How To Be A Good Manager: 15 Smart Tips And Tricks

Businesses and organizations rely on managers to grow and thrive.

Managers create a positive vision that conforms to the overall goals of the company or organization they work for, and influence subordinates to work together toward the realization of that vision.

Whether you’re a business owner looking to manage your own business or you’re contemplating taking up a management role in your organization, you’ll need to know what it takes to become a good manager.

Below are tips on how to be a good manager.

But first, it is important to understand the difference between managers and leaders.

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Are Managers Leaders?

Although the words ‘managers’ and ‘leaders’ are often used interchangeably, they do not mean exactly the same thing.

Managers exercise control over their subordinates because of the authority bestowed to them at the workplace.

Contrastingly, leaders mustn’t necessarily be in a position of authority to influence the thoughts and actions of other people. Instead, they can encourage others to do certain things by leading by example and fostering cooperation and consultation.

It, therefore, follows that managers can be leaders, but leaders needn’t be managers.

So, what kind of fabric are good managers made of?

15 Tips on How to Be a Good Manager

Here’s a look at how to be a good manager, be it at business or organizational level:

1. Be a Good Listener

While giving instructions and directions to subordinates is part of a manager’s job description, it doesn’t mean that communication between managers and employees should be a one-way street.

As much as you will need to give orders to your employees, you should also give them a chance to ask questions and raise concerns. This is essential to ensuring that your orders are clear and well-understood, so they may not be executed effectively.

Effective communication is a two-way street, so it’s important to listen to what your subordinates have to say.

2. Be Decisive

While it is important for managers to listen to their subordinates, they should keep in mind that the ultimate decision rests with them. Therefore, they should be able to act quickly and effectively when faced with various business organizational challenges. Reaching consensus is good, but having a sense of direction is always better.

Before reaching a final decision on any matter, always strive to explore the options available to you, and then choose the best course of action.

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3. Actively Deal with Setbacks

No matter how hard you strive to always make the correct decisions, the reality is that you may still encounter setbacks. You may fail to meet deadlines, workers may not work out, and expected project results may not be fully achieved.

Good managers aren’t afraid of challenges – they face them head on. Going forward, they figure out how to turn challenges into possibilities.

4. Walk the Talk

“Actions speak louder than words.”

This is a common call to action quote that you may have heard before, and it couldn’t be any truer for business or organizational managers.

It is always better to show your subordinates what needs to be done instead of merely telling them what to do. In other words, strive to lead by example.

Getting your hands dirty a bit won’t make your subordinates look down on you. In fact, they’ll see that you’re competent enough to direct them on what to do.

5. Delegate Prudently

As a manager, you’ll be in charge of your employees. One of the important things you will need to do as a team leader is to delegate duties to your subordinates.

Assigning tasks to your employees helps reduce your workload, but also makes the employees feel that you trust in their capabilities. This, in turn, improves the overall productivity of staff.

6. Be the “Scapegoat”

While you may delegate some duties to your employees, it is important to understand that you’re individually responsible for the actions of your subordinates by virtue of exercising authority over them.

Keep in mind that you’re the one who’ll probably get the thumbs up for jobs well done. So, you should be ready to take the blame when things don’t go so well.

Don’t throw any employee under the bus even if you know they’re to blame for the failure. That’s demoralizing to the rest of the employees.

Plus, it won’t help you gain their trust either.

Be bold enough to take the blame when things don’t go as planned. After all, you’re the captain of the ship.

Woman talking to another woman

7. Criticize Privately

Taking the blame on behalf of your subordinates doesn’t mean that the culpable individuals should get away with their mistakes scot-free.

Talk to them respectfully and privately so they may learn from their mistakes.

Remember, people generally don’t like being scolded or criticized publicly, even if they are in the wrong. However, make them understand that failure to meet performance expectations won’t be tolerated.

8. Praise Publicly

Good managers give credit where it’s due. While you superiors may only recognize you for the accomplishments of your team, it’s important to acknowledge those that made the biggest contribution towards the success.

Make it a habit to commend or even reward your subordinates for a job well done during workplace meetings and gatherings so they may feel appreciated for their hard work.

This can go a long way in keeping your employees motivated and encouraging them to do even better.

9. Admit When You’re Wrong

Everyone makes mistakes, but it requires a strong-mindset to admit a mistake.

Many managers often disregard the importance of admitting a mistake because they think that their subordinates may perceive that to be as a sign of weakness.

But that’s far from the truth.

Acknowledging when you’re wrong means that you’ve learned from your mistakes. This is vital to ensuring you come up with innovative solutions to problems you may be facing.

Being close-minded to positive criticism will only exacerbate problems that your company or organization is facing.

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10. Be Mindful About What You Say

No force available to humankind is singularly as powerful as words. What you say as a manager can directly affect the attitude and mindset of your employees, so you had better bring positive energy into the workplace through your words.

For example, your subordinates won’t want to stick around if you constantly say bad things about the company or organization. Instead, they will be happy to know about the great opportunities that await those who work hard and meet set targets.

11. Think Outside the Box

Managers encounter new problems every day, and they are expected to find solutions to these problems within the existing business or organizational framework.

This isn’t an easy job, as the framework within which businesses or organizations operate tend to remain the same over time.

To effectively solve emerging issues, you’ll need to think beyond conventional ways of doing things and look into new possibilities. This requires you to have a bold mindset.

12. Take Proper Care of Yourself

Personal wellness is vital to ensuring you effectively perform the roles of a business or organizational manager. If you don’t take proper care of your physical and mental health, you won’t be fully fit to carry out your duties.

So, exercise regularly to stay physically fit and learn how to manage stress in your personal and professional life.

More importantly, learn how to strike the right balance between your personal life and work life.

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13. Consult

If you’re to become a good manager, consultation is something you will need to embrace. Employee consultation is vital to the management process particularly when making changes within the workplace.

Workers are well-positioned to identify the challenges that the business or organization may encounter when dealing with changes relating to work policies, processes, and procedures. After all, they’re the ones who will be instructed to implement the changes.

Therefore, employee consultation essential to finding effective solutions to the problems that your company or organization may face in the course of day-to-day operations.

Also, seek feedback from colleague managers as well as your superiors before making final decisions on work-related matters.

14. Be Growth-Oriented

As a manager, you’re well placed to help your team develop individually and collectively. Build good work relationships with your workers and get to know them on a personal level so you can identify and make the most of their skills and talents. This, in turn, will lead to greater synergy.

15. Be Truthful

A good manager doesn’t disregard the facts or sugarcoat bad news. They are candid enough to tell their subordinates the hard truth, no matter how unpleasant it may be to hear.

Ready to Lead the Team?

Now that you know how to be a good manager, you will need to exude good leadership skills.

The above-discussed traits only constitute a small part of the raft of qualities required to become a successful manager.

Having said that, you should always strive to improve how you relate with your employees, other managers, and superiors in order to become a great manager.

Remember that the best managers are constant learners.

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