6 Essential Traits of Highly Effective Managers - Do You Have Them?
Some managers inspire and motivate, but many fail miserably to engage their employees. The entertainment industry seems to have created the ultimate formula for the "bad manager" character, so why can't real managers understand how to be more effective? When employees choose to leave a position, it's often because of their manager or relationships with people in their working environment. People quit people, not jobs.
An "effective" manager takes responsibility for ensuring that each individual within his department succeeds and that the team or business unit achieves results. Successful managers require both talent and skill. Managerial skills can be developed through training, mentoring, and experience. But if a manager is void of natural talent, then the odds that he will be successful diminish significantly.
The most productive companies are typically more proactive than their peers when it comes to identifying and developing effective managers. The top six common managerial success traits include communication, leadership, adaptability, relationships, development of others, and personal development.
1. Communication. A manager with strong communication skills is able to instruct as well as he listens. Managers who can communicate effectively can process information and then relate it back to their teams clearly. Effective managers should be able to understand, decipher, and relate the organization's vision back to their employees in order to maintain productivity. Conversely, ineffective communicators will miss the point of what they’re being told, won’t be able to recognize the impact on their team, or will fail to share the message with their team.
2. Leadership. Leadership is a crucial attribute that many managers lack despite their job title. It is common practice for companies to promote employees who achieve the best individual results, but sometimes the best salesman doesn't make the best manager. True leaders are able to instill trust, provide direction, and delegate responsibility amongst team members.
Dilbert's boss fails to inspire his team or deliver "visionary leadership."
3. Adaptability. The ability to adapt also contributes to a manager's effectiveness. When a manager is able to adjust quickly to unexpected circumstances, he is able to lead his team to adapt as well. Adaptability also means that a manager can think creatively and find new solutions to old problems.
4. Relationship building. Effective managers should strive to build personal relationships with their teams. Employees are more likely to exceed expectations when they trust their manager. When managers establish a relationship with employees, it builds trust and employees feel valued. Valued employees are more willing to get the job done right and apply extra effort when needed.
5. Developing others. The best managers know when their employees need more development and how to ensure that those developmental opportunities are successful. Developing others involves cultivating each individual's talents and motivating them to channel their talents toward productivity.
6. Developing themselves. Finally, an effective manager is aware of their own personal development. In order to successfully develop and lead others, managers must seek improvement in themselves. A manager who is willing to continue to grow and learn and use their natural talents to the best of their ability will be able to encourage the same behavior in employees.
Effective management is comprised of several key components, and is not easily achieved. Organizations need to recognize the traits associated with successful management, and then promote employees based on those traits. The highest achieving employees do not always make the best managers, but employees that naturally exude these 6 attributes are sure to be effective and successful in management roles.
If you need to improve the effectiveness of managers in your organization, we encourage you to test drive our Checkpoint 360 assessment - 100% risk free!