Characteristics and Attributes of a Good Manager

Good management is critical to the success of a small business. Poor management affects staff morale, customer service and the quality of your product. Since small businesses may only have a few managers, even one poor manager can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Successful managers have common characteristics that you can seek out and develop in your own management staff.

Qualities of Leadership

Good managers should be able to lead the employees they manage. Leadership traits include emotional stability, enthusiasm and self-assurance, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Managers display emotional stability by not letting frustration and stress become overwhelming.

Enthusiasm means the manager is energetic and engaged. Managers display self-assurance by not being overly affected by mistakes or failures.

The Importance of Communication

Good managers must be able to communicate well. Managers communicate to employees who report to them, other managers and clients. Communication may be in person, over the phone or via email. Managers also facilitate communication between employees who report to them.

Good managers are also able to listen effectively. They take the time to listen to what employees and customers have to say and are able to communicate that they understood what was said and act accordingly. Good managers are also aware of nonverbal communication. What they do communicates as loudly as anything they say. Good managers are aware of the example they set for the employees they manage.

Organization and Planning

Good managers are organized. They know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. They know and understand the goals of your business and what the employees they supervise need to do to achieve that goal. If you give them a task or goal, they are able to plan the steps involved in achieving that goal and communicate the steps to the employees that need to carry those steps out.

Exactly what needs to be planned varies depending on the type of business. Typically, good managers need to be able to plan out schedules, inventory and departmental budgets.

Problem-Solving Skills

Good managers are able to identify and solve problems. Whether it’s a personnel issue, an upset customer or a difficult vendor, good managers can think of creative solutions to problems, then execute the solutions. Good managers also take responsibility for problems that arise rather than seeing them as someone else’s responsibility and take an ethical approach to problem-solving.