The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Have you ever been a manager? Or have you ever had a manager? Did you like them? Were they your friend? Or just someone you did not look forward to seeing everyday because they did all they could to make your life a living hell?
A manager is someone who supervises or works with you to see you are doing your job, make sure you are on time to work, and ensure you remain a valuable asset to the company by being productive. Managers often keep a professionalism amongst everyone in the office, while remaining professional themselves. They are the people who report to their own supervisors, who are in charge of the company, or a specific section of the company, or they may even report directly to the CEO or owner.
There are many different types of management styles. There are managers who are authoritative, others who are laid back, others who believe everyone needs constant supervision, and others who try to manage through occasional guided supervision. There are also plenty who have no idea how to manage. There are managers who will lead by example, help you with issues, or guide you in the right direction. Many will have your back when faced with problems, while others leave you in the dark and expect you to know what you are doing.
There are managers who enjoy a good drink after work with the people they work with while keeping work life and personal life separate. There are managers who will drink with their co-workers and still treat them as co-workers rather than friends. There are managers who are welcoming with their office doors always open, while others are harder to approach. There are managers whose relationship with their co-workers is best left as a boss, and never a friend.
A good manager is often one who has many qualities and skills such as leadership, charisma, teamwork, good communication, time management, and may even be influential. A manager is often able to get along with everyone, while also being the one that everyone goes to for help. No employee should ever have to fear the manager. The manager should be supportive of everyone that is under their supervision. A good manager is one who sees the team as family and not just workers, but believes that everyone working together will not only make the company more productive, but make everyone overall happier.
A bad manager is often one who lacks many of these qualities and skills and may be so authoritative that the idea of having power over several employees drives them to become controlling, unapproachable, and unwilling to accept responsibility for their own actions, but rather places blame on others. A bad manager makes employees not want to show up to work. A bad manager may also be one who does not keep on top of employees and make them more productive and valuable to the company.
This infographic covers many aspects of a good manager.
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Searching for what makes a Good Manager
Touched by the hand of a managerial deity or simply adroit with inspiring, leading, and achieving? Find out the whys and hows of effective management.
5 Things Great Managers Do Naturally – Checklist
√ Excel at time management
√ Good negotiation
√ Excellent Problem Solving
√ Assertive and communicate well
√ Good at influencing others
11 Ways to be a Good Manager
- Don’t try to be someone you are not. Do not try to emulate a previous manager.
- Share your department’s objectives with your staff and then ask them how they can help you achieve them.
- Hold regular team reviews to ensure everyone is clear about what is expected of them. Talk to each person about what they are working towards and the resources they have to do it with.
- Initiate new rituals for the team. Such rituals might include regular social events, team building days, and team meetings.
- Give feedback openly. Nothing engenders trust like being honest and open.
- Acknowledge the expertise of your staff. If you look to their expertise in doing the job they will respect your expertise in managing them.
- Encourage creativity in your team. Look to your team for the solutions to problems rather than try and solve them for yourself.
- Don’t be too weak to admit your mistakes. Be open about them and ask your team for help in avoiding making the same mistake again.
- Managing and leading are not the same thing. You will be developing your staff if you delegate leadership experiences.
- Carry on developing yourself. Managing is a skill which needs to be learned and practiced and then learned some more.
- Management Style
- Autocratic: Make decisions unilaterally
- Democratic: Employees can make decisions
- Consultative Think Dave Brent (the Office)
- Laissez-faire: Manager becomes a mentor
- MBWA (Management by wandering around): Manager is a proactive listener
- Management Style
- You can still be friends with your staff. Good managers do not build barriers against people.
Employee Section – How to spot a Bad Manager
They do not take an interest in you or your career.
Not listening to you and not caring about your needs.
They do not have your back.
They will tell you your presentation is great, but blame any bad feedback on you.
They do not want you to succeed.
At your yearly review, they only point out your weakness and not any value you have brought to the firm.
They are passive aggressive towards you.
Sending emails or text messages micromanaging you instead of meeting you face to face.
They focus on pointless tasks.
Creating meaningless Powerpoint presentations.
They don’t praise you.
They would never praise you in public and have never said “thank you”.
7 Changes in Management Style
1987 vs. 2012
2012: Constant Change
1987: Managing Work
2012: Managing Results / Leading Work
Approach to Work:
1987: Fine Turning What Is
2012: Creating Entirely New / What Could Be
1987: Risk Averse
2012: Takes it and enables others to take
1987: Avoided it
2012: Uses it
1987: Being right
2012: Doing the right thing
1987: Controlling others
2012: Passion for the work, company, and the people
Top 5 Influential Modern Management Books
1994: Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
1999: First, Break All The Rules
Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
2000: The Six Sigma Way: How GE, Motorola, and other Top Companies are Honing their Performance
Peter S. Pande, Robert P. Neuman, and Roland R. Cavanagh
2001: The Essential Drucker
2001: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Other’s Don’t.
The Birth of Management
5200 BC Sumerian traders managed slaves with written orders.
2720 BC The principles of modern project management came from the builders of the oldest pyramid of Hellinikon, Greece.
73 – 71 BC Leaders emerged from the wars of this time, many of these charismatic approaches to motivation are still used today.
AD 1700s Arabic numerals made way for management to include accounting.
Mid-AD 1800s Modern Management started to include the human element and training and motivation of workers took the lead.
Late AD 1800s The industrial revolution brought standardization and quality control to management.
Infographic by bluecarrot.com
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Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.