7 Qualities of a Good Manager

CoffeePals Team
CoffeePals Team
April 12, 2024
7 Qualities of a Good Manager

Whether you've been leading a team for a while or just stepping into those managerial shoes, one thing's for sure: being a great manager takes more than just a title.

What distinguishes managers who inspire their teams to go above and beyond from those who struggle to maintain morale? It’s about finding the sweet spot between being the strict boss who micromanages every little detail and being everyone's best friend.

In this article, we will dive into the seven qualities that truly make a manager shine.


40% of leaders say that their organization has great leadership, an 8% decrease compared to numbers during the pandemic.

1. Effective communication skills

Managers who have effective communication skills ensure that instructions, expectations, and objectives are conveyed accurately. This reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings or mistakes within the team.

Managers with strong communication skills can also provide constructive feedback and recognize their team members' contributions. This boosts morale and encourages continuous improvement.

Here are some signs that a team has a manager who's good at communicating:

  • Clear expectations: Team members understand their roles, responsibilities, and goals.
  • Open dialogue: There is an atmosphere of trust and openness where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns, and feedback.
  • Active listening: The manager actively listens to team members' perspectives, acknowledges their input, and responds thoughtfully to their questions or concerns.
  • Regular updates: The manager provides regular updates on project progress, changes in plans, or organizational developments to keep the team informed and engaged.
  • Effective meetings: Team meetings are well-organized, productive, and focused on addressing critical issues or making decisions, while giving everyone an opportunity to participate.

Through effective communication, managers can inspire enthusiasm and motivate their team members to give their best efforts. As a result, they drive higher levels of performance and engagement.

Managers who want to improve their communication skills can read this guide: 7 Speaking Skills to Work On for Effective Communication

2. High emotional intelligence

Managers with high EI can understand and empathize with their team members' emotions. This helps them build stronger relationships, foster trust, and create a supportive work environment.

Having high emotional intelligence also relates to being an effective communicator. It allows managers to tune into others' emotions, choose appropriate language, and respond empathetically, leading to fewer misunderstandings.

How can managers improve their emotional intelligence?

  • Self-awareness: Take time to reflect on your own emotions, triggers, and reactions. Notice how your emotions influence your thoughts and behavior in different situations.
  • Empathy: Practice putting yourself in others' shoes and considering their perspectives and feelings. Listen actively and validate their emotions, even if you disagree with them.
  • Emotion regulation: Learn techniques for managing stress, such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or taking breaks when needed. Pause and reflect before reacting emotionally, and choose calm and constructive responses.
  • Social skills: Work on your interpersonal skills, such as active listening, assertiveness, and conflict resolution. Practice communicating clearly and diplomatically, and seek feedback from others on your communication style.
  • Continuous learning: Read books, attend workshops, or seek out mentors who can help you develop your emotional intelligence skills. Embrace opportunities for growth and self-improvement.

When a manager is emotionally intelligent, the team enjoys positive team dynamics. The team operates cohesively, with trust, respect, and collaboration evident in their interactions.

Emotional intelligence also makes coaching and mentoring team members more effective. Here’s a guide on how emotional intelligence can help managers with this process: The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Coaching and Mentoring Employees

3. Adaptable and flexible

Change is inevitable in today's dynamic business environment. Adaptable and flexible managers can effectively navigate changes in technology, market conditions, or organizational priorities without disrupting their team's productivity.

Adaptable managers can quickly assess new situations, identify challenges, and develop creative solutions. They are resourceful in overcoming obstacles and achieving objectives, even when faced with unexpected circumstances.

When a manager is adaptable and flexible, it reflects on how the entire team works. Here are some of the results of having an adaptable manager:

  • Open-mindedness: The team is receptive to new ideas, feedback, and suggestions from team members. They are willing to consider alternative approaches or perspectives.
  • Agility: The team can quickly pivot in response to changing priorities, market conditions, or customer needs, with the manager providing clear direction and support.
  • Innovation: The manager encourages experimentation and innovation, creating an environment where team members feel empowered to try new things and take calculated risks.

Adaptability is one of the pillars of having a healthy leadership mindset. Managers who demonstrate adaptability and flexibility set a positive example for their team members. This encourages employees to embrace change, take on new challenges, and contribute innovative ideas, leading to higher levels of engagement and performance.

Here’s our guide on How to Cultivate a Healthy Leadership Mindset.

good manager

4. Delegates well

Delegation allows managers to distribute workload evenly among team members, maximizing productivity and efficiency. This way, tasks can be completed more quickly, freeing up managers' time to focus on higher-level responsibilities.

Delegating tasks also provides valuable learning opportunities for team members to develop new skills, gain experience, and grow professionally. It fosters a culture of continuous learning and skill enhancement within the team.

A team with a manager who delegates tasks effectively enjoys the following benefits:

  • Clear assignment of responsibilities: Team members understand their roles and responsibilities and the expectations for completing delegated tasks.
  • Effective time management: Tasks are delegated promptly, ensuring that work is allocated efficiently and deadlines are met without unnecessary stress or overload.
  • Empowered team members: Team members feel empowered to make decisions and take the initiative within their delegated areas of responsibility, knowing their manager trusts them.
  • Skill development opportunities: Delegated tasks allow team members to develop new skills, gain experience, and expand their expertise in areas relevant to their roles.

