What makes a good manager?

The other day I was thinking what makes a good manager, over my career I’ve seen a number of different ways of managing a team of people varying from hands on to hands off so I decided I would blog my thoughts on what I think makes a good manager.

Know your team
If you manage a team of people you need to speak to know them, know what these people who work for you are really like, what motivates them, what makes them tick, what do they like and what don’t they like and can they come to your for advice and speak their mind if they need to. I’ve seen managers who think they should let their team get on with doing their day to day work and that’s great but if you don’t really know your team then as a manager are you getting the best out of them – I’ve yet to work on a team where a manager gets the best out of their team and that’s down to different reasons depending on how they’ve decide to manage their team.

Listen to your team
If you don’t take the time to listen to your team throughout the day, at meetings or at 1-1’s then you don’t really know what’s going on, you may sit around your team and think you know what’s going on but I’ve found over the years that managers rarely know their team as well as they think they do. If your team complain about the same things again and again, do something about it, you’re a manager you have the power to take control and do something about it, don’t let your team down by doing nothing.

Keep the team in the loop
Its bad management try to keep things quiet, changes to anything to do with the team should be discussed as a team, especially if you’re a self organising team, if you make a decision and the team disagree with it then your onto a loser from the get go. Also let everyone in the team have their own opinion and let them be heard.

How do you motivate your team?
As a manager it’s really up to you to try to motivate your team and to do this effectively you have to know each person in your team and learn how to motivate them, no two individuals are the same in the team so unless you know the person well I’m not sure how you motivate them, mind you not everyone needs motivated and not everyone wants to be motivated, lots of people show up daily do their thing and take their wage and that’s their choice. Always encourage your team to learn new things, never hold them back, always tell them when they’ve done a good job and make sure its heard and acknowledged.

Being a bad manager is easy, don’t fall into that trap.