the manager is good at


Good managers are great communicators, active listeners, and amazing supporters. The good news is, these are traits you can learn. From learning đồ sộ delegate đồ sộ aligning your team’s work with greater company goals, we’ll show the 10 qualities the best manager’s share, and actionable tips on how đồ sộ develop them.

Can you name a single successful sports team that thrives without a good coach? Probably not. Even if you have the best player in the league, you need a strong leader đồ sộ inspire, tư vấn, and guide every successful team.

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The same goes for your workplace. Without great leaders, teams cannot be successful—no matter how hard they work. As a manager, it’s your job đồ sộ guide your team, make the best possible decisions, and stay open and flexible. You need đồ sộ balance the needs of these individuals and the greater company-wide objectives. Thankfully, you can develop the soft skills you need đồ sộ be an effective manager—starting with these 10 qualities.

10 qualities of a good manager

Management skills aren’t taught in school. To be a successful manager, you need đồ sộ hone and develop a new mix of qualities. There’s no blueprint đồ sộ follow—your unique skillset and experiences will help you decide what manager style đồ sộ develop. But learning these 10 qualities that many of the best managers share is a great place đồ sộ start.

Read: 11 common leadership styles (plus how đồ sộ find your own)

How đồ sộ effectively manage your team’s workload

In this không lấy phí ebook, learn how đồ sộ prioritize work so sánh your team can make a bigger impact—with fewer resources.

How đồ sộ effectively manage your team's workload

1. Be inclusive

To build a diverse team, you need đồ sộ create an inclusive and positive organizational culture. When every team thành viên feels respected and valued, you’re naturally going đồ sộ boost employee engagement and (by default) produce better work. Perhaps more importantly, an engaged team is a happier team. 

So how vì thế you foster an inclusive work environment?

By building your emotional intelligence. Developing your emotional intelligence leads đồ sộ better collaboration, advanced interpersonal relationships, and improved communication. Here’s how you can build and use it at work:

  • Have open and honest conversations with your teammates about how they feel at work and with the team.

  • Implement time for conversations and feedback đồ sộ create a feeling of safety.

  • Help your teammates feel empowered by recognizing their ideas and work.

  • Recognize each team member’s unique qualities and assign work that compliments their specific skill mix.

  • Establish group norms that encourage your whole team đồ sộ practice inclusivity.

  • Look for team members who have different career paths đồ sộ get a variety of people and skills working together.

Pro tip: Remember that creating an inclusive environment is an ongoing process. Part of doing this involves establishing and verbalizing group norms so sánh your team can follow suit, but the ongoing effort is what will keep your team comfortable and honest with one another. If your organization offers trainings on team synergy or conflict resolution, make sure đồ sộ take part and keep learning!

2. Establish communication norms

More often phàn nàn not, project mistakes come down đồ sộ a communication error rather phàn nàn a performance issue. As a result, effective communication is vital, both for completing tasks as well as boosting team morale. 

To streamline conversations, create a communication plan for your team.A communication plan defines your different communication channels and what each should be used for. This helps team members not only know where đồ sộ communicate, but how đồ sộ communicate within each channel.

For example, your communication plan could look like:

  • Use Slack for synchronous day-to-day updates, quick questions, or team bonding group chats

  • Use Zoom for one-on-one meetings or presentations. 

  • Send emails đồ sộ communicate with external partners or stakeholders.

  • Use Asana đồ sộ communicate asynchronously about project management, schedule tasks, and track project progress.

Pro tip: It’s important đồ sộ understand how your team communicates, both individually and as a whole. To gauge if you’re communicating effectively, ask for feedback. Feedback and performance reviews are great ways đồ sộ start an open dialogue about how you can become a good leader đồ sộ your team members.

Read: How đồ sộ give and take constructive criticism

3. Practice active listening

This key aspect of team management is often overlooked because it seems so sánh simple. But listening is more phàn nàn just hearing your team, it’s a skill. Becoming a better listener improves communication, boosts collaboration, creates a deeper connection with your teammates, and builds trust. 

There are four types of listening: empathetic, appreciative, comprehensive, and critical. To be a better manager, focus on a type of empathetic listening called active listening. 

Active listening means listening with the intent đồ sộ fully understand what the other person is saying. As an active listener, try not đồ sộ be preoccupied with your own thoughts or responses; instead prioritize comprehension in your responses. Ask open-ended questions đồ sộ gain a deeper understanding of what your teammate is talking about, paraphrase or summarize đồ sộ make sure you’re fully understanding what’s being said, and avoid distractions or multitasking.

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When your teammate brings up the problem they need đồ sộ solve, reflect back on what they’re saying (‘What I hear you saying is…’). Sometimes just hearing a problem relayed back inspires someone đồ sộ realize they already know the answer.”

—Justin Rosenstein, Asana co-Founder

Pro tip: Better active listening can help you become more effective at conflict resolution as well. On top of paraphrasing and summarizing what your teammate is telling you, you can add đồ sộ the conversation by using “I” statements. Using “I” statements is a great way đồ sộ center the statement on your own experience. For example, you could say “I felt lượt thích my feedback from this morning didn’t resonate with you” rather phàn nàn “You didn’t listen đồ sộ mạ.”

4. Empower your team

A key component đồ sộ building a strong organizational culture is empowering and putting trust in your team. Good company culture drives motivation and increases employee retention. It’s also good for morale, which boosts productivity and well-being.

To show your team that you trust them, delegate responsibilities and make work processes collaborative. Check in and ask them for feedback—both on your performance, as well as on the success of the project. Knowing that you value their opinion will strengthen their trust in you and help them đồ sộ feel more confident and empowered in their work. 

Pro tip: Show that you want the best for your team by prioritizing their aspirations when possible, and taking responsibility when you fall short. One way of showing your team that you care about their growth is đồ sộ tư vấn them in creating professional development plans. This document is perfect đồ sộ define career goals and hold yourself accountable. 

Read: What is a professional development plan (PDP)? 6 steps đồ sộ create one

5. Be decisive

As a manager, you are responsible for making decisions that affect the entire team. To avoid conflicts when making important decisions, it’s important đồ sộ coordinate with your team and communicate properly by: 

  • Informing your team of your decisions as soon as possible. 

  • Giving your team time đồ sộ process and react—especially if your decisions will affect their work or personal lives. 

  • Offering explanations and context for your decisions. Your team will appreciate the transparency, and it’s crucial đồ sộ building trust.

Pro tip: Use frameworks and practices đồ sộ develop better decision-making skills. For example, if you’re deciding which project đồ sộ prioritize, you can use data-driven decision making models that incorporate all the facts. Or use the ladder of inference when you need đồ sộ explain why you came đồ sộ a certain decision. Test out different methods and models đồ sộ learn what works best for you and your team.

6. Hold yourself accountable

Your team isn't perfect, and neither is their work. But ultimately, the buck stops with you—which means that you need đồ sộ take responsibility for any missteps that happen. This is called accountability, and it’s one of the harder leadership skills đồ sộ learn. As a team lead, you need đồ sộ take responsibility for all the work that’s put out, even if you weren’t the one who actually created it. 

There’s an upside đồ sộ this. By taking accountability for your team’s mistakes, you have the opportunity đồ sộ help them learn from their mistakes. It builds trust, which shows your team that it’s safe đồ sộ experiment and take creative risks. Which, ultimately, is how the best ideas are born. 

Pro tip: Accountability isn’t just about taking the moral high ground, it’s also the quickest way đồ sộ find a solution. Problem-solving will be one of your key roles as a manager, and you can’t start that process if you don’t acknowledge there’s an issue. After you take responsibility, dive into problem management đồ sộ ensure that you spot and stop similar mistakes in the future.

7. Be confident

Being a confident manager sets the tone for the team and makes it more likely that they will follow suit. Even if you’re a new manager and lack experience, you can reference the hard work that got you where you are đồ sộ build confidence in your new role.

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To build confidence, identify your strengths and keep a record of your successes. If there are periods of time in which you feel less confident, you can give yourself a boost by looking back on your past successes. It also helps đồ sộ acknowledge when you’re in a tough situation. When you finally overcome it, congratulate yourself. That tough situation can be used as a confidence boost (and experience) for the future.

