Tips on how to be a good Manager

Its a while since I last posted. At the OU we are doing alot of work on Agile Working and the technology to underpin and support that. At a recent event, the traits of a good manager as seen by Google were presented. They clearly are getting many things right, so I thought I would share them with my take on a few.

Before you switch off and say “I don’t manage anyone“, many of these hints and tips are handy in any role. If you have any aspirations to lead a team or a project, I think they are useful. It’s also good fun to assess your boss against this list, and to use it when they ask you for feedback on how they are doing (I hope they do that, I always do as part of any appraisal conversation with my staff).

So here we go –

  1. Be a good coach – coaching is all about good listening and questioning to help your team work out solutions and answers that will stick and be owned by them
  2. Empower your team – That is not the same as abdicating responsibility – to empower well I’ve found its essential to share context and what’s going on so your team can make good decisions.
  3. Express interest in your team and their wellbeing – life is about far more than just the task.
  4. Be results orientated – agree clear measures focused on outcomes – what will be different, not just on what tasks or activities need to be done.
  5. Be a good communicator and listen to your team – loads of ways to do this, blogging is a key part of how I communicate
  6. Help employees with career development – great managers help their staff move on into better and bigger jobs and never hold them back.
  7. Have a clear vision and strategy for your team – I’d add to this – involve your team in shaping this so it is a joint direction.
  8. Have key technical skills so you can help your team – but don’t forget to give your team the space to learn and develop – your job is not to tell them how to do everything.

I hope this is of use. I know I am better at some of these than others, and I’m sure my team will let me know which ones I need to work on. What do you think – is this a good checklist or are there other traits missing?

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