5 Qualities of a Great Manager

Being a Manager comes with a lot of responsibility.  For a company to succeed, employees must at least respect their Manager enough to A want to stay and B want to give effort.  So, what qualities make a successful Manager?

  1. Leadership Ability
  2. Compassion
  3. Communication Skills
  4. Knowledge
  5. People Person

The list of qualities can go on and on, but without these few, you may want to rethink your position as a Manager.  There are a lot of people who are great workers, but it takes a special person to be a great Manager.  Let’s explore some of the above qualities a little bit further.

young woman shaking hands with boss after business presentation

Leadership Ability:

It may seem obvious, but a great Manager must be someone that is a great leader.  Having employees who report to you, means that you must be able to provide them with a vision for where the department is going.  It also means being able to listen to feedback and understand the problems that your employees are facing.  Great leaders also happen to be great listeners.  If you’re someone who goes into a meeting with your employees and dictates responsibilities and what people should be doing without listening and understanding, you aren’t going to have too many happy campers working beneath you.

focused ethnic male boss interviewing applicant in office

A leader is someone who people aren’t forced to follow, but rather someone who people want to follow.  Now in a lot of cases, people need to make money, so they feel forced to follow their boss, so they grit their teeth and deal with things. But that’s not really the best way to run an office.  If you want to be a great leader, you really should focus on listening.


Believe it or not, your direct reports are people too.  They are grown adults with families, lives outside of work, and personalities.  If your direct reports don’t meet any of that criteria, then I’m not quite sure what kind of Manager you are so you can probably disregard the rest of this.

As a Manager, you must get an idea of who you’re working with and understand them as people.  For them to want to work for you, they must feel like they are being treated like a person, and not like a toddler who gets told what to do every two seconds.   

female secretary talking with boss in lawyer office

You must understand that maybe John needs a little more coaching when it comes to technology or Stephanie likes to work a little more independently than the other people on the team.  Or Michelle is pregnant and maybe you shouldn’t have her lift those boxes of files.

Compassion goes a long way in the workplace, because when people feel like you are treating them right, they’ll likely want to work for you and do things you ask them.

Communication Skills

This is an extremely important one.  If you are an introverted person by nature, of course you can still be a Manager, but you need to work on your communication skills.  In order to succeed as a leader, you need to be a great communicator.  Now, I’m not saying you need to be Martin Luther King Jr. or Abraham Lincoln and be able to give top notch speeches, but I am saying that you do need to be able to talk to people.

positive ethnic boss using laptop in light office

Being able to express yourself and what you’re looking for is extremely important when it comes to delegating tasks.  Also, it’s great to be able to communicate with your employees to reach out to them on a personal level when need be (remember the whole workers aren’t robot’s speech from the last section?).  Being a Manager who is just going to sit in their office all day and shoot out emails when you want to say something to someone who works for you isn’t a great idea.  If you don’t like talking to people, you need to learn how to.  I’m not trying to be bossy, but it’s important for Managers to have this skill or else you aren’t going to be a great Manager.

Now, as I said before, there are a ton of different skills you need to be a great Manager, and different jobs may require different things, but the ones I laid out are universal to all jobs. If you feel like you are lacking in some of these areas, there are always ways to improve yourself.

Remember, the better you are as a Manager, the better your employees will be at their jobs.  A big part of your role is to inspire and encourage those around you, so if you are someone who’s just waiting for them to fail, you might want to rethink if you’re there for the right reasons.

So, get out there and be that great Manager that I know you can be.

If there’s any big qualities that you think I missed let me know in the comments section.

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