A Good Leader: Characteristics and Some Tips

By Sammi Caramela, B2B Staff Writer

It takes time to adjust to a new position at work, especially when you’re taking on a management role. Your responsibility is to guide an entire team to success; instead of turning to someone for supervision, you’re the person others turn to.

It might feel like you’re grasping at straws, but you’re not alone – many new managers feel overwhelmed. We outlined characteristics of a good manager.

Every manager should work on developing these four characteristics.

Collaborative

You want to be passionate about working with your team and encourage your employees to feel the same. While independent work is important, teamwork can establish a more welcoming, supportive company culture.

Growth-oriented

As a manager, you should focus on helping your employees progress – individually and collectively. Get to know your workers on a personal level so you can help them leverage their interests and talents. Find what works and what doesn’t.

Inclusive

If you want your team to take risks and contribute to projects, you need to make sure they feel comfortable doing so. Leading by example is a great way to achieve this. Just because you’re a manager doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Turn to your team when you’re at a loss. Start a conversation, and discuss their comments.

Impact-driven

Every worker wants to feel valued. If they don’t believe their work is meaningful, making a difference in some way, they won’t be as motivated.

A good leader will form a connection between individual goals and company goals, reminding each worker why their job is so important. Show your appreciation for each member’s effort.

Behaviors to avoid

Summer Salomonsen, chief learning officer at Grovo, a microlