Skip to main content Skip to footer

Characteristics of a good manager

Caitlin McCormack 6 min read
Get started

Promotion to your first managerial position or new job as a project manager? Congratulations. Your responsibilities will now include leading and motivating a team to accomplish set goals for the organization. Even with an array of resources at your disposal, stepping into a management role for the first time could feel intimidating. You are now responsible for the production, success, and well-being of a team, and you’re the first to take the blame should anything go wrong.

While you might take time to adjust to the new role, it is essential to note that a manager should be a leader, whereas a leader must not be a manager. So, a good manager should have excellent leadership skills that will rally the troops and get projects moving forward. Just remember that everyone has to start somewhere.

We have identified the main characteristics of good managers and asked personnel in senior leadership positions for their best advice for junior managers. Here are a few characteristics that will help you jumpstart and flourish in your new managerial role.


Non-managerial employees will not always have access to all information about the company as a manager will. Being a good manager, however, you will obviously be involved in extensive planning and strategy work. For ultimate success in every undertaking, it is vital that you keep all your employees involved by informing them about everything that’s taking place. This way, your juniors will feel that you are communicative as a boss and won’t feel sidelined in anything the organization undertakes. You can foster transparency by sharing things like strategic plans and customer feedback, all of which will make the employees feel connected to the organization.


As a manager, you will also need to focus on helping your employees progress, both individually and collectively. Strive to know your workers on a personal level in order to help them utilize their talents and leverage their interests. Try to find what works for them and what doesn’t, and work towards pinpointing and eliminating any hindrances so that your employees can perform at their best.

Growth-oriented management

Managers are often tasked with a development goal that is not about the organization. It is advisable that you have one goal that is focused on the development of an individual or members of your team, which isn’t connected to a business outcome.

Great Communicator

Many bosses tend to communicate too little to their subordinates. As a new manager, you’ll probably be busy adjusting to the new role and will hardly keep employees updated with the latest organizational news. However, you also need to understand that communication is the key driver for most of the things we do, and great team communication is essential as a manager. You must outline clear expectations for all employees, establish guidelines for providing and receiving feedback, and be transparent about critical topics.

Managers who want to inspire original thinking should nurture an inclusive culture where people are allowed to voice their ideas, opinions, and concerns. Besides, a manager should always encourage authenticity by being a good example. Ask for assistance when you need it. Turn to the team you lead when you are at a loss.

Conflict Resolution

As a manager, you should always understand that people are eventually going to have disagreements. Teams will always have conflicts, most of which you will have to resolve fairly and quickly to get the organization moving. Personal issues, compensation, recognition, and retrenchment issues are a few of the topics that could result in conflicts.

This is a very tricky skill since you do not want to use your capacity or risk resentments. Besides, most employees are observers and are quick to notice anyone who takes action in instances where it is needed. Managers who confront tough times often earn great respect from their subordinates and peers. You should always allow people to air their voices and foster an environment where individuals come together for the good of the organization.

Recognizes Achievements

Employees always want to do a great job, and when they do it, they want to earn some recognition from their bosses. Unfortunately, very few managers do much in recognizing and rewarding employees for tasks well done. Acknowledging employee accomplishments – materially and publicly could go a long way in promoting a great organizational culture. Reward performing employees and put it out there for the entire organization to see. Team changes, lateral moves, promotions, restructures, and employees doing exceptional work ensure that the entire organization knows when people are hitting targets and advancing in their careers.

Through this recognition, the rest of the organization will have a chance to convey their congratulations as well as feel inspired in their roles. As a new manager, you should understand that good news for one employee is good news for the entire workforce.

Good Managers are Impact-Driven


Workers want to feel valued in an organization. If they don’t see as if their work is making a difference in the organization, they probably won’t be motivated to deliver. As a new manager, you must take time to know every team member’s strengths as well as where they might need an extra hand. Use assignments to learn your employees then offer your support where required.

As you grow into your managerial role, it is also crucial that you take an iterative approach and learn alongside the team. This way, employees will see that you’re putting in some effort to improve, which will, in turn, motivate and inspire them to perform better in their roles.


A problematic transition you might experience as a new manager is a sudden shift from doing to leading. A majority of new leaders are often accustomed to doing all the work on their own and struggle to let others handle tasks on their own. To be a great leader in your new managerial role, you must learn to elevate your team so that you are less involved in their activities. Shape other people’s ideas and thoughts towards a common goal while giving them everything they need to succeed. Through delegation, you can easily set clear expectations and help teams contribute to the organization’s success in a meaningful way.

There are numerous ways to be an inspiring and practical leader in your new managerial role. But perhaps the greatest mindset you can have is thinking of employees not as followers or subordinates, but as talented members of a single team. You are there to offer your support, and they are there to drive your vision forward. A great leader will always recognize this, and a great team will admire you for it.

Get started