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To wonder what makes a good manager?

(31 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Wed 05-Mar-14 20:41:14

Aibu to think that there is a type who goes into management? There are so many bad managers so what is the difference between a good manager and a bad manager?

scarffiend Wed 05-Mar-14 20:43:13

Think of what makes a bad manager and do the opposite. In my experience, treating people well seems to be the main difference between good and bad managers, regardless of their ability to perform their own job.

winterhat Wed 05-Mar-14 20:44:47

Someone who brings the best out in people by clear leadership but also fairness and consistency. Confident but not arrogant. A good listener who takes on board feedback from their team and knows how to tactfully deal with any problems. Someone who sets clear goals but also gives enough information about how to reach these.

sheeesh Wed 05-Mar-14 20:47:00

A good manager doesn't rely on their position to make the team succeed. They will win the trust of the team and lead in a way that makes each member of the team want to succeed. There are so many ways to so this but it is essentially taking time to understand each member of your team, and find ways to help each member play to their strengths to deliver the team goals.

Eatriskier Wed 05-Mar-14 20:50:41

The good managers I have had that sadly are outweighed by the bad ones have been consistent. Ok, there's been more to them than that but all the bad ones have lacked consistency and the good ones were always consistent. Personally I don't care if you're a hands off manager or a micro manager or even if you're hands off in some areas but micro managing in others as long as you're consistent about it.

superstarheartbreaker Wed 05-Mar-14 20:54:49

What if your consistently bad?!

Teeb Wed 05-Mar-14 20:56:48

Treating their staff with respect and fairness. Being motivated and well organised are probably key elements of good management, can't be doing with 'Do as I say not as I do' management types who seem to think they are above hard work.

I do think there's a culture where either the wrong people are promoted or the right people don't go for management roles, because there are an awful lot of lazy arrogant people doing it.

DarlingGrace Wed 05-Mar-14 20:57:34

Alex Ferguson.

respect and results.

Teeb Wed 05-Mar-14 20:59:00

If they are consistently bad at least then staff members can bond and have a bucket load of evidence to take to their superiors/hr with.

The very worst managers have favourites and have no consistency in how they treat people.

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Wed 05-Mar-14 20:59:29

Look to Waitrose and JOhn Lewis. I would say their floor managers - esp Waitrose are excellent.

Someone who gives a damn someone who goes that little bit further, someone who stops to stoke up the fire in the pub rather than walk past it dying.

Teeb Wed 05-Mar-14 21:00:25

Alex Ferguson has said his main ethos is that no one is bigger than him/the club.

He's also assaulted a few of his staff, so maybe try not to include that.

Hassled Wed 05-Mar-14 21:00:53

Someone who will acknowledge a worker who goes above and beyond. It seems sometimes that it's much easier to criticise the 1% of cock-ups than to notice the 99% of doing more than is required. A good manager should notice.

iklboo Wed 05-Mar-14 21:03:32

At ours it seems to be the ones that can answer 'tell me about a time when (insert generic thing)' at interview, rather than the ones who know the role, staff or remit of the job.

TerribleHumanBeing Wed 05-Mar-14 21:06:10

Oh I like this thread. I'm a manager of a team of nine, and I do the same job alongside them while also managing, training, encouraging and occasionally pulling them up.

I like to think I'm approachable and fair while maintaining an air of slight authority, and I work like fuck to make sure I outperform them on targets otherwise imo I don't have a leg to stand on when I ask them to perform better.

I'm fairly sure they like me but hey, who knows. I do ask for regular feedback from my line manager as well as my team. We all get on and go to the pub for a fortnightly gather and debrief, which keeps things on a nice level I think.

pineapplecrush Wed 05-Mar-14 21:08:35

Someone who gives clear instructions of what they expect from you, who can identify workers strengths and weaknesses and bring out the best in you. Support where it is justified and a calm unflappable manner. The worst manager I worked for changed her mind a lot, knew what she wanted but didn't tell others clearly and expected them to know. Never knew what to expect one day to the next. What Hassled said too.

winterhat Wed 05-Mar-14 21:14:43

Why do you ask OP? Are you a manager?

EnglishGirlApproximately Wed 05-Mar-14 21:16:15

I like to think I'm a good manager grin I treat my team fairly, give praise and thanks, give feedback on errors without making a drama out of it, admit my own mistakes and support them in their ideas. I try to work with plenty of give and take. Most of my staff arent contractually entitled to a tea break but I'm happy to let them make the odd cup as I know that they all do things over and above what's expected of them.

