I have been fortunate enough to have been part of an institute where the professors actually behaved less like a school teacher and more of a guide. This led me to have a great transition from the school environment to college and later on to work. We as Indians have always put our elders especially our teachers and professors at a pedestal and moving to the work environment, we tend to do the same in our work lives. A good boss is not born, he needs to be made – built from scratch, brought up and needs to grow just like any other role. In the past few years, I have seen multiple managers and have had in depth discussions with friends and colleagues on what their manager is doing right as well as wrong. We have compiled 8 things that we think makes a manager good.
Managing a team is a tricky endeavor when you have people from various backgrounds, with different capabilities, lifestyles, work attitude etc. A good manager not only has to be able to create a cohesive environment but also be able to get end results from them as individuals and a team.
A leader is one who does not handhold a protege and instead shows the possible paths and leads them towards their goal. In a workplace, the goals are not limited to a job completion, but also includes your career path and your journey through the same and a leader acts as a catalyst for your growth.
There is not a bigger field where a manager can fail than this. A non-approachable manager will always fail when compared to others. The immediate manager is the individual’s portal to the company and higher management. When a manager is approachable and friendly, he creates an environment where people feel safe enough to share ideas and have a healthy work culture. A healthy work culture leads to an increased productivity. An approachable manager also is perceived as someone worth their trust. Acts as a sounding board
Acts as a sounding board
While it is very easy for a boss to make all the decisions, it is not in the interest of him OR his team for him to do so. A manager should act as a sounding board, he should listen, provides inputs and guidance, but in the end, allow the individual to choose the correct course for the problem at hand. This not only ensures the growth of the individual but also makes sure he has an anchor.
Lets you grow
While a good manager knows your strengths, he should also know your weaknesses and provide you opportunities to get over them. If you have the opportunity to present your work and your manager hijacks the presentation or the QnA session, he is doing more bad than good for you. In an attempt to (perhaps) protect you, he has stolen the possible visibility you might have received otherwise
Brings out the best in everyone
A manager like a guide should bring out the best in everyone. When someone enters a workplace (especially the newbies out of college), they are very malleable and are unaware of their strengths and preferences. A manager should be able to incite excitement in his team as well as nurture their interests and passion.
Maintains a Healthy Relationship
In an effort to thwart the hierarchical stature of power in the workplace, many companies are moving towards a friendly work environment where people are on first name basis, the dress code is casual, team outings are a part of the package among many other such perks. In such an environment, it is pretty easy to befriend people and become overly casual. A manager who is too friendly has a couple of things to lose. When banter becomes common, it is very easy for a manager to lose respect which will, in turn, affect his abilities to assign work and later prove to be a deterrent when distributing rewards.
A manager above all needs to be empathic and understanding. Since, not everyone in a team has the same caliber, family life, health conditions etc, a manager needs to understand individuals’ problems, constraints and need to spin the wheels accordingly. He should be able to work around emergencies and be open enough to understand the team’s problems – work or personal. A manager should also be discreet while handling such issues be it personal, medical or workplace related. When a manager who is understanding fails to be discreet, he loses the trust of his team. Well, here we have packaged all our learnings from the past four years in a bundle of 8 traits. Many of them may seem overlapping and that is because all these traits go together and are often intertwined in one’s life. Have you had a fabulous manager whom you loved working with or one who gave you nightmares (Guilty!) ? Let us know your “horrible” boss moment in the comments below. Comment, share and spread the love! Until later, Vani