How to Be a Good Manager: The Ultimate Guide

Cody Cromwell
Written by
Last update:

7 Tips on How to Be a Good Manager: New Managers

Management is a skill set that must be acquired, perfected, and honed every single day. Being a great manager means recognizing what you don’t know and getting help where you’re lacking. It means being committed to professional development, staying organized, and being willing to learn from your employees. It’s a balanced relationship between utilizing employees, empowering them, and keeping both parties on the same page.

Of course, with any relationship, both parties need to be willing to work to make it work. Communication and honesty are critical. Both parties must be willing to listen to each other’s perceptions and consider each other’s needs. This is how you can become a great manager.

Allow employees to make mistakes. If employees make a mistake, it isn’t the end of the world. In fact, this is a great teaching opportunity. When an employee makes a mistake, it’s your opportunity to teach them and give them feedback that will allow them to learn from the experience. This also gives you the opportunity to add more structure to your jobs in order to keep errors from happening in the future. Taking this approach will allow your employees to trust you and feel more comfortable working with you.

Strengthen Your Own Skills

It all begins with a positive attitude and strong interpersonal skills. The more you know about yourself and your strengths, the better you can assess your weaknesses. The best way to know how you work and what you do best is to build on your strengths and focus on those areas that you can improve.

Build trust through consistency.

Quality is formative, not reputational. When you’re providing conduct that consistently meets the needs of the people you serve, your reputation grows. Don’t be afraid to make decisions, even if those decisions might be unorthodox.

Spend your money wisely.

If you aren’t fairly compensated for your work, motivation will suffer. Because compensation affects motivation, it’s important to track how much time you spend on tasks so you can measure your growth.

Learn how to say no.

If you need to focus your time on tasks that will grow your business, don’t be afraid to say no to new projects. Your ability to say no will allow you to say yes to projects that are more important to your business.

Compliment people well.

When you compliment people, you give them value and make them feel like they’re part of your team. That positive feeling you create can keep them coming back to work in the morning.

Lead By Example

The first step in becoming a good manager is to learn to lead by example. In today’s workplace where employees have access to the internet, twitter, instagram and many other social media outlets, you have the opportunity to communicate with your employees directly.

A good manager will try to communicate with his or her employees through a variety of social media platforms such as facebook, twitter, and instagram. A good manager should be willing to address any potential or current problems and offer solutions rather than creating a problem and blames others.

An excellent manager will be proactive and contribute ideas or share suggestions in order to make their team better. For a manager to be the best in their job, the supervisor must always be open to the ideas, input and support of his or her employees at all times.

Under the leadership of the best manager, there is a positive working environment that is conducive to self-improvement and personal growth. A mismanaged or nonexistent team will determine the performance of the entire company. A good manager is always willing to listen to his or her employees rather than provide orders.

Ask for Feedback from Other Managers or Executives

No matter how good your staff is, there’s always room for improvement. Even the best managers are learners and are always looking for new ways to improve or refine their skills. So ask your staff for feedback on how you can better manage them, and also inform them of any coaching or improvement opportunities you’d like to pursue. This will serve as a basis to start the improvements.

To check if their feedback is constructive or not, you’ll have to be a good listener. To listen, you have to be a good listener, and to be a good listener, you have to pay attention, be open minded, and have a genuine desire to learn.

That’s why when asking and receiving feedback, there’s nothing more important than the relationship you have with your staff.

Managers aren’t always good listeners because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings; that’s why your staff’s feedback has to be given and received with mutual respect and not be tempered with kindness or fear.

Set Achievable Goals for Yourself & Your Team

If you’re not measuring your performance, you’re not doing your job. If you can’t say what your goals are, you can’t be held accountable for them … it’s that simple.

Many managers try to use the first 6 months of the year to set team goals and team performance goals for the year. But as the year rolls by, there’s a good chance that you either don’t have any team goals set, or that some of them have been set and forgotten.

Managers who set clear recurring goals for themselves and their team are able to better plan and set their work in motion. When it comes to setting goals for your team, it’s important to take into account your team’s assessment of their daily routine, and what goals would realistically put them on the path to improvement.

You want your team to have a goal in common, but not so common that it’s meaningless. When making goals, you must ensure that they are realistic and achievable. Planning, planning, and more planning are all important steps in the process of setting productive goals for yourself and your team.

Use Your Time Wisely

As a manager, you have a lot of busy work ahead of you. You’re expected to be courteous to your employees, but you also need to crack the whip when necessary – and that can mean times of serious stress and pressure.