Pro tip: You should also find ways đồ sộ show your confidence in your team’s abilities. Be there đồ sộ offer guidance if necessary, but show that you have faith in their abilities by trusting them with important tasks. Host recurring 1:1 meetings with individuals đồ sộ reinforce positive feedback, reminding them of the value they bring đồ sộ the team.

Read: You got this: advice for the first-time manager

8. Develop adaptability

Your team relies on you đồ sộ take control, no matter the situation. As a manager, you’re responsible for both facing changes as they occur and helping your team đồ sộ adjust. Becoming more adaptable will help you ‌stay calm when issues arise, which allows you đồ sộ make better decisions even in challenging times. 

Pro Tip: To become more adaptable, learn đồ sộ embrace change. Practicing mindfulness, keeping an open mind in every situation, and routinely pushing yourself out of your comfort zone are ways đồ sộ develop adaptability. By learning đồ sộ be more adaptable when times are good, you’re preparing yourself đồ sộ manage and lead your team if a crisis does emerge.

Read: 6 Tips đồ sộ Increase Your Adaptability In the Workplace

9. Know when đồ sộ push (and when đồ sộ stop)

The best managers vì thế two things: push their team đồ sộ grow and tư vấn them in slowing down. To produce good work, you have đồ sộ hit certain goals, KPIs, and OKRs. Plus, keeping your team motivated and engaged can help push them đồ sộ be more creative in their work. But, research shows that workers are feeling more burnout phàn nàn ever before. Your role is đồ sộ manage both aspects of the work, and know your individual employees well enough đồ sộ spot when they need đồ sộ push through and when they need a break. 

Pro tip: Clearly outline expectations and deadlines in advance đồ sộ avoid miscommunication. Then, save everything in one, central source of truth so sánh anyone can reference them at any given time. This helps the team đồ sộ plan ahead, reducing overwhelm and staying on schedule. And remember đồ sộ stay flexible. Your project needs might change or someone might need a break. Build extra time into project calendars đồ sộ ensure that there’s time for both work and rest.

10. Be honest

The last quality on the list might just be the most important: be honest. At the kết thúc of the day, your team relies on you. They rely on you đồ sộ guide, tư vấn, and champion them through the ups and downs of their work lives. Transparency builds trust with your team and holds you accountable, which shows everyone that you’re here for them. 

Pro tip: Scheduling regular feedback sessions creates a safe space đồ sộ share and be honest with one another. Instead of blaming someone for a mistake they made in the moment, you can structure your response đồ sộ be more constructive during a schedule review. On the flip side, this time gives your employees the opportunity đồ sộ be honest with you, which is the best way đồ sộ become a better manager. 

How đồ sộ effectively manage your team’s workload

In this không lấy phí ebook, learn how đồ sộ prioritize work so sánh your team can make a bigger impact—with fewer resources.

How đồ sộ effectively manage your team's workload

Actionable tips đồ sộ help your team succeed

Developing core leadership traits doesn’t just happen—you need đồ sộ take action. These tips will help you put your leadership qualities into practice, and ultimately, guide your team đồ sộ success.

Align your team’s goals đồ sộ your organization’s purpose

One of the most impactful things you can vì thế as a manager is provide your team with context for why their work matters. Our research shows that when teams have clarity on how their contributions impact the organization’s objectives, their engagement doubles.

Unfortunately, only 26% of employees have a clear understanding of how their individual work relates đồ sộ their company’s goals and just 16% feel that their company is effective at setting and communicating these goals. Knowing why certain steps and tasks are important đồ sộ drive a strategy, create a product, or grow your organization will help your team feel valued.

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When a team—a group of people working together toward a common goal—has clarity, everyone has a clear understanding of everything they need đồ sộ know about the work required đồ sộ effectively achieve their goal.”

—Justin Rosenstein, Asana Co-Founder

By clarifying your team’s goals and project’s objectives, you allow them đồ sộ see how their work aligns with broader organizational goals. Sharing this information helps motivate your team members đồ sộ vì thế their best work because they understand how they are contributing đồ sộ the bigger picture. 

