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What it Takes to be a Good Manager.

Author: Cheryl Flood, SPHR, Founder – Proactive Human Resources, LLC


Today I am fortunate enough to be leaving for a client destination planning meeting.

In preparation, I was asked to speak to the company’s managers on what it takes to be a good manager. Certainly, there is much information on the web that I could search on Google or SHRM and various other HR sites that I could use to complete this task. However, I thought why not impart some of my 28 years of knowledge and real-world experience to the group? Candidly, I have not always displayed all of the characteristics listed below at all times. However, I do believe that at times, I have helped to mentor and grow staff. I am happy to share my words of experience and personal beliefs as noted below…..



What It Takes To Be A Good Manager?


1. Ethics (Work ethic, honesty, & integrity)

  1. Be consistent and fair

  2. Treat similarly situated employees in same manner

  3. Consider tenure

  4. Overall track record

  5. Prior issues or progress


2. Under promise, and over deliver

  1. Don’t tell an employee you can do something for them unless you are 100% sure

  2. Raise, promotion, work location, other


3. Set SMART goals for you & your employees

  1. Specific

  2. Measurable

  3. Achievable

  4. Realistic

  5. Timely (set timeframes)


4. Communicate, communicate, communicate

  1. Define expectations

  2. Performance Feedback

  3. LISTEN

  4. Be approachable

  5. Be transparent

  6. Practice tactfulness, but don’t sugar coat things so that it hinders Ee growth

  7. Honesty

  8. Open


5. Follow through

  1. Update if unforeseen obstacles present


6. Lead by Example

  1. Try your best to always “walk the walk” and “talk the “talk”

  2. Don’t ask others to do something you would not

7. Empathy

  1. Get to know your employees (balance with work/personal guidelines)

  2. Put yourself in their shoes to see their point of view

  3. Balance personal caring with running the business

  4. Display empathy, but be sure to not coddle or micromanage


8. Celebrate “wins”

  1. Doesn’t have to be monetary all the time

  2. Good example is certificates, merit program

  3. Share good case studies with all employees


9. Learn from your mistakes

  1. OWN your behaviors.

  2. Don’t make excuses. Own up to mistakes, missed deadlines, etc.

  3. Best you can do is make the best decision you can considering the company and the employee(s)

  4. Put measures in place to minimize future errors

  5. Stay on top of trends, current issues in your industry


10. Take care of yourself

  1. “Energy” is contagious

  2. If you are stressed out, employees will notice and be affected (either emulate or clam up)

  3. Owe it to staff to be there for them and on your “A” game

  4. Support positive work behaviors and environment


11.Seek outside help if you need it

  1. Have a personal mentor

  2. Utilize available resources (internal, external, technology)

  3. Try to stay healthy (mental and physical)


12. Engage w/ your employees

  1. Like mentioned above, be sure to establish a team

  2. Be a Team Leader

  3. Pave the way for others to rise to the top


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