13 Tips on What Makes a Good Manager

by McKenzie Chapman   Ulticareer  | Goals  | Advice  | Job satisfaction  | Management  | Work tips  | Career advancement  | 

You’ve just been promoted—congratulations! Becoming a manager will be a great learning experience. You’ll be taking on a lot of responsibility. Becoming a boss can mean people may consider you the ‘bad guy,’ and this can be a daunting possibility. But that isn’t the only outcome and shouldn’t deter you from trying to be the best manager you can be.

Here are some tips to help you develop top management skills and become a good manager.  

1. Be knowledgeable and flexible

You’re now the person that people will go to when they need answers or when problems arise. It’s your responsibility to handle things in an efficient and calm way. Great managers keep a cool head, and are therefore able to find successful solutions. 

2. Manage up

Even as a manager, you have someone above you as well. Good management also means being able to manage up, or how to work well with your boss. Read our post about managing up for more tips. 

3. Listen

One of the most important parts of effective management is listening. You need to be aware of everything that’s going on in the office, listen to people’s ideas and worries, and you’ll be better equipped to find solutions and foster a positive work environment.

4. Include everyone

Be careful not to forget anyone. If you encourage a clique or if someone is feeling left out, feelings of resentment will grow among your team. Not only is this incredibly distracting to your work, but it’s also just a disservice to the team’s feelings. Making everyone feel important and included is one of the most important skills of a manager. 

5. Collaborate

Learn how to best pair people on projects and encourage teamwork, knowledge sharing, and open support systems. Fostering a collaborative environment will lead to a happy and productive team. A successful manager is a coach and a great team leader.

6. Don’t try to be everyone’s friend

Instead, model good professional relationships. When you’re becoming a new manager, you’re going to have to deliver hard news, or challenge people to be less distracted, many times over. You should of course be friendly to everyone, but don’t expect to be loved by all, all the time. There are different management styles, and when you’re a new boss, it can be tempting to simply sugar coat everything in an attempt to befriend everyone. But when you’re learning how to be a good manager and managing a new team, you’ll learn quickly that good management skills are quite different from good social skills. 

7. You need a mentor too

You should aim to be a mentor to your team, but you should have a mentor as well. You’ll need your own support system, plus you always have room to grow and seeking advice is something you shouldn’t be afraid of. Learn how to be a good leader by asking your mentor to teach you good manager qualities. 

8. Delegate and communicate effectively

Be clear and succinct in your communication so when you delegate tasks and projects, you can avoid confusion. To communicate effectively, this means you may have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes to think about what questions they may have from their perspective. This way you can answer most of these up front when you delegate.

9. Take responsibility

Taking responsibility for your mistakes models professional maturity. When your team makes a mistake, acknowledge that this is your mistake as well since it’s your job to manage them. However, don’t dwell or play the blame game. After identifying what went wrong, move on and work on finding a solution.

10. Emphasize growth

Be clear on how you would like your team to grow. Set goals and highlight why your team should be motivated to meet these goals. Demonstrate enthusiasm for developing your team’s success, and your passion will translate to your team.

11. Prepare for your meetings

Before you meet with your team members, you should review your notes on what they’re working on, and take a moment to glance over the last few emails exchanged. This way you can carry on the conversation from where it left off, rather than retreading ground already covered. 

12. Be seen

If your team doesn’t see how hard you’re working, then they’re likely to grow feelings of resentment or jealousy. It’s important to be seen so that your team knows you’re there to support them, and that you’re working just as hard as them. 

13. Be humble and open to feedback

Just as your team can learn from you and your experience, you can learn from them. Remember to be humble; you don’t know everything so be open to new ideas and challenges.


Being a good manager is about patience, listening, and problem solving. Do you have any additional managerial advice to share? Have you been a manager, or are you going to be a manager in the future? Share your experience on UltiCareer to help anyone becoming a manager get to know what your type of job is really like!

on UltiCareer to help others on their job search, get to know what your type of job is really like.

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