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What Great Managers Do Differently?


In every organization, the role of a manager is critical to the success of the team and the overall performance of the company. Great managers possess unique qualities and characteristics that set them apart from the rest, enabling them to inspire and guide their teams toward achieving extraordinary results. Let us explore some of the key traits that make great managers stand out. By understanding these qualities, aspiring leaders can learn how to become exceptional managers and create thriving workplaces.

Cultivating Strong Emotional Intelligence 

One of the most important traits of great managers is their high emotional intelligence (EI). Understanding emotions in oneself and others and being able to use this awareness to manage relationships successfully is a key component of emotional intelligence. Managers with good EI are more likely to create a positive work atmosphere, establish trust, and successfully settle disagreements among team members, according to a Harvard Business Review article. An emotionally intelligent manager can empathize with their team members, understand their concerns, and respond in a supportive manner, creating a sense of psychological safety within the team.

1. Empowering and Trusting their Team

Exceptional managers empower their team members by providing them with autonomy, ownership, and trust. Many studies state that teams led by empowering managers have higher levels of employee engagement and productivity. Employees are more driven to take responsibility for their actions and become more committed to their work when they feel trusted and given the authority to make judgments. Furthermore, trust between managers and employees fosters a positive relationship, encouraging open communication and idea-sharing, ultimately driving innovation and creativity within the team. 

2. Effective Communication Skills

The foundation for successful management is effective communication. Great managers excel in both listening and articulating their ideas clearly. By being open to feedback and actively engaging in constructive conversations, they ensure that their team members feel valued and understood. According to reports, managers who prioritize communication enjoy higher team collaboration and overall performance. Furthermore, clear communication ensures that all team members are aligned with organizational goals and understand their roles and responsibilities, reducing the risk of misunderstandings and enhancing productivity.

3. Setting Clear Goals and Expectations

To drive performance and success, great managers set clear, achievable goals and expectations for their teams. It is proven that transparent goal-setting significantly improves team alignment, coordination, and motivation. When team members understand the expectations set for them and the broader goals of the organization, they are better equipped to prioritize their tasks and efforts, leading to increased efficiency and productivity. Regularly reviewing and providing feedback on progress towards these goals is also crucial for keeping team members motivated and focused.

4. Providing Growth Opportunities

Outstanding managers recognize the potential in their team members and actively seek opportunities for their professional development. According to our reports, managers who prioritize employee growth and career advancement experience lower turnover rates and higher employee satisfaction. Investing in employee development not only enhances their skills and knowledge but also increases their loyalty to the organization. Great managers provide mentoring, coaching, and opportunities for continuous learning, fostering a culture of growth and advancement within the team. 

5. Promoting a Positive Work Culture

Great managers foster a positive work culture that promotes inclusivity, collaboration, and recognition. Companies strongly emphasizing positive culture and employee well-being experience higher employee retention and greater organizational resilience. Managers that place a high priority on employee well-being foster a culture where staff members feel valued and supported, which increases their commitment to the company and job satisfaction. Recognizing and celebrating employees’ efforts and achievements can significantly boost morale and motivation within the team. 

6. Encouraging Innovation and Risk-Taking

Innovation is a crucial driver of growth and success in any organization. Exceptional managers encourage their teams to think creatively, take calculated risks, and learn from failures. A Forbes study highlights that organizations led by innovation-driven managers experience higher profitability and competitive advantage. Creating a culture that celebrates innovation and encourages experimentation allows team members to explore new ideas, leading to breakthroughs and continuous improvement. Managers who support risk-taking without fear of punishment create an environment where creativity flourishes, and employees feel more comfortable proposing new approaches.

7. Addressing Conflicts and Challenges Proactively

Conflict is inevitable in any team environment. However, great managers address conflicts proactively and work towards resolving them constructively. Managers who handle conflicts effectively can maintain team cohesion and ensure a harmonious work environment. Conflict resolution involves active listening, understanding different perspectives, and facilitating discussions to find mutually beneficial solutions. When conflicts are addressed promptly and professionally, team members feel supported, and the team can move forward together, promoting a healthy and productive work atmosphere. 

In conclusion, great managers possess a unique blend of emotional intelligence, communication skills, empowerment, and a growth mindset. They prioritize their team members’ well-being, promote a positive work culture, and actively seek opportunities for growth and innovation. By emulating these qualities, aspiring leaders can enhance their management skills and create a dynamic, engaged, and high-performing team.

Becoming a great manager is a journey that requires continuous learning and self-improvement. By understanding the traits and practices that set great managers apart, individuals can pave their way toward successful leadership and make a lasting impact on their teams and organizations.

Remember, being a great manager isn’t just about achieving business goals; it’s also about inspiring and supporting the people you lead to reach their full potential, fostering a culture of collaboration and growth that benefits everyone involved. So, start your journey toward becoming an exceptional manager today!

The program fosters camaraderie and collaboration, promoting networking and idea exchange. HP’s dedication to leadership development creates a strong leadership pipeline and a culture of continuous learning, contributing to its sustained success. The best workplaces prioritize empowering employees, fostering inclusivity, and investing in continuous growth. By embracing such practices, organizations can cultivate exceptional workplaces where motivated and fulfilled employees contribute to sustained success and growth.

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