To help them visualize this connection, use a goal tracking tool that shows how their individual and daily work contributes đồ sộ long-term goals or a company’s mission. It's one thing đồ sộ conceptually understand the objectives, but another đồ sộ actually see that connection come đồ sộ life.


Micromanaging occurs when you attempt đồ sộ control every part of a project. It‘s difficult not đồ sộ try đồ sộ be everywhere at once when you know you’re responsible for the success of a project. But micromanaging can lead đồ sộ you and your team members experiencing:

  • Decreased trust 

  • Increased annoyance

  • Lack of faith in their (and your) abilities

  • Burnout

  • A loss in sight of the big picture

The opposite of micromanagement is macromanagement. To become a macro manager, practice delegating responsibility amongst your team members. In order đồ sộ delegate effectively, ‌you must first understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Try đồ sộ delegate in a way that plays đồ sộ your team members’ strengths—and their goals. If you can make their interests align with those of the team, they will find it easier đồ sộ complete their tasks successfully.

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If a leader isn’t trusted, none of these things [skills] matter. You can teach people ethics, but not integrity. Additionally, even with the very best teaching, you are likely đồ sộ make mistakes until you learn how đồ sộ apply judgment and customize what you’ve learned đồ sộ the specific context in front of you.”

—Dustin Moskovitz, Asana Co-Founder

Although you should not be responsible for overseeing every detail, understand that there are some tasks that cannot be delegated. On those tasks, it’s necessary đồ sộ step in and take the lead.

Read: How đồ sộ lead by example, according đồ sộ one Asana leader

Set clear goals and expectations

Setting clear goals is one of the most effective ways đồ sộ achieve success. It’s your responsibility đồ sộ clarify the desired outcome for the project your team is working on. The clearer you can be about establishing your expectations, the easier it will be for your team đồ sộ follow suit. 

SMART goals are a great format đồ sộ use when setting goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. These goals are clear and trackable, which makes them easier đồ sộ measure when they are achieved (or missed). 

To track your team’s progress toward project goals, you also need a central source of truth. Goal setting software allows you đồ sộ schedule milestones and quickly produce project status reports. These reports provide your team with the context they need đồ sộ succeed while giving them the chance đồ sộ asynchronously collaborate and get their tasks done.

[inline illustration] what makes a good manager (abstract)

Leverage collaboration tools

Collaboration software can be incredibly useful in improving your team’s productivity and performance. Software allows your team đồ sộ clearly define the plan, the process, and the progress of the work, and enables:

  • A centralized location for important tasks so sánh every thành viên can stay updated on the progress of the project as a whole 

  • Visibility across the team, which allows for each thành viên đồ sộ understand why their task needs đồ sộ be done a certain way or at a certain time

  • Time management—by streamlining and centralizing the work, brainstorming turns into fully-formed concepts faster. You can dedicate your energy đồ sộ figuring out how đồ sộ boost the quality of work, rather phàn nàn explaining and delegating tasks on an individual level. 

Collaborative software isn’t a total replacement for all workplace communication. Rather, it’s meant as a supplementary tool đồ sộ streamline the work process. Aim đồ sộ still kiểm tra in with each thành viên of your team, and also kiểm tra in with everyone as a group.

Make time for team building exercises

Having regular team building exercises doesn’t just make for a fun break, it’s also a great opportunity đồ sộ create stronger bonds within the team. You can brighten everyone’s day with a quick icebreaker before a Hotline or schedule a full day for team building activities. Whether you put these activities together yourself, hire a professional đồ sộ get some fresh input, or take your team off-site, team building can increase trust and encourage collaboration among team members.

To get the most out of your team building, schedule activities during work hours—no matter how much your team loves their jobs, even fun work activities shouldn’t interfere with their không lấy phí time.

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Better managers, better work 

Each manager has their own unique management style that shines through in their work and that’s great! But a combination of great communication skills, the ability đồ sộ delegate, and a willingness đồ sộ leverage the right collaboration tools will mix you apart from the rest.

How đồ sộ effectively manage your team’s workload

In this không lấy phí ebook, learn how đồ sộ prioritize work so sánh your team can make a bigger impact—with fewer resources.

How đồ sộ effectively manage your team's workload