone is on the same page and has the information they need to get work done.
2. Conflict-Resolution Skills
Managers also need to be ready to manage conflict. Conflict is inevitable in any workspace. Teams may argue about the best approach to handle a tough problem. Individual employees may disagree on how people around them are working. Sometimes people just don’t like each other.
Even the smallest or most minor disagreements can boil over into major conflicts without mediation.
A manager should be prepared to manage all of these conflicts. Knowing how to mediate conflicts can help prevent communication breakdowns and keep employees on the same page, even when they disagree. Being able to quickly resolve conflicts can also help prevent long-term grudges from forming, which can harm company culture and team cohesion.
3. Time-Management Skills
This is one of the most important traits of successful managers. Managers need to be effective in managing time — both their own time and the time of their employees. They should keep on top of their own schedule and know how to organize employees’ schedules to ensure that projects are completed on time, crunch is minimized and scheduling conflicts are avoided.
Because managers also set the tone for the office and influence office culture, demonstrating good personal time management can help encourage employees to do the same. Similarly, if a manager is consistently late for meetings, it may result in an office or team culture where punctuality and timeliness don’t really matter.
4. Flexibility Under Pressure
The ability to remain flexible and calm under pressure will help the manager keep the team on track and prevent disruptions when a project doesn’t go according to plan. Because managers have so much influence over company culture the ability to remain calm in a high-pressure environment may also help individual employees stay calm, as well
For example, many businesses are pivoting to remote work right now. Distributed teams can’t be managed in the same way that a manager may handle a team in the office. Knowing how to take advantage of a remote team and make the remote transition easier for a business can be extremely valuable.
At the same time, managers also need to be open to new ideas and innovative ways of doing things. Employees often have unique perspectives that managers may not have access to. Customer service workers, for example, are often very close to the customers a business serves and may notice patterns that might not appear in big-picture information, like customer service statistics.
These perspectives can sometimes help employees identify inefficiencies that managers can miss. A good manager should create an environment where employees feel like they can discuss alternative solutions to problems and know their voices will be heard. If an employee catches something their employer doesn’t, they’ll feel confident in sharing their view. The ability to work under pressure remains on the most vital traits of successful managers.
5. The Ability to Delegate
No manager can do everything on their own — eventually, they’ll have to pass off work to the people they manage.
For managers, knowing when to delegate or outsource work will help keep operations running smoothly, and ensure that you spend your time on what really matters — guiding employees and staying in touch with other managers.
This is an especially important trait for managers who have risen through the ranks and have technical expertise on par with the people they’re managing. While it may be tempting to take over for employees, managers should know both when and how to delegate work so that it is finished in a way that meets their standards.
An effective manager uses their expertise in the field to guide their team, rather than take over and try to do everything on their own. They know what their team is good at, and can distribute work effectively to keep both themselves and their team on schedule.
6. Knowledge of Employee Strengths
Last, but not least traits of successful managers on our list is the ability to know their employees well enough. Good managers know how to play to their employees’ strengths. They can take advantage of what their team is good at and organize around potential weaknesses.
Not every employee is going to have the same strengths, and even workers in the same role may have extremely different skill sets. Managers that can leverage these different abilities will get the most out of their team.
The Best Managers Have These Traits
Every manager faces a unique set of circumstances — a different business, a different team and a different niche.
All successful managers, however, know how to effectively communicate with employees and organize workers. No matter what kind of challenges they face, good managers can stay in contact and know when to delegate.
Being able to embody these traits is one of the best ways to become a better manager and ensure that you’re leading your team well.
Eleanor is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She’s also a freelance web designer with a focus on user experience. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear