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25 Qualities and Characteristics of a Good Manager

Do you work well with others? Are you a leader? If you have these qualities, you might make a good manager. However, you need just more than these two qualities to be a good manager. There are a number of factors that play into whether or not you would make a good manager.

The good news is that you don’t have to rely solely on natural, inborn traits. It is possible to develop the qualities good managers possess. You can complete a management program to learn some of the necessary characteristics, and you can also develop many desirable qualities on your own. As you prepare for a job in management, keep in mind these 25 qualities and characteristics of a good manager:

Personal Characteristics

There are items that can help you improve yourself, and enhance your interactions with others. Desirable personal characteristics make a manager someone that others can look up to, and feel comfortable following:

  1. Self-Motivation: An effective manager can’t motivate others if he or she can’t self-motivate. Self-motivation, the ability to get yourself going, and take charge of what’s next for you, is a vital personal characteristic for a manager. You have to keep yourself going — and motivate those who work with you.
  2. Integrity: People trust a good manager because they know he or she has personal integrity. Workers need to know that you will fight for them, do what you say, and follow the rules.
  3. Dependability/Reliability: As a person, you should be dependable and reliable. Your superiors, as well as your subordinates, need to know that you can be counted on. Others in the organization should be able to rely on you.
  4. Optimism: Do you look to the future with hope? An optimistic attitude can help build morale in your employees. Your positive attitude can inspire others, and help them feel good about getting things done.
  5. Confidence: Do you have confidence in yourself. You need to be able to make decisions in confidence, and show others that you are capable of making good decisions. Your confidence will rub off on others, and can be of benefit.
  6. Calmness: As the manager, you can’t afford to break down when the pressure is on. The ability to remain calm and do what needs to be done is essential in a good manager.
  7. Flexibility: A certain amount of flexibility is needed by a manager, since he or she may need to adapt to changing situations.

Business Characteristics

Some level of business acumen is important when you are a manager. While you may not need to be on the level of a professional dealmaker, familiarity with basic business principles and practices can be helpful.

  1. Industry Knowledge: What do you know about the industry you are in? It helps understand your industry so that you can answer questions and perform your work more effectively. Workers may not need industry knowledge, but a manager should have some.
  2. Know When to Delegate: An effective manager knows that some tasks need to be delegated. You should be able to identify workers who will do well, and give them tasks they can succeed at — while helping the project.
  3. Organization: You need to be organized in order to be a good manager. Keep track of projects, employees and assignments so that you are on top of what needs to happen in the business.
  4. Basic Money Management: Understand basic financial concepts so that you understand how to manage money as part of a project you have been given.
  5. Business Hierarchy: You should know how the hierarchy works at your business, and follow the chain of command. Make sure that you understand your duties, and to whom you report. You should also know how the organization affects your subordinates.
  6. Legal Implications: While you don’t need to be a law expert, you should have a grasp of the legal implications of sexual harassment, proper hiring and firing practices, confidentiality, and more.

Communication Qualities

A good manager needs to be able to communicate effectively. You might be surprised at the different qualities there are related to communication. Make sure that you develop the ability to communicate as part of your efforts. Here are some qualities to possess if you want to be an affective communicator as you fulfill your management duties.

  1. Written Communication: Learn how to communicate effectively in writing. A good manager should be able to write professionally and with correct grammar, expressing him or herself in email, memos, and thank you notes.
  2. Public Speaking: As a good manager, you should know how to speak publicly, annunciating your words, and concisely communicating your ideas, whether in an interview, or addressing workers.
  3. Constructive Feedback: Learn how to provide feedback in a way that is helpful to workers and others.
  4. Active Listening: One of the most important communication skills is listening. Make sure you are listening to your workers, superiors and customers, and that you acknowledge them.
  5. Specific: When giving instructions, be specific in what you want, and in expected outcomes. Make sure your employees understand what should happen.
  6. Organize Your Presentations: Organize and practice your presentations before giving them so that you are clear and concise, and so that your presentation flows well.

Relationship Qualities

Your characteristics as you build relationships matter when you are a manager. You will need to know how to manage relationships between yourself and your subordinates, as well as manage the relationships among those who work under you. You should also know how to develop relationships with your superiors, and coordinate relationships between those above you and below you in the hierarchy.

  1. Customer Service: You might be surprised to discover the customer service is a relationship quality. However, it is. You need to be able to build good relationships with customers if you want to be a good manager. Learn how to relate to customers, and see things from their perspective.
  2. Mediator: Do you know how to make peace? Often, a good manager needs to be able to act as a mediator between workers, between a worker and a client, or between a superior and a worker. Brush up on your mediation qualities, and learn conflict resolution techniques to be a good manager.
  3. Team Player: Are you part of a team? You need to be able to function as part of a team if you want to succeed as an effective manager. Make sure that you are willing to work with others, and that you will hold up your end.
  4. Respect: You need to be respectful of your workers if you are to have respect as a manager in return. It’s up to you to set the example and build relationships of respect.
  5. Collaboration: You’ll need to set up collaborations with others, and with your team. You should also be able to work well with others, and understand how to integrate ideas and personalities.
  6. Value Others: A good manager helps employees feel valued. Surveys show that employees want recognition from their superiors, and you need to make sure to recognize contributions from your workers.
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