"To be a good manager, you have to have been managed before by a good and a poor boss" says Fanny Pechiodat, founder of My Little Paris to Capital magazine*. Indeed, if you have suffered from bad management, you will surely not make the same mistakes with your future team. And if you once came across a good manager, you probably kept the good practices in mind!
What is sure is that you do not become a good manager overnight. Being a great manager is something that you learn over time and comes with experience. Here are the 10 qualities that you need to work on to be the best manager possible.
Honesty. Be transparent and human with your team! Honesty is one of the first qualities of a good manager. Being honest means giving "real" feedback, and having the courage to announce difficult news. Withholding information can have negative consequences for the team, such as misunderstanding or misalignment... So be authentic when you manage your team!
Proactivity and reactivity. Managers are expected to act, to find solutions, to anticipate and solve potential problems, to identify needs and manage conflicts. To be able to do all this, managers must have a good understanding of their mission and responsibilities, but also of the roles of the people with whom they work. For example, if you feel that an issue is going to be more challenging than usual, step back and ask for help from someone more experienced.
Organization and structure. Nothing is worse than unclear management. A good manager ensures that work is clearly distributed and that the team has ambitious but achievable objectives. Which objectives should be set? Why these and not others? To do this, use the OKR or SMART methods. These methods help you to define the right objectives and follow them up with your team members.
Availability and listening: a good manager knows how to speak but also how to listen. Don't forget what Montaigne once said: "The word belongs half to the listener and half to the speaker". This means that the listener has as much responsibility as the speaker for a message to be well understood. Listening is also showing interest to your team, knowing their strengths as well as their weaknesses. A person who no longer speaks in meetings or who is always late sends signals about his state of mind. Perhaps he is less motivated? Why is that? Try to understand the cause, listen to the doubts and fears of your team members. It is by listening carefully that you will be able to adapt to each member of your team. Setting up regular weekly or monthly meetings will allow you to identify what matters to your team members as well as their state of mind. Don’t hesitate to use Popwork to prepare and run these 1:1 meetings.
5. Courage. Courage means being committed and engaged in your work and with your team. Such an attitude will inspire and motivate your team members. Being courageous also means being able to face difficult situations. If you have to share bad news or a difficult decision, don't beat around the bush, address the problem before it gets bigger.
6. Engagement. Managers become leaders when they are active and committed. They transform tasks into something meaningful for them and for the team, they know how to make important decisions, and for all these reasons they get the support of their team. Their attitude makes team members want to get involved in order to achieve common goals of the team. When managers have the right mindset, the team feels supported and becomes more confident.
7. Benevolence, in your attitude, the way you communicate and give feedback. Make sure that you provide explanations when important decisions are made and clearly communicate guidelines and objectives. Furthermore, a good manager shares his ideas, but also his knowledge and doubts.
8. Collaboration. A good manager doesn't not work alone, he knows how to delegate. To distribute tasks in a smart way, the manager must know his team members and their qualities. Excessive control does not work. If you are checking every single task of your team, they will feel micr-manager and will never develop themselves and make progress. By trusting your team, you make everyone accountable and you give everyone the opportunity to participate.
9. Recognition. A simple "thank you" can change a relationship! If your team members worked extra hours to finalise a presentation, if they worked hard on a particularly delicate project, take the time to thank them! Without recognition, your team can’t remain motivated and productive. It's a human need!
10. Positive. Imagine arriving at the office, and your manager is systematically in a bad mood. How can you motivate your team with a negative mindset? A manager must be able to motivate his employees by remaining optimistic. Be careful, optimism does not mean lying and hiding the difficulties or problems that the team may face. It is a state of mind that allows you to bounce back and inspire the team. Don't hesitate to smile when you arrive in the morning, to put a little humor in the day-to-day. This will make a big difference!
*"To be a good manager, you have to have been managed before by a good and a poor boss" by Fanny Pechiodat, founder of My Little Paris in Capital magazine*