Task delegation is a critical skill for leaders. If you struggle with it, you should make it part of your leadership development goals.

Read this guide to find out what other goals you should be aiming for: 10 Leadership Development Goals You Should Aim For

5. Good problem-solving skills

Managers often encounter complex challenges and unexpected obstacles in their roles. Strong problem-solving skills enable managers to analyze situations, identify root causes, and make informed decisions to address issues promptly and effectively.

Problems in the workplace can also lead to conflicts among team members or between different departments. Managers with strong problem-solving skills can navigate conflicts diplomatically, mediate disputes, and facilitate resolution in a constructive manner.

How can managers improve their problem-solving skills?

  • Gather information: Take the time to gather relevant information and data about the problem at hand. Understand the underlying causes, implications, and potential consequences before attempting to solve the problem.
  • Break it down: Break the problem into smaller, more manageable components. Analyze each component individually to better understand the problem and identify possible solutions.
  • Consider alternatives: Explore multiple solutions and consider the pros and cons of each option. Be open to different perspectives and approaches to problem-solving, and weigh the potential risks and benefits of each alternative.
  • Seek input: Feel free to seek input from team members, colleagues, or subject matter experts who may offer valuable insights or perspectives on the problem. Collaboration can lead to more innovative and effective solutions.
  • Take action: Once you've identified a viable solution, take decisive action to implement it. Monitor the results, adjust your approach as needed, and learn from the experience to improve your problem-solving skills.

Managers who efficiently solve problems often lead high-performing teams. Problem-solving is usually the catalyst for innovation and process improvement, and good problem-solvers can identify opportunities for optimization, encourage creative thinking, and implement innovative solutions that contribute to the organization's long-term success and competitiveness.

To find out other things high-performing teams do, check out this guide: 5 Things High-Performing Teams Do Differently

qualities of a good manager

6. Strategic thinker

Strategic thinking enables managers to align their team's efforts with the organization's broader goals and objectives. They can anticipate future trends, identify opportunities, and develop plans that contribute to the long-term success of the business.

Strategic thinking also involves assessing potential risks and uncertainties and developing contingency plans to mitigate them. Managers who think strategically can anticipate challenges and proactively address them, minimizing disruptions to operations and projects.

Signs that a team has a manager who thinks strategically include:

  • Long-term planning: The manager develops and communicates a clear vision for the team's future direction, supported by strategic goals and objectives that align with the organization's mission.
  • Data-driven decision-making: Strategic thinkers rely on data and analysis to inform their decisions rather than relying solely on intuition or gut feelings. They gather relevant information, analyze trends, and evaluate potential outcomes before making strategic choices.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: The manager is adaptable and flexible in response to changing circumstances or unexpected developments, adjusting strategies and priorities as needed to stay aligned with overarching goals.
  • Big-picture focus: Strategic thinkers maintain a big-picture perspective, considering the broader implications of their decisions on the organization as a whole rather than focusing solely on short-term gains or individual tasks. 

Managers who plan strategically pave the way for a better future because they consider various possible scenarios and their potential implications for their team or organization. This leadership quality makes it easier to ensure efficient succession planning, as managers constantly evaluate the skills, strengths, and development needs of their team members in alignment with the organization's long-term goals.

To find out more about ensuring long-term success in the organization, check out this article: 10 Examples of Succession Planning Practices in the Workplace

7. Effective stress management

Managers serve as role models for their teams. When managers demonstrate healthy stress management techniques, such as maintaining work-life balance, seeking support when needed, and practicing self-care, they also encourage their team members to prioritize their own well-being.

When a manager who is efficient in managing stress is at the helm, the team displays these qualities:

  • Calm under pressure: The manager remains composed and level-headed even in stressful situations, maintaining a sense of perspective and focusing on problem-solving rather than becoming overwhelmed by emotions.
  • Work-life balance: The manager prioritizes work-life balance and encourages team members to do the same. They respect boundaries around working hours, vacations, and personal time, and they lead by example in taking breaks and disconnecting from work when needed.
  • Open communication: The manager fosters a culture of open communication where team members feel comfortable discussing stress-related issues or seeking support. They are approachable and empathetic, offering guidance and resources to help team members manage stress effectively.
  • Proactive support: The manager takes proactive steps to address potential stressors within the team, such as excessive workload, unrealistic deadlines, or interpersonal conflicts. They work collaboratively with team members to find solutions and implement changes that promote a healthier work environment.

Managers who truly want to make an impact know how critical stress management is to success. If you want to find out more about why it’s worth it to invest in employee well-being, read this guide: Investing in Employee Well-Being: The Critical Role of Stress Management in the Workplace

Be the Manager Who Leads the Team to Success

Now that you know what it takes to be a good manager, it's time to put these qualities into action and truly empower your team. One effective way to do this is to have open conversations with your team members to understand your strengths and areas for improvement.

Virtual coffee chats provide the perfect opportunity for these casual conversations. They allow you to connect on a personal level and delve into topics that will help you become a better leader.

If you're looking for a convenient platform to facilitate these virtual coffee chats, consider using CoffeePals. With CoffeePals, you can easily schedule and host virtual coffee meetings with your team members, fostering meaningful connections and empowering growth-oriented conversations.

So, what are you waiting for? Add CoffeePals to your Microsoft Teams now and watch as your team thrives under your leadership.

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