Management involves organizing, planning, controlling and directing an organization’s resources. Some managers are responsible for teams of people. Other managers are held accountable for a specific process. Managers can possibly be responsible for both.
Regardless of what a manager is responsible for, there are some common activities all good managers do. And these activities involve the way they interact with people. No matter how many employees a manager has on his or her team — in fact, they could have zero — the only way things get done is with people.
Brad Carmony, director of employer and corporate communications at Unum, says the key to successful management is continuously setting expectations. “Setting measurable expectations is fundamental. You can do many things right, but unless you set expectations, it doesn’t mean much.”
Here are 6 things the best managers do:
1. They communicate well. This means communicating both verbally and in writing to employees, peers and their direct supervisor. Communication also includes being a good listener — because you can’t communicate clearly if you don’t understand the question/issue/comment being raised.
2. They treat others with respect, even when they disagree. Good managers realize it’s okay to disagree as long as everyone is treated with respect. In fact, there’s a school of thought that disagreement creates innovation and better performance. But you still need respect.
3. They recognize excellent work. Whether it’s one of their direct reports, a colleague or even their boss, excellent work deserves recognition. A good manager doesn’t take credit for other people’s ideas and will give credit where it’s due.
4. They collaborate with others. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, the amount of time spent in collaborative activity has increased by 50% over the past two decades. Managers need to know how to work successfully with others and be able teach that skill to the people they work with.
5. They’re comfortable saying, “I don’t know.” Just because someone has the word “manager” or “director” in their job title, it doesn’t mean they have all the answers. Good managers know when to say, “I don’t know, but let me find out the answer and get back to you.”
6. They seek feedback about their performance. Managers are often responsible for evaluating the performance of others. But the best managers have a level of self-awareness and they seek feedback about their own performance — from their team, colleagues and boss — to become better.
Excellent managers understand their teams.
Managers have a huge responsibility in organizations. They plan, organize, and direct the company’s resources, people and processes. To be a good manager involves developing your skills in the way you work with others.
Carmony reminds us it’s all about recognizing different work styles. “Not everyone has the same level of productivity in the same space. An example would be introverts versus extroverts. Some employees thrive in super-collaborative settings while others excel when given a task and allowed to do it on their own. A good manager knows how to support each team member, so they can do their best work.”