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Here's What It Takes to Be a Good Manager

December 2nd, 2019

team and leader

Are you a good manager? How do you know?

Who taught you how to be a manager?

Sadly, for a quarter of all managers, the answer to that last question is "no one." But even when managers are trained, often it's limited to the nuts and bolts of company policies, compliance practices and the basics of supervision. And it's a one and done program.

The good news is that of500 managers, 47% said they received training before and after being promoted. The bad news is that organizations fear their investment in manager development isn't doing much to improve the quality of their leaders.

The consequence of this is summarized in a Thrive Global article that lists the ingredients of good management. And it starts with those first two questions we asked.

"The best managers not only provide a steady stream of feedback to the people who work for them, they also seek upward feedback for themselves," the article says. The problem is few do, which means most managers can't honestly say if they're a good manager because they've never asked the people they manage.

As important as collecting feedback is, it's not enough to make someone a good manager. They must have as high -- or higher -- and EQ than their IQ.

"When you become a manager, interpersonal skills, like emotional intelligence (EQ), are as important as technical ones," says Thrive. "People with a high EQ have a greater propensity to respond to co-workers with empathy, keep their cool under pressure, resolve conflict effectively. And managers will inevitably need to tap into these traits."

They also need to build trust with their team, acknowledging they don't know it all, and protecting their direct reports and shielding them from bureaucratic interference and policies and practices that are demoralizing or paralyzing.

Finally, says Thrive, a good manager needs to model a healthy life-work balance. This means knowing what's important to your employees and focusing on productivity and quality, rather than on the office clock.

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