Not Sure You Have What It Takes To Be A Good Manager?

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Misa Myong, outdoor survivalist, aspiring DJ, french fry foodie.

Most of us can probably count the number of good managers we’ve ever had on one hand.  Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon phenomenon.  And it’s inevitable that there comes a point in many of our careers where we’re asked to take on the role of a manager and lead a team.

So the question begs to differ, do you have what it takes to be a good manager? If we’re talking from experience alone and consider the odds of most your managers ranging from bad to mediocre, many of you may not have a positive manager experiences to learn and model after.

It doesn’t take one to know one

For those fortunate enough, having a good manager experience sits as an aspiration for the day when you become a manager yourself.  That does not mean that if you have not had a positive manager experience that you do not have what it takes to be a good manager. 

Key management skills can be learned and obtained regardless of your previous experience with managers.

So what should you do to be a good, or even great, manager?

We break it down to these three simple approaches:

Keep it real

There’s nothing worse than fake gratitude.  You shouldn’t feel pressured to reward your team members and accept anything they turn in.  Often times, they can tell when your appreciation is not genuine, and this sets a low expectation bar for your team.  Constructive feedback is healthy and allows your team to learn and work up to your expectations.  This way, they will continue to grow and learn how to improve on the work that they do.

Tenacity is good, but stay flexible

It’s good to be firm and push your team members through a challenge or meet a tough deadline, but unfortunately there are other obstacles that are not necessarily seen throughout the workplace.  There might be something else going on outside of work affecting your team’s ability to meet the deadline.  Work with your team members and provide them with the resources they need to get it done.  You don’t want to kill the energy or momentum driving the team forward.  That’s when team members start to get burned out and energy takes a nose dive.

Communication is major key

Do you often find yourself frustrated after dealing with multiple vague and follow-up clarification emails?  Ever disappointed that you ran out of time to handle all your ongoing projects and objectives?  Unsure how to start your project and feel the need for more direction?  These are all areas you can avoid as a manager with clear communication.  After a meeting or delegating a new task, as your team member to relay the information back to you and follow up with an email summarizing the conversation to ensure both of you are on the same page and no one is left behind.

Your worst mangers could have prepped you to be the best manager

When things are good, you don’t always know how good it is until things are bad.  Learning and observing from some of your worst managers could have prepped you to be the best manager you can be.  They gave you an understanding of what could have been done better and what made it so frustrating from your end at the time.  This sense of awareness and understanding of what a bad manager is can prepare you for what not to do.


Catherine Malloy Cummings

20 N Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL, 60606, United States