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Home Blog What Makes a Good Manager? 12 Special Qualities to Cultivate

What Makes a Good Manager? 12 Special Qualities to Cultivate

Photo of Tsvetelina Hinova Tsvetelina Hinova 10 April 2024
A businesswoman in a grey shirt talking with her colleagues

It’s almost impossible to find a thriving team that isn’t led by an impressive manager. Even if you have the most high-performing team members, a strong leader is usually needed to coordinate and guide them towards success. 

But what sets apart a good manager from an exceptional one?

In this Thankbox guide, we tackle this very question—we’ve compiled a list of twelve special qualities that make for stellar management. 

Let’s dive in!

12 qualities of an amazing manager 

While every manager will have their own leadership style, it’s still possible to cultivate a new set of valuable qualities that will take your management to the next level. Better yet, if you’re training for a management position, these 12 qualities are a great place to start. 

1. Emotional intelligence 

When it comes to people management, you’ll need to be able to foster an inclusive work environment and lead positively through change. The best way to do this is by building your emotional intelligence. After all, solid emotional intelligence allows you to understand your team members' differences for better collaboration and improved interpersonal connections. 

Start by having open and honest conversations with your team about how they feel at work and within the team. When you practice doing this, focus on understanding instead of interrupting with advice you think they need. 

2. Effective communication skills

A manager who can’t communicate well can easily sideline colleagues within their team and foster animosity. Even more, communication failures result in more work mistakes than performance issues do. To help you with workplace efficiency, you’ll need to ensure your communication is clear and completely accessible to your team. 

Another integral part of effective communication is active listening. It means listening with the goal of understanding the other person to inform your responses fully. Show your colleagues that you are doing more than just hearing them by avoiding multitasking during conversations and affirming their emotions.

3. Showing recognition

Believe it or not, salaries aren’t enough to keep your team members feeling valued. An outstanding manager acknowledges that true value can be expressed by recognising colleagues for who they are and what they do. But don’t just highlight a small amount of skills, make sure to acknowledge the diverse value that different people bring to the team. 

At Thankbox, this is where we excel. Our service promotes peer-to-peer recognition for the whole team to participate in. This way, you build relationships not only between you and your team but also within the team itself.

Thankbox Thank You Card Sample

Our online group greeting card lets you involve your entire team in saying ‘thank you’ in the most genuine and personalised way. To show your appreciation to a colleague, you can include quirky GIFs, sentimental messages, and memorable photos and videos. 

Plus, we offer gift collections so everyone can contribute to a thoughtful gift card or a bouquet of flowers to celebrate your team members even more. With us, you can spearhead stronger connections within your team

Star icon Stand Out as a Thoughtful Manager With Thankbox!

Show appreciation for your team’s unique skill set and give credit where it’s due in just one click. The ideal platform for celebrating both small and big moments while effortlessly creating a culture of recognition that brings your team together.

4. Honing empathy 

It’s a common misconception that empathic leaders are walk-overs. But this is simply not true. Empathy allows you to truly understand the needs of the individuals you manage, which is vital in effective leadership. Your colleagues will feel more comfortable being transparent with you about any issues that arise. 

To build empathy, you can focus on putting yourself in the other person's shoes. While someone may have made a decision you don’t agree with, practising non-judgement helps you make more thoughtful decisions that move the team forward. 

5. Adaptability

A stellar work ethic separates a good manager from the rest. It often involves great problem-solving skills that allow you to navigate any work situation without putting negative pressure on your colleagues. How you respond to challenging situations can greatly impact your team. 

So, it’s important to stay flexible when correcting a course. 

Stay open to new ideas from your team and handle unexpected challenges with grace. This will teach your team that giving up is not the only solution when issues arise.

Coworkers sharing ideas at work

6. Strategic thinking 

An effective manager can foster innovation and inspire their team through strategic thinking. This often involves being more progress-focused rather than completely results-focused so that your team has greater long-term success. 

Make sure to use mistakes as learning opportunities to inspire your team and show them they can still be innovative even after failure. 

7. Conflict resolution

Since every team has multiple personalities, a great manager needs to have strong conflict-resolution skills. No matter how collaborative a team is, disagreements will surely arise. As a manager, you’ll need to understand how to resolve conflicts in a way that keeps everyone feeling heard. This way, you can ensure your projects stay on track while maintaining staff morale

8. Patience

There’s a reason why patience is a virtue. It’s a valuable quality that allows managers to calmly deal with challenges without becoming frustrated or overwhelmed. An amazing manager will cultivate patience for enhanced decision-making and a positive team environment. 

9. Accountability

Good managers hold themselves and their team members accountable for their actions and performance. This fosters a sense of responsibility and ownership within the team. 

It’s a great idea to be transparent with your team when you make mistakes because this sets a valuable example and helps you maintain trust in the workplace

10. Creativity

Creativity is not just for “creative” roles–it’s also a valuable quality in management. A creative manager can think outside the box to find innovative solutions and approaches, keeping the team’s work fresh and effective.

Laughing male constructor showing thumb up at a working desk

11. Team building 

The ability to build and nurture a cohesive team is fundamental. It includes recruiting the right people, fostering collaboration, and creating an environment where everyone can work together effectively.

People laughing while looking at a laptop screen

When empowering your team, you’ll need to know when to push and when to stop. Keeping your team motivated and engaged also involves taking in their feedback whenever necessary. This way, you can ensure they perform well without falling into burnout. 

Star icon Stand Out as a Thoughtful Manager With Thankbox!

Show appreciation for your team’s unique skill set and give credit where it’s due in just one click. The ideal platform for celebrating both small and big moments while effortlessly creating a culture of recognition that brings your team together.

12. Smart delegation 

A good manager knows how to delegate in a fair and efficient manner. To make the right decisions, you’ll need to consider factors like the special skills, aspirations, capacity, and personal well-being of your team members.

Two women sitting next to each other and taking notes

By recognising each of your team member’s unique strengths (and weaknesses), you can assign tasks that complement their special skill sets and development goals. 

Wrapping up 

As we’ve discovered, a recurring theme in the characteristics of a good manager is their willingness to understand their team. After all, you can’t be a manager without your colleagues.   

What if we told you that a major key to more engaged staff and improved retention is as simple as showing appreciation to your peers for their amazing work? In comes Thankbox! Our service makes it easy for any team–including remote ones–to stay connected. 

Create a Thankbox today and empower your team in the most appreciative way!

Images: Cover | Coworkers sharing ideas at work | Man at a working desk | People laughing while looking at a laptop screen | Two women taking notes