I also think admin is important. Staff rotas are done 4 weeks in advance, pay is always accurate etc.

namechangeagaininnit Wed 05-Mar-14 21:20:12

Everything my boss isn't grin

LimitedEditionLady Wed 05-Mar-14 21:21:17

Someone who does not mind if they have to spend time to explain things properly,a manager who someone can go to a second time to ask for something to be explained and that person doesnt have any fear that the manager will be annoyed.A manager who can accept that sometimes things are not perfect but will work with a team to improve them.A manager who has realistic expectations and accepts that they arent always right.A manager who can teach but can listen and learn from others.

Eatriskier Wed 05-Mar-14 21:23:34

I've had a consistently bad manager in the sense of actually managing the team,etc. They were still a million times better than any of the inconsistent ones I've had. At least we knew they'd be no help.

trufflehunterthebadger Wed 05-Mar-14 21:26:39

When I started out as a trainee manager in a hotel, the following gems were given to me
1) A bad manager has to rely on "position" to get things done. A good manager relies on "goodwill"
2) A good manager will always justify their decisions. It may not be the right decision but they will be able to give a rationale - not just "because I said so".

From watching a truly exceptional manager at work (now the GM of Buxted Park Hotel) I would add to the above "is not afraid to get their hands dirty and leads their team by example"

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Thu 06-Mar-14 11:26:56

Consistency is important, and also René!Bering the team are made up of individuals with a job to do themselves. Rptas to be given put in enough time to matter (jobi'm in now gives out the rota late Sunday night for Monday !morning). Clear chain of rwporet and command, so if the manager isn't there for some reason, every knows who is responsible. Clear goal posts and hope to reach them. Alerting team members to any changes, not simply expecting them to know. Payment for the hours it takes to do the job, not just the hours you want it to take. Acceptance that no one is 100% perfect, and if across the course of a 15 hour day, only one !is take has been made due to customers or even. Fat fingers that is fine, and not to make a big deal of it. If there's a pro lem, deal with it then move on, and don't keep me tioning it.

I could continue. I've in my final week at a job i'm leaving due to such poor management.

BuggersMuddle Thu 06-Mar-14 22:58:56

For a line manager - 'the golden rule', drawing on your own experience 9 (including what you missed) and an eye for people taking the piss. In other words, I trust, I try to give but I keep an eye out and I don't expect you to break that trust. I think I am a good line manager, but I don't think I am a great line manager - it's something I can continue to improve and I try to do so. For me line management is important - I'm unconvinced people forced into it (particularly IME in techie roles) do well. Pay them for what they're good at IME (although I do no some excellent managers who are also uber-techie).

For a task or assignment manager (may be the same as line manager), clarity and consistency. If you're very senior to me and ask me to do something Weds then claim you wanted something different Fri, that doesn't make me respect you. Try to understand that while the instructions you give to your team on an individual basis are not critical for you, they are for them (and the sum total is for you). Try to be as open and honest with your team as possible (recognising some things will be restricted) and ask the same of them. If and when you get feedback on team dynamics, don't punish people who criticise constructively - ask for their help in making things better.

theQuibbler Thu 06-Mar-14 23:17:30

I think a good line manager has clear, positive, specific expectations for their team. Ones that are communicated well and everyone knows what they are working towards and how they are meant to get there. Someone fair, balanced and trustworthy.

The worst manager I had was wildly inconsistent - showering you with praise one minute and then practically threatening you with a formal warning the following day. Played favourites in the team, which left people feeling insecure and left out. She was ruthlessly ambitious and perfectly happy to throw you under a bus if it made her look good to her bosses.

Really, really unpleasant to work for.

But I quickly learnt how I did not want to be as a manager myself, and have applied that consistently. So you can always something out of even the worst situations.

EBearhug Thu 06-Mar-14 23:24:55

I think consistency and fairness, recognising people's achievements as well as their cock-ups, being able to listen (sometimes, just being heard is enough for some people.) I agree admin is important, particularly if you have a team which has to cover an on-call rota and out of hours work. Clear instructions are also important. And following the company commitments to respect for each other.

I totally agree that techies are often not natural managers, even if that's the next logical progression - fortunately, my current employers (and one of my former ones) now has two parallel career paths - one for management, one for technical excellence. Unfortunately, some people happen to be technically crap and even worse managerially. { Looks very pointedly a couple layers up reporting line. }

Also, recognising that being psychic is not an ability most people have would actually make more sense than assuming it's a core part of the job spec. People will not know stuff if you don't communicate it.

(I notice I get a lot more sarcastic when I think about the things that particularly piss me off about certain members in my management tree.)

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