Share this page on:
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle BookmarksMyspaceTumblrRedditGoogle ReaderDiggDeliciousBlinkListStumbleUpon

How to become a good manager

Many would-be managers are attracted to the position of boss because of the status and the money, but seriously - many managers haven't really understood the meaning of being a manager. They ignore it so long as they have the word “boss” printed on a business card. Some bosses just like to give orders and control other people. Others are control freaks and suck the oxygen out of their employees.

I think this is scary because managers have a huge responsibility for how people feel and therefore how the company works.

Here are some general, but very simple-to-understand tips for managers who want both respect and to get the best out of themselves as managers.

How to become a good manager:

1. Encourage people by praising them. Let people know that you appreciate their efforts. The best way to get others to follow you, is to make them feel good.

2. Look for the good in other people and remind them of their good qualities as often as you can and you will be seeing more of the good and less of the bad.

3. Listen to what your employees have to say. In what appears to be general whining, there may be a seed for a constructive solution.

4. Be kind when you address mistakes made by anyone. If you create an environment where mistakes are DISASTERS, you'll get cowardly employees who don't dare to do anything wrong - and therefore don't do anything that stands out.

5. Be clear about what exactly your goal is and that it's equally clear when the goal is reached. Nothing scares people more than a boss that you don't respect and trust. Make it clear why the goals look like they do and why the goals have been set. There are just too many employees who walk around offices and never get to know why they work in a certain direction and it all depends on the manager who can't explain himself properly or who just assumes that everyone should know what it is all about by instinct.

6. Make sure you know what's going on in your industry, your organization and your community. Knowledge gives you the tools you need to plan ahead and make sound and informed decisions.

7. Determine things. Your staff wants to see a manager who knows what he/she wants and not someone who shilly-shally around and only creates uncertainty. There's nothing wrong in getting feedback and suggestions from the staff before deciding anything, but a boss has to take responsibility for the decision himself/herself.

8. Be a role model. You are the one who sets the tone for the group and they will follow your good example. If you are careless they will cut corners. If you are lazy, they will become lazy. However, if you are energetic, creative and dare to be really good, then most people will be inspired and try to become like you. In many ways, you get the employees you deserve. Think about what you say, what you do and how you do it.

9. Consult and delegate. You can't do everything yourself and to make the staff involved will reveal which of the people you can lean on and get more help from. Test people and see what they can do. The right people will like you a lot for giving them the chance to grow while you, at the same time, will get some of your workload relieved.

10. Take responsibility for your group. It's you who is ultimately responsible for it. If people perform poorly it reflects on you. Therefore, don't blame others when things go wrong. Work to create change instead.

11. Ask your staff, one by one, what they want to accomplish on a regular basis and not just during  the annual review-talks. Everyone works a lot better if they have goals that involve their personal goals and personal motivations.

12. Again - never miss an opportunity to give praise. It also makes it much easier for you to give negative criticism that really hits home when needed. You become more credible and not a whiner.

13. Be fair. Favoritism, however subtle it may be, creates jealousy and destroys morale. It's important that you never show that you actually like some people better than others (because you do).

14. Take care of yourself. Sometimes it's the manager's job to be the employee's dustbin and it's also part of the job. Find other managers to talk to and vent with, tell stories about idiotic requirements – in short, you must find time to let some steam off now and then! To some employees you'll always be an idiot because you are the boss. Let it go as fast as you can and realize that it's all part of the price that you pay to have such a job.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.