Vivian has been a member of the TrainerTainment team since 2016. Her graphics expertise makes us look good! Viv is also a wonderful coach and trainer. Her coaching strength lies in the fact that she is completely client-centered. When working with a sales team, for instance, she’s the kind of coach that jumps in and helps research leads in a specific community. She’s kind and always inspires others in a very positive way. I know you’ll see what I mean as you walk through her blog and learn what she believes makes a good manager. – Beth Standlee
Coaching and Training have taught me that being a great manager encompasses quite a lot. I recently discussed with someone who was just promoted what made a manager great. We both came away learning not only what a great manager is, but how important it is to listen to team members.

Each person brings a unique management style. It’s important for managers to lead effectively, without the drama, so everyone can listen and do what they are asked to do. Listening and being respectful to your team is critical.

Here are the top 10 things we thought were most important.

  1. Setting Goals. Set goals on a yearly basis. This will keep you and your team on track and provide measurable results and data to use for the coming years. Make sure you make them SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Relevant, Enthusiastic, Risky) Goals
  2. Identify Distractors. Try to identify anything that could potentially distract team members from the goal at hand and help remove those things that are obstacles in their growth. Distractors could be personal or business-related but finding what is holding them back and removing those obstacles will allow teams to flourish. It could be too much administrative work, unrealistic expectations in the sales team, wearing too many hats… focus on what the main goals are.
  3. Give Frequent Feedback and Praise. Don’t wait for an annual review to give feedback and praise. Frequent feedback helps your team grow and develop strong skills. Let them know they are doing a great job or what needs improvement.
  4. Leverage Skills and Knowledge. Know your strengths and weaknesses as well as your team’s. Make sure everyone is doing the right job & is sitting in the right seat.
  5. It’s Okay to Not Know an Answer. When you don’t have an answer to a question, it’s best to acknowledge it and find the answer. Saying things like, “That’s a great question. Let me get back to you on that,” is a great response. The team will be better off knowing that, although you may not have an answer to everything, you can find an answer. Be timely with those answers.
  6. Clear Communication. Be straightforward and clear with your directions. Sometimes we think something is easy or everyone should know how to do it and sometimes they don’t know. They will appreciate clear, direct instructions and it will save you a lot of time in the long run. Clarity creates the ability to have accountability.
  7. Have Empathy and Lots of Patience. To be an effective manager, you need empathy and patience. Empathy allows you to better understand and relate to each team member. Patience allows you to give people the room to perform.
  8. Pay Attention. Pay attention to your team members, even if they aren’t speaking directly to you. Keep up with the dates they put on the team calendar, look at their schedules, and take note of their work. Acknowledge their personal circumstances. Give praise when praise is due.
  9. Empowering Your Team. When you empower your team, you help grow leaders within your business. If you’re constantly micromanaging, they’ll never develop the experience to tackle problems on their own. If you empower them to go beyond their role, they’ll face challenges that will further sharpen their skills and allow them to grow.
  10. Get in the Trenches. Constantly refine your processes. In order to better understand your team and customers, it is helpful to answer the phones and get right into the mix with your sales and operations teams. Getting to know their obstacles and learning more about customers helps you make better decisions and identify areas for improvement.

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