What Makes A Great Manager?

Many people are promoted to managerial positions during their careers. Some make huge successes of these roles and go on to manage teams worldwide. Sadly, others do not. Being a great manager requires a truly unique skill set. Here we’ll look at what some of those skills are and how they drive teams forward and generate great results for businesses.


If you want a staff member to change their behaviour, there are better approaches to talking to them than reprimanding them. If they think that you don’t care about how they feel, then essentially telling them off will just reinforce this negative feeling and lead to the exact opposite of the improvement that you were seeking in the first place. On the other hand, if you can show a colleague that you’ve understood their point of view and can then present the issue from their perspective, you’re far more likely to achieve a great outcome. For example, let’s say one of your employees is always late to the office. There could be legitimate reasons for this. Maybe that employee has to drop a child off at school/nursery at a specific time, and therefore can’t make it into the office as early as you would like them to. A great manager would take the time to understand this issue and find a solution to it. They’d then have a grateful employee who would appreciate their gesture for a very long time.


Great managers will speak to a cleaner in the same way that they would speak to a CEO, because they recognise having a title doesn’t make you a better human than someone else. They also recognise that each member of staff makes a crucial contribution to the growth of a business. That crucial meeting with a high-ticket client won’t go to plan if the conference room they’re invited into smells bad or is dirty. Saying ‘hi’ to people as you’re coming in and out of the office, no matter how stressed or busy you are, shows them how much their manager appreciates their efforts. It’s also just a nice thing to do.


As a manager, once you’ve heard all of the arguments both for and against a particular issue, you have to make a decision on the best course of action to take for your business. This requires an ability to see through the opinions on all sides of the debate, evaluate the facts, and calmly work out whether the proposal in question is in the business’s best interests or not. You then have to relay your final choice to your staff.


Having to make key decisions means that inevitably, you’ll cause a few people to disagree with you. A vital aspect of leadership is explaining the reasoning for your decision to your team in a way that makes nobody feel left out or as though their input was ignored out of hand. Sending emails acknowledging concerns but fully explaining why you came to your final decision will help any manager no end. Inviting any staff to come and talk to you if they want to, will also demonstrate how much you want to include everybody in the team’s progress.


Celebrating colleagues’ successes is vital to building a successful team. If what’s yours is yours and what’s your colleagues’ is yours, then your team will never feel as though they have an equal share in the team, and may well move to another one or leave your business altogether. On the other hand, if you celebrate each of your colleagues and show them how much you appreciate their contribution to the team, then they will know that they have a long-term place at the heart of your team.

All of these skills and more are regularly demonstrated by great managers. If you need some help to find great managers for any of your teams, consult our experts here.

"lead by example" written on a paper stamped against a wall