One of their biggest jobs as managers is to keep everyone on the same page. A team may benefit from a leader who’s well organized, strong, and persistent. But if you spend too much time on things that don’t matter, you may miss the signal that your team needs you to intervene now.

The best way to strike the right balance is to work on the things that will pay off now instead of the things that need to be done later. The fact is that no one can keep track of every single thing that’s going on at work. You’ll need to time how much time you spend on each of your managerial duties.

Be Consistent

Be Reasonable and Be Professional.

Some people will tell you that success is all about being lucky, while others will say that it’s all about being prepared. Either way, a successful person has a higher chance of success if they are able to attract good fortune to themselves through hard work and good habits.

If you manage to stay employed for any length of time, you’ll quickly realize that consistency is the key to success. First, you need to make sure that you’re consistently professional, whether you’re dealing with your employees, your customers, clients or the general public. By being consistent, you’ll be able to avoid any awkward or embarrassing situations.

[] Be Consistent at All Times

In an effort to make sure that you’re always professional and that people see you as such, you need to remain consistent in your actions, words and decisions at all times. Be sure to always stay mindful of your behavior and your body language; always act in a way that will bring you the benefit of good reputation.

Understand Your New Relationships with Former Peers

Regaining the full respect of your peers can be difficult for an employee who has advanced through the ranks in the past while accomplishing their goals within their local church. Depending on what you accomplish with your new role, you may be met with resentment. Do not take it personally and use the resentment that may be directed toward you as an opportunity to teach others about true leadership.

However, the relationship you have with your former peers will change considerably. To flourish in this new position, you’ll need to know your new colleagues on a deeper level and understand how to work effectively with them. At the same time, you will need to be sure that you maintain a cordial relationship with your former peers at all times.

You must be mindful of the fact that your former peers see you differently now. They aren’t looking at you as an equal but instead, as a peer they see as someone who is trying to take their place. Combine this realistic perspective with the emotions that surround the situation, and you can see why you will need to be extra attentive to ensure that you maintain a respectful relationship with your new peers.

How to Be a Good Manager: Struggling Managers

In a workplace where people are concerned with getting a job, keeping a job, or just a better job, everyone struggles at times with other co-workers or their immediate supervisor. A manager struggles in a few ways.

First, if the manager is really bad at their job, the employees will get frustrated with them and start criticizing them. Naturally, that will build resentment.

Second, there are inevitable personal issues that will cause the manager to be less effective. For example, a manager who is less than enthusiastic about learning about and implementing new technology could be crippling when introducing new innovations to the customer base.

Third, in environments where managers usually bully or are controlling of their staff and demand perfection, the manager may be incompetent and struggle to maintain their position comfortably. In this case, they may resort to generating fear in the ranks to keep everyone right where they are.

Remember, managers are humans too! So it’s important not to forget that they are human and make mistakes and are subject to difficulties. Keep your cool, and when necessary, try to keep the manager as motivated as possible so that he/she can do their job.

7 Key Questions for Experienced Managers

In order to be successful as a manager, you’re going to need to be able to select the right people and give them the right guidance. In this post, we’re going to look at a set of seven questions to ask yourself as soon as a new position rolls around. Do you:

  • Have the qualifications and experience to be considered for the position?
  • Have you previously worked for the company?
  • Do you have any coaching or training experience?
  • Do you have the right personality to be a manager?

Pick the right team for the job. This means you need to be able to select the right people who are committed to creating a high-performing team.

Do you have the right amount of managerial experience?

Do you have experience in the industry?

Are you willing to take on the extra administrative burden that comes with the position?

Are you able to keep up with the organization’s overall growth?

3 Tips for How to Get Back to Being a Good Manager

Every manager will tell you, you need to be a good manager. And despite their best efforts, most managers will fail. They miss a few big-time goals, blow a few small-sized ones and struggle with their overall management style creating ineffective teams.

When this happens it’s tempting to think that you’re just one of the unlucky ones and that you will never return to being a good manager. If your performance as a boss is impacting the morale of those around you, it may seem like you’ll never be able to return to being a good manager. But this article outlines three tips that can help you return to being a good manager.

5 Common Manager Problems & How to Solve Them

Managing a team can be difficult because there are several different personalities and personalities clash. Here’s a short list of things managers commonly do wrong and how to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Problem 1: You aren’t Delegating Enough

It’s very tempting to want to do everything yourself and want to get your hands dirty. The problem with this is, you aren’t delegating everything enough.

