A Good Manager

2017-09-10 10:06:05


Managers are essential to every organization and detrimental to its growth as well as decline because they handle the most difficult company resource: people. A manager's primary responsibility is to manage a team, have a smooth flow between the people he reports to, and the ones that report to himself.


In most scenarios his work is outlined on the way, what, how, when, and to whom he reports to. In ensuring a smooth flow between the higher hierarchy and himself, he should be well versed with all process and operational functions of a company. He needs to be a part of the company's growth plan and policies, depending upon his role in the organization.


Managing people, time and other resources is an art form. A good manager should have all the basic leadership skills, analytical skill, and problem-solving ability. There are various ways in which he can handle different situations through various leadership roles. Even in a crisis situation, he, with good managerial skills, should be able to perform well. He should be mentally tough to handle any kind of situations, guiding his teammates to be able to perform well. Leadership does not mean dominating people. He should have the knowledge of effective time management. A person who manages to plan the schedule and divide time equally between tasks can be an asset for the organization. He should also have a visionary sight for the benefits of the company and plan the future steps for the growth of the company. He is able to adapt easily.


Just as a manger needs to fulfill his responsibilities towards his employer, he has to ensure an approachable and patient attitude towards his subordinates or reporting members of his team. A manager who has cultivated the art of being a good listener, will always be able to help his juniors through a maze of professional and at times personal problems too. As a solution-oriented manager, his team will soon catch up with him and even emulate him. He should be resourceful, and well learned about all process and goals of the particular project and of the company, so his subordinates find it worthwhile and confident to carry forward their responsibilities. Delegating responsibilities, letting the juniors take responsibilities and decisions, right or wrong, and seeing them through a bad mess is perhaps his most desired trait. He should work towards team building and maintaining workplace ethics. He should also be responsible enough to maintain a good office atmosphere that would only lead to more productivity for the company. He should be sensitive towards others in the workplace. For a team to perform well, he should be able to motivate the team for their tasks. He should encourage talents. In case of people with low performances, he should tackle the situation with professionalism to reach a positive conclusion. However, he should not micromanage employees, especially those that have been with the company for many years. Nothing else will make them feel more unappreciated.


He works like a buffer point between the top level and junior level management. Filtering out pressure is important, to understand how much he should keep to himself, and how much he needs to pass it below. He should be trained to address and recognize grievances. A dip in work performance should be assessed, if it's a training issue, a training to upgrade the employee should be conducted, or if it is a personal problem, the help should be forwarded without getting too involved.


Another point regarding what makes a good manager, is that he can give opinions, take decisions and delegate responsibilities without being biased. Although, it is possible to have a few favorites, he needs to rise above showing petty favoritism. This trait will be particularly useful while giving a constructive feedback. Feedback and appraisals should be based on an individual professional conduct and abilities, and not on a biased act. He, while disapproving of an act should avoid getting personal. Assigning blame is a difficult task of his, but he will help his subordinates not only see the mistake, but make an example out of the mistaken approach, not the person. Being a manager is not always comfortable. He cannot always be popular. It is good to look for win-win situations but impossible to please everyone all of the time. Hard decisions frequently have to be made and it is often helpful to talk through his disagreements. Being surrounded by "Yes Men" is not the best way to make progress. Those who disagree may sometimes generate better ideas.


To sum up what makes a good manager: a team player, an analytical approach combined with a people centric outlook. He will help align an individual's aspirations to the company's goals and objectives thus improving teamwork. This he needs to do by setting himself as an example.


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张力平,IT行业资深分析师。Zhang Liping, aka Sevencastles,a senior analyst in IT industry and the owner of Seven Castles,'a Shanghai blog featuring news and views of great interest'.