Look for These Five Leadership Qualities When Hiring a Manager

manager conference table

Successful companies hire effective managers because they lead their most important asset, their people. And not just the great employees.  People who complain, come to work late, people who are jealous and greedy.  People who think the grass is always greener. We’ve discovered five leadership qualities to evaluate when hiring a manager.

Every day, managers walk the fine line between being authoritative yet relatable.  They work harder than those they manage.  They anticipate problems and communicate solutions, so everyone is on the same page.  Even the best burns out quickly.

Anyone in business can tell you that hiring the right manger can make or break a department.   They are among the most crucial hires, and it’s imperative to choose wisely.

#1 Managers Have to be Relatable

Employees want a manager they can relate to.  Someone who has enough of a “salesman personality” to really talk to people about everyday concerns.  There is nothing worse than a manager who closes an office door and never engages.  Or, someone who gives off an air of superiority.  Maren Hogan of Red Branch Medi, states: “The best managers are emotionally intelligent; they have the ability to lead their employees and guide them with understanding.  The best managers, however, understand that compassion does not equate to subpar performance…” When hiring, look for someone who is relatable, but understands that a manager is not a friend.

#2 Managers Need These Types of Communication Skills

“Good communication skills” is a phrase in just about every job description.  And managers do need to be excellent communicators.  But it is absolutely crucial that managers display excellence in these areas:

  • Public speaking: managers should be able to speak in front of a group with authority, and a bit of charisma is a great bonus.
  • Written email correspondence: managers should be able to explain tasks or ideas without confusion.
  • Interpersonal communication: Managers should be able to speak to all kinds of people with respect. Managers should feel comfortable giving employees praise, yet also be able to offer suggestions, even to employees who may be older or more experienced in certain areas.

Praise doesn’t cost anything to give and takes very little time, yet so many managers fail to do this on a regular basis.  Or, the praise given is so generic, it doesn’t really matter to employees. Here are ways to give praise that matters.

#3 Managers Need to Prioritize

Let’s face it, managing people and or projects is often overwhelming.  A manager needs to know how to organize tasks, delegate, and follow up on assignments.  Employees can always tell how much slack is in the rope.  Bhavin Parikh, CEO and Founder of Magoosh Inc., said: “Lack of focus is the reason many small companies fail. The best managers solve that problem through ruthless prioritization. They identify the three most impactful projects from a list of ten and focus their team on those three. They help keep their employees’ proverbial plates just the right amount of full.”

#4 Managers Need to be Decisive, yet Open-minded

A good manager will regularly communicate with and survey his/her employees.  This is a source of valuable information.  If an employee has an idea that differs from the manager, the manager needs to be open-minded enough to consider that idea.  If not, employees will quickly get discouraged.  With this said, a manager needs to make decisions, even if everyone does not agree.  Kimberly Fries of Forbes states this: “Bosses who aren’t decisive are often ineffective. Too much effort working on consensus building can have a negative effect. Rather than simply making a decision, many leaders allow debate to continue, and then create a piecemeal decision that satisfies no one.”

#5 Managers Should Have a Proactive mindset

Managers need to always be thinking ahead.  They need to anticipate employees’ needs and proactively address these needs.  Otherwise, employees will raise concerns to managers, and managers will lose some authority if always reacting instead of anticipating.  Getting to a proactive mindset means good communication with employees and regularly asking employees what they might need.

At Artemis Consultants, we help companies hire managers who possess qualities not always seen on a resume.  Please visit our website for help hiring the best manager for your business.

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