You can’t take on all the extra tasks that are being put on you, get things done faster and increase your personal productivity and yet still want your team and your time at work to be worthwhile.

The trick is to pick and choose what needs to be done. To figure out what needs your immediate attention and what can be delegated. We can’t do everything at once, and as managers it’s our job to know how to pick and choose the right tasks to do.

The worst thing is missing something only to hear back an –Oh! We tried that already!” or –Oh! We did that already!”

This is where good management comes in and not just managing up but also managing down. Showing your team you actually care and get things done while giving them some autonomy. I’ve been guilty of doing everything myself and feeling bad at the end when I hear –Oh, we’ve already done that”.

Problem 2: You aren’t Communicating in the Right Way

The first manager I worked for managed with his hands. Some of the things he would do include running his hands through his thick blond hair, talking out the side of his mouth, and gesturing wildly with his hands. Rarely would he look someone in the eye.

Several years and many managers later, I understand why he may have acted this way. His previous management style had been very relaxed and there were few pressures on the team to perform. He wasn’t dealing with problems. They weren’t causing problems either so he didn’t need to work on fixing them. When problems did pop up, his team would handle them and he would stand by watching. Many employees would take advantage of this and would ignore or talk back to him. He didn’t have to do anything about it because he wasn’t paying attention.

After this situation had been going on for some time, I recommended that he step down. He agreed and was replaced as team manager but continued to work with us on a part-time basis. The problems that had been ignored had not gone away and now a new manager had to lead his team through a transition.

Problem 3: Your Team doesn’t Respect Your Position

When your employees don't respect your position, it undermines your authority and their willingness to actually follow your orders. To make your team function properly, everyone needs to buy into the vision you provide and the direction you want to take the company. This is an essential firm foundation, and when it’s missing, everything else falls apart.

To make sure your employees respect your position, it's vital that you set the tone from the start of the workday and throughout the day. For example, during team meetings you’re leading the meeting to set the tone. Let them see you standing up for yourself and the company, articulating properly and moving neatly away from meetings. Speak firmly and confidently.

Teach your employees what it looks like to function properly and to meet standards. Set a good example for them. Walk into a meeting and sit in the chair at the front of the round table. Show who’s the boss and make sure they understand that you are the source of safety and direction. Walk into meetings and make sure everyone is on the same page. Keep your tone and style consistent, because inconsistency will only confuse your team and cause problems.

Problem 4: The Work Isn’t Getting Done

When a manager comes to work the next day and finds that nothing is getting done, it’s usually one of two problems that caused the employees to do nothing.

One reason for your employees not doing the work would be that they want to do the job they are assigned to, but the demand for that work is too high. If your rates are too high, you’re not going to have employees doing the work and risk not getting paid.

The other problem causes employees not to complete the work they have been assigned. This could happen for several reasons:

There is no one to supervise the employees. If you have no one to rotate the tasks, you’re going to see a lot of idle time.

The task is not being done properly. This problem comes about if you do not supervise the employee. You have to be looking over their shoulders, fixing the work, and directing them. In order for an employee to do the job without problems, they need direction.

Your employees do not want to complete the job that they are assigned. This is often the result of money problems. If your employees are not getting paid or they are not being paid on time, your staff will probably just not do any work.

Providing the right incentives will certainly help keep your employees doing the work. Here are two examples:

Problem 5: You Don’t Like Being A Manager

Many people have the misconception that managers and supervisors are just there to keep an eye on things and rarely get involved in the day to day operations.

The truth is that effective management is crucial for any business, and it takes a lot more than a title to do the job. You especially need to take charge of your project when you are assigned as a manager, regardless of whether it’s your first or 103rd project.

Being a manager or supervisor increases your workload during your working hours and decreases your time for personal activities. It can also change your personal relationships with others.

If you don’t like being a manager or supervisor, you can simply leave that position after a while. But if you want to be a manager or supervisor in the future, it is better for you if you continue to work as one.

The 4 Main Functions of a Manager

As stated in the introduction to this article, managers are different from other operational roles. There are four main functions that a manager must perform in order for the company to be successful. They are:

  • Motivation
  • Management
  • Motivate the staff
  • Organize the work of the staff
  • How to be a good manager

Are you a poor manager? Good managers are keen on doing their job well and are ready to listen to their employees. They are not afraid to ask questions. They know how to motivate people and encourage them to work hard. An effective manager knows when to stand up for his staff and when to back down. An ineffective manager is always giving orders to his staff and rarely provides them with any information.

Do you think that you are a good manager? Take some time to think about this and answer this question:

  • What is the best thing about the employees that you supervise?
  • How can you, as a manager, make sure that they are motivated and stay motivated?
  • Can you say that you are a good manager?

I think that the answer to these questions will give you an idea of how you are doing in your role as a manager.

Here are some useful tips to help you become a better manager:

An effective manager will always accompany his work force on the road with them

Function 1: Train Your Team (Equip Them To Do The Work)

As the manager, you have the right to establish the goals you want your team to accomplish. But remember, people come to work to do the work not to be taught the work!

In line with that, it is important to train your team to do the job, but that does not mean you can neglect the skill component. On the contrary, you have to train your team so they perform the activities well but also master the knowledge within their field.

If you can provide your team with the tools to do the work, then they would increase their performance and give you better results!

In many cases, a lot of managers set their team goals and objectives without providing the team with the skills needed to perform the tasks. In that case, performance would suffer as the team members would end up doing less than expected of them.

Good managers are those who equip their teams with the skills needed for doing the work. A good manager is one who himself is a skilled worker.

Function 2: Organize Your Team (And Their Work)

Throughout school, you can be known for being a mod source of helpful tips and tricks for getting through the day. You’re a people person, and everyone likes you. If there’s one thing you’re great at, it’s working well with others.

But the problem with being well liked is that it might not go too far. You don’t want to be remembered for being a people person … you want to be remembered for helping your team complete their projects on time.

This is where organization comes into play. Once you’ve mastered this skill, your team won’t have a hard time navigating through all the project milestones and scheduling implementation proceeds. That’s when you know you’ve got this skill rocking.

Function 3: Communication

We've used the terms "Management" and "Manager" so often that some people may think we refer to the same thing. That's because the two concepts look similar, however they are very different. Management refers to the process itself. A Manager operates a given function or team and is defined by the system they work for.

You must understand the functions of your organization before you can directly manage any employee. So, before you can manage, you have to know how the organization works. You must understand and fortify your own organization's strengths, weaknesses, and weaknesses. You should take some time to test new ideas with your peers to determine what will work best for your group.

After you have a better understanding of your organization, you must communicate your vision by identifying what the future holds and having the strength to lead the group towards it. To be a successful manager, you must be able to have a conversation with a team member or subordinate to revamp a process that constantly isn't meeting expectations. You should have the ability to have these short conversations more often than not.

A critical piece of being a good manager is being able to teach and guide the people around you to be successful. Sometimes being a manager means guiding someone through an important project or task without overwhelming them or asking them to do something they can't handle. You must be able to identify whether you've taken someone's strengths and weaknesses into consideration.

Function 4: Motivate Your Team

As a manager, sometimes you need to make it clear to your team exactly what it is that you expect from them. And there’s no better time than during their annual evaluation. Yes, you need to let them know how great they are and give them some praise, but you should also make it clear what steps they need to take to improve.

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to annual evaluations is getting your team members to document actionable action of their own accord. In addition, you should seriously consider the approach you use when presenting the results to your team.

In order to achieve optimal results from team member annual evaluations, you should follow these ten steps:

Other Management Resources

As a manager, you’ll need a mix of business savvy and people skills. While there’s more to being a manager than just the technical details of managing employees and projects … and while there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for everything … there are a handful of simple tasks you can do to be an effective manager. Below are a few tips that will make you a better manager, and some resources to get you started:

Accurate financial reporting, both short-term and long-term, is essential to any business. Read up on how your individual business should be reporting information to investors, and to your own parent organization.

Provide training, either on sites like LinkedIn or on an employer’s website. Be prepared to explain your position in terms of duties and responsibilities, and what you’ll expect from your team members.

Create a list of priorities and regularly set goals for yourself, both short and long term. This will help you to know what’s essential to your job and your organization, and what’s urgent.

The Bottom Line

How to Be a Good Manager and Get Ahead

As a manager, the ability to keep your employees motivated and satisfied is perhaps the most essential skill. You want your employees to be happy at work, but you also need them to be productive and give you their best. The key to achieving both of these goals is to make sure your employees feel valued for what they contribute to the business.

Besides helping them feel valued, your employees will also offer their best performance if they feel as if they are making a difference. Your efforts at establishing this awareness can make a big difference in their overall performance and satisfaction.