What are Some Traits and Qualities of Great Managers?

It is believed that great managers are those who break the conventional approach to developing people to achieve desired results, by building on their
employees? capabilities and talents and shifting their emphasis towards what
they can do well, rather than trying to fix on their weaknesses.

The appraisal process used by great managers is focused on developing the

  • Assessing the talent of each individual
  • Subsequently, they will provide the necessary training, coaching, and
    development opportunities so as to further increase their employees? know-how
    and skills.
  • Weaknesses are compensated for or managed around.

Meanwhile, according to the source of Buckingham and Coffman, it has
identified the differences in tactics espoused by great managers, which are
delineated as follows:

  • Selecting people based on talent
    – Great managers select staff based on talent rather than experience,
    education, or intelligence. Talents comprise striving (which is the drive for
    achievement or drive to put beliefs in action), thinking (such as focus and
    discipline), and relating (which include empathy and persuasion ability)
  • Establishing realistic outcomes when setting expectations for employees
    – Great managers will assist individuals in establishing goals and objectives
    which are in line with the needs of the organization. Employees should be
    given the chance to determine the right path to accomplish tasks, as it is
    said that those who are not under constant supervision of a manager are able
    to perform and achieve the most works. In other words, this means that it is
    not advisable for the manager to micro-manage the employee as this indicates
    that he doesn?t place trust in them, especially the good ones. It is hence
    important for the HR department to support this approach to management by
    encouraging managers to adopt more participative styles. For instance, reward
    systems can be established in recognition of managers who develop the
    abilities of others.
  • Motivating employees by focusing on their strengths
    – Great managers will help each person become more of who they are by building
    on their unique strengths which will best support their success. In addition,
    great managers will also take the initiative in finding out what motivates
    every staff member and will hence provide more of
  • Finding the right job for the person to develop as an individual

    – The job of a manager is to help every person whom he employs improve his/her
    job performance, to which he the manager can do so by identifying the right
    role for each employee, and determining as to whether the each employee is
    fitted in the right and appropriate role.
    – The HR staff can contribute their role here by maintaining a comprehensive
    and thorough understanding of positions and needs across the organization and
    helping each individual to be matched against the right job fit. In addition,
    the HR staff should also develop a promotion and hiring process that supports
    people in positions that ?fit?, while keeping documentation of testing, job
    applications, performance appraisals, and performance development plans.
    – HR who can assist managers to understand and apply these concepts will help
    create a successful organization that consists of strong and talented people
    who can contribute productively to the well-being of the firm and business.

Source: The ?Appointments? column in the News Straits Times newspapers,
17th February 2004


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