10 characteristics & traits of a successful manager

How do you become a good manager? What skills do employers look for when interviewing candidates for a manager's post? Master the skills and special traits and characteristics that make successful managers.

It is common for medium and large business houses to employ managers to help run their business. The thought behind hiring a manager is that the person would run the show, in the absence of the owner, and manage the business from the ground up. What makes a good manager? What do employers look for in a manager? What skills should a good manager possess?

What traits do you need to be a good manager? Do you think you have the right managerial skills?

Here is a check off list of characteristics that are most sought of by the HR personnel, when hiring a manager –

Good managers are highly motivated

A good manager is someone who does the job without being reminded. They do not need constant reminders nor do they need approval for every little trivial decision. They are well-versed with the system, the working pattern of the organisation and know their responsibilities. They are capable of achieving set targets and developing strategies in the interest of the organisation. In short, they need are that 'wonder woman/man' on whom the organisation can have implicit faith, for running the show, without continuous guidance. They handle the daily nitty-gritty and ensure that everything falls into place.

Excellent communication skills

A manager with exceptional inter-personal skills can be an asset to any organisation. An individual, who can handle clients and customers with tact, makes a good manager. While a manager's job might not entail interacting with clients and customers on a regular basis, but there are occasions when they need to step in, to defuse a potentially tricky situation and at times to exacerbate it. So, the ideal manager is someone with a knack of turning difficult situations into pleasant ones, who can talk an angry and difficult client into submission without losing their temper. This helps retain the customer's patronage while maintaining the goodwill.

Recommended reading : Learn communication skills

Displays integrity

Integrity is perhaps one of the most valued qualities in any relationship. Trustworthiness is highly valued, especially, at the workplace. A manager is expected to work honestly in an organisation, without giving into the temptation of letting out trade secrets to competitors or cheating the bosses.

Not just a leader, but a team player

The best managers are those who do not shy away from taking a share of the dirty work. They are committed to working alongside with the team, not from the sidelines. This kind of behaviour improves productivity. Such a manager is not just doing a job but is working towards building a team and improving the business. A manager is someone who is a go-between who works directly with the bosses and the rest of the employees. Hence, it is vital that this person is a real team player, who works with both teams, in the interest of the business.

Impressive mediator

Conflicts at work place are normal. A manager with the ability to mediate between conflicting members/parties can prove to be a good manager. Build your conflict-resolution skills, and master the art of convincing and persuading warring factions to meet mid-ground.

This ability comes in handy when you have to liaison between different levels of employees, for instance, between the top management and the employees on the shop floor. Good mediators spot problems and resolve them before they escalate and they deal with bitter conflicts with tact. A good manager can best be described as an intermediary, with tactical skills, with a flair for convincing people.


Relevant knowledge of the industry that you intend to be employed in, is most essential. Be well-versed with the product and technical information. A manager should be able to provide authentic information to clients, customers and the staff.

Companies usually provide in-house training to familiarise employees with the product, but someone who possesses specialised or advanced experience in the field would prove to be an advantage. Gathering information can always work in your favour and help you be a better manager.

Responsible and reliable

Organisations look for people that they can count on. You will need to be responsible and reliable, so you can be relied upon. The first sign of responsible and reliable managers is that they report to work on time and work with all sincerity. They are efficient and someone whom the management can count on, to work longer hours than expected, especially, in times of crisis. You should be that person, whom the bosses can come to with a task, and expect that it'll be done.

Composed at all times

A manager's job can be very stressful. The daily management tasks, deadlines to meet, coupled with extra jobs that need to be done. Add to this the unforeseen problems that arise, without warning – workers on leave, breakdowns, shipment delays, difficult customers and clients, a demanding top-management… You have to manage to remain calm through all this and get the job done.

A manager who panics at the slightest delay or inconvenience will demoralize the others. A calm manager can increase overall productivity, even when the chips are down.

Optimistic approach

I mentioned the ability to remain composed as one of the characteristic. Along with being calm, a good manager must also be optimistic. A calm but uninterested manager will not yield results. On the other hand, someone who is calm, as well as optimistic, sends out positive vibes to the team.

Be someone who is friendly and approachable and you'll get good results from everyone. Don't let work pressure get to you, as it can have a cascading effect, reflecting on the rest of the staff. Be positive and enthusiastic and you'll boost everyone else's morale, resulting in better productivity.

Good management skills

Above all else, you will need to exhibit the following skills –

  • Strong leadership qualities
  • Confidence in self, to lead a team
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to take-charge and assign tasks
  • Be amiable, and build good working relationships
  • Be in charge, without stifling others
  • Show empathy
  • Trust in the team

Recommended reading : Skills young proffessionals need to master

Practice and employ these basic traits and characteristics to make a good manager. And always remember, "Don't just delegate, deliver". I have found that the best teams have leaders who are not afraid to take a share the dirty work".

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 547 articles authored by Juana

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Author: Partha K.22 Aug 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 12

It is an excellent article on the managerial skills. I thank the author for this useful article, in which she has mentioned almost all the managerial skills required by a successful manager. I would only like to add some additional points.

1. A successful manager has the ability to delegate the task in a proper manner. While delegating the task, the manager must keep in mind the expertise of individual members of his team. Without proper delegation, the task is never completed on time.
2. A manger must know how to co-ordinate. Delegation and co-ordination are complementary to each other.
3. Successful managers know the strength and weakness of the individual members of their teams.
4. Successful managers understand the training needs of subordinates, prepare proper training calendar and stress on the training of the subordinates.
5. Successful managers always keep in mind the policy of the top management and at the same time look after the needs of the members of the team. Successful managers do successful balancing act.
6. Successful managers are impartial and give proper assessment to his subordinates. He encourages the weak members and mentors better members of his team.

Concluding my response, I recommend this article to the new supervisors and managers, who will definitely find this article useful.

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