Five traits of a good manager

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What makes a good manager? Think of your best manager. Now think of your worst. Chances are their key traits will be vastly different. But what made the good great, and the bad … well, bad?

Leadership Management Australasia’s new survey investigates the characteristics that make a good manager – and how important the different levels of management rank these.

The Top 5 Characteristics of a Good Manager (2011) survey, part of the Leadership, Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D.) series, found that the highest-ranking managerial qualities included:

  • Trustworthiness and openness
  • Clear communication as to the future
  • Gives ‘space’ to do work and supportive
  • Listens and is respectful to others’ input
  • Honest and gives constructive feedback.

Interestingly, how rank comparisons between business leaders or senior managers, middle managers or supervisors, and non-managerial employees, varied in what they deemed most important.

For employees, the highest-ranking quality was a trustworthy and open approach, while middle managers ranked this as the equal highest tying with supportiveness. Business leaders felt honest feedback was the most important characteristic above others.

While the characteristics’ ranks varied depending on job title, all classes of management agreed on the importance of all the key characteristics in a good manager, a good sign that employees and managers are on the same page.



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