How To Be a Good Manager And Leader: 20-Step Guide

In this new article you’ll learn how to be a good manager and leader.

In any big company, there exists a management hierarchy responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of the organization. An effective manager knows how to make subtle changes that have a significant impact while remaining unobtrusive. A good manager sets an example for others to follow and leads the team towards success.

Managing people’s expectations is one of the significant challenges of this job, and it often goes unnoticed. However, there are various tips and techniques that can help you manage your responsibilities with confidence and flair.

How To Be a Good Manager And Leader:

1. To inspire and motivate employees, it’s crucial to understand their reasons for being with the organization and what factors encourage them to stay.

This involves identifying what makes good days good and what keeps them committed even during difficult times. It’s important to note that money is not the sole motivator for most people, and other factors are equally essential.

To manage employees effectively, it’s essential to respect their values and work towards them. Asking employees for feedback regularly and encouraging them to be honest with their responses is an effective way to build trust and foster a positive work environment. Based on their feedback, it’s essential to take appropriate actions to address their concerns.

Providing perks that employees value is another way to keep them motivated. For instance, if health is essential to them, offer gym memberships or time off to exercise. Similarly, if family is a priority, respect their schedules and provide them with flexibility to manage their family obligations.

2. Creating a positive work environment involves acknowledging and appreciating employees’ strengths.

Successful managers are adept at identifying their employees’ talents and recognizing them from time to time. This is because happy employees tend to be more productive, and a little appreciation can go a long way in motivating them.

To recognize their employees’ strengths, managers can applaud them both publicly and privately. For example, during a meeting with their boss, they can mention something positive that an employee has done. If the boss conveys the message to the employee, it can make them feel appreciated and valued.

In addition, managers should take the time to have private conversations with their employees to acknowledge their strengths in detail. Such conversations can have a positive impact on employee morale, leading to increased self-motivation and a more positive work environment.

3. Express appreciation to employees regularly.

A simple way to do this is to invite them for a cup of coffee and tell them what you appreciate about them. Whether it’s their hard work, ability to motivate others, coachability, discipline, or positive attitude, it’s essential to be specific and direct in your praise.

Being candid and straightforward in your expression of appreciation can have a profound impact on employee motivation and job satisfaction. Employees who feel valued and appreciated tend to work harder, enjoy their work more, and pass on their positive energy to their colleagues.

Therefore, it’s essential to take the time to show employees how much you appreciate their efforts and contributions to the organization. This can lead to a more positive work environment and a more engaged and motivated workforce.

4. Treating everyone equally is crucial in any workplace.

Even though we may aspire to be egalitarian, favoritism can creep in subconsciously. It’s natural to give more positive recognition to those who remind us of ourselves and who like us, rather than to those who make significant contributions to the organization.

However, it’s important to monitor our behavior carefully and ensure that we’re not inadvertently short-changing those who make the most significant progress in achieving the organization’s goals.

While some people may shy away from positive feedback, it’s still crucial to recognize their efforts and contributions. It’s possible that even though they may not express it, they still appreciate the positive feedback.

Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of our biases and treat everyone equally, regardless of their personality, background, or relationship with us. This can foster a more positive and inclusive work environment and contribute to the success of the organization as a whole.

5. Treating your employees well is vital for the success of any organization.

When you show kindness and respect to your workers and ensure that they’re happy in their jobs, they’re more likely to pass on that positivity to customers. This can enhance the image and reputation of your company and contribute to its success in the long run.

Moreover, employees who are treated well tend to be more motivated, engaged, and productive. They’re also more likely to stay with the company for the long term, reducing turnover costs and improving continuity. In addition, when employees feel valued and respected, they tend to be more collaborative and supportive of one another, creating a positive corporate culture that can benefit the entire organization.

Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize employee well-being and ensure that they’re treated with respect, fairness, and kindness. This can lead to a more engaged and motivated workforce, improved customer satisfaction, and a positive corporate culture that supports the success of the organization.

SEE ALSO: How To Prove Your Worth At Work: 13-Step Guide

6. Express commitment and follow-through by setting achievable goals that you can exceed.

It’s better to set realistic expectations and exceed them than to set unrealistic goals and fall short. This applies not only to personal goals but also to team goals. Don’t be afraid to aim high, but ensure that your goals are achievable and that you have the resources to achieve them.

Follow through with your promises and deliver more than you promised. This approach will help you establish a positive reputation and build trust with your team and customers.

7. Ensure that every employee has a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

Clearly define goals and objectives and communicate them to your team. This empowers your employees by providing a clear direction and focus.

Be specific about what is expected, when it needs to be completed, and what the results should look like. Providing this level of clarity helps to minimize confusion and misunderstandings, and increases the chances of successful outcomes.

8. Provide feedback that is specific and goal-oriented to help your employees improve their work.

Schedule regular feedback sessions, either one-on-one or in small teams, and take the time to discuss the feedback in detail. Establish a regular schedule for feedback so that employees know when to expect it and can prepare for it. This will help them integrate feedback into their workflow and continuously improve their performance.

9. Set high standards for yourself as a manager.

Avoid being the kind of manager who criticizes others for their mistakes while being lenient towards their own. Instead, hold yourself to an even higher standard than you do your employees.

By doing so, you can inspire your employees to strive for excellence by setting a positive example. Your employees will look up to you and aim to emulate the high standards and goals you set for yourself.

10. Assign tasks to your team members and teach them how to do it well, instead of trying to do everything yourself.

As a manager, it is your responsibility to delegate and empower your employees. Begin by giving them smaller tasks, which can be fixed if something goes wrong, and take the opportunity to teach them.

Gradually, assign them with greater responsibilities based on their strengths and weaknesses. Anticipate any problems they might face and guide them to overcome these issues.

SEE ALSO: How To Overcome Failure At Work: 11 Ways To Bounce Back

11. Assign challenging tasks that can help your employees grow and develop their skills.

When employees demonstrate their capability and take ownership of their work, it’s a good time to provide them with tasks that are more complex and demanding. This can help them expand their skills (1) and contribute more to the company’s success. By challenging your employees, you’re also showing them that you trust and believe in their abilities, which can lead to increased motivation and job satisfaction.

12. Take responsibility for your employees’ mistakes.

Instead of blaming your employees for their mistakes, take ownership of them, even if you weren’t directly involved. This creates a culture of psychological safety where employees feel comfortable taking risks and making mistakes.

This is important because it allows for innovation and growth. Employees who learn from their mistakes are more likely to become better workers and contribute to the organization’s success. On the other hand, those who play it too safe and never make mistakes may not reach their full potential.

13. Ensure that your employees receive the credit they deserve for their accomplishments.

By doing so, you inspire them to continue striving for success. As a manager, you should act like a conductor who blends into the background and orchestrates the team’s efforts to produce great results.

If you take credit for someone else’s idea, it communicates that you only care about your own image and are willing to sacrifice others to get ahead. This does not create a positive image of you, and it certainly does not motivate your employees to work harder.

You might wonder what this means for you as a manager if you take responsibility for your employees’ mistakes and do not take credit for their achievements. If you are a competent manager who produces high-quality work, you should not be concerned about embellishing your accomplishments.

Your work will be recognized, and people will be impressed by your ability to inspire your employees, remain humble, and stay out of the way. If you work hard, you will receive the recognition you deserve.

14. Admitting your own errors is crucial to being a good manager.

When something goes awry, take ownership of your mistakes and share with your team what you would do differently if you could go back. This not only demonstrates to your team that you’re willing to be accountable for your actions, but it also sets a precedent for how they should handle their own mistakes.

Whenever you correct yourself after making an error, take the opportunity to explain your reasoning to your team, as this can help them avoid similar mistakes in the future. For example, you might say something like, “I used to think that pressing the blue button would shut down the system, but I learned the hard way that it actually makes the issue worse.”

15. Encourage open communication by letting your employees know that you are available to listen to their questions and concerns.

Keeping the lines of communication open will enable you to address any issues promptly and prevent them from becoming bigger problems. Avoid creating an atmosphere where employees feel like they are burdening you when they come to you with their concerns.

Instead, see it as an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to creating a positive and supportive work environment. Take your employees’ concerns seriously, and make sure to provide thorough and complete answers to their questions.

SEE ALSO: How To Effectively Lead a Team: The 15 Critical Practices 

16. Show genuine interest in your employees.

Don’t limit your interactions with them to work-related matters only. Take the time to ask them how they’re doing (2), share some personal stories, and establish a connection beyond the workplace.

Being aware of their personal lives can help you support them when they need it, such as granting sudden time off for a family emergency. By being flexible and understanding, you can build strong bonds with your employees that foster loyalty and dedication.

However, it’s important to respect boundaries and avoid crossing into overly personal topics like religion, politics, or relationships. You can still maintain a friendly relationship without overstepping boundaries or making anyone feel uncomfortable.

17. Separate positive and negative feedback.

For example, during a performance review, it’s not effective to start by praising the employee and then dive into their shortcomings. When positive and negative feedback are mixed together, it can weaken the impact of both. The employee may only focus on the negative aspects and miss out on the positive ones.

When feedback is separated, positive feedback becomes more prominent and negative feedback becomes more urgent. However, there may be situations where it’s necessary to provide both positive and negative feedback in the same conversation. It’s important to assess each situation and provide feedback in a way that is most effective.

18. Be an active listener and give others the chance to speak without interrupting them.

During meetings, allow employees to share their ideas and avoid dominating the conversation. When emotions are running high, provide a safe space for employees to express themselves and process their feelings. Ignoring or dismissing emotions can lead to resentment and negatively impact working relationships.

Additionally, when teams are having discussions or building relationships, be attentive and open to their ideas and suggestions. Encouraging a creative and collaborative environment can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

19. As a manager, it’s essential to not only communicate your ideas clearly but also to ensure that you understand what others are saying.

To do this, you can use a technique called clarifying, where you repeat what the other person has said to confirm that you’ve understood their point. This technique comes in handy when you’re unsure of what the other person is trying to convey.

Instead of asking them to repeat themselves, try summarizing their idea and ask them to elaborate on it further. For example, you could say, “If I understand you correctly, you’re suggesting that we can improve productivity by offering more incentives. Can you give me an example of what those incentives could be?”

20. Asking questions is an important skill for a manager.

It demonstrates that you are actively engaged in the conversation and are willing to clarify information when needed. Don’t worry about asking questions that may seem basic, as effective managers prioritize understanding over appearing knowledgeable.

Additionally, some team members may have questions but are hesitant to ask, so by asking on their behalf, you can encourage engagement and facilitate discussion. Ultimately, this is what sets great managers apart.

Being a good manager involves a variety of skills and qualities, including effective communication, leadership, problem-solving, and empathy. Some of the key points discussed in this chat include:

  • Being a good listener and clarifying what you’re hearing.
  • Asking intelligent questions and encouraging your employees to ask questions too.
  • Providing clear feedback, both positive and negative, and avoiding mixing the two.
  • Acknowledging your own missteps and keeping the door open for your employees to voice their concerns.
  • Taking an interest in your employees and building personal connections with them.
  • Leading by example and being a positive influence on your team.

By incorporating these skills and qualities into your management style, you can create a more productive and engaged team, and achieve better results for your organization.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to be a good manager and leader. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here