Picture for a moment what you believe to be the typical manager type. Is he or she wearing a business suit, looking sternly down at employees, and issuing commands with an iron fist? Or is your manager more casual, wearing jeans and a baseball cap, with a carefree spirit who lets employees do whatever they want, whenever they feel like it? How you see yourself as a manager, now or in the future, very often depends on the experiences you have had with managers like these.
One-size-fits-all in management?
When it comes to managing people, there is no one-size-fits-all method. Leaders do not fall into any one type of personality, and they do not approach things in the same way. Instead, real managers are those few people who have the ability to see the underlying potential in others and then work alongside individuals to produce something worthwhile. Managers are also able to deal with the toughest challenges of building teams, making decisions, and handling difficult situations.
What makes a great manager?
While managers can come from all walks of life, careers, and educational levels, there are some specific traits that most share. Managers who are really great at what they do tend to share the following characteristics:
Above-average communication and interpersonal skills – These skills enable managers to relate well to others, get along with anyone and create a strong team spirit. They communicate ideas and concepts so that others can understand them.
Desire to improve the performance of others – Managers recognize the unique talents that individuals bring to the workplace and they help to develop these skills with meaningful projects. They want others to shine because it makes everyone look good.
Lead by example and inspire all – Good managers don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk too. Managers promote a productive and healthy lifestyle that spurs others to do the same.
Excellent and creative problem solvers – Great managers focus on moving past obstacles and helping their teams to work effectively. They use creative out-of-the-box methods of accomplishing this.
Before you try to become a stereotypical manager, consider what it takes to become a true leader. Learn to lead yourself and then you can lead others, with the above developed traits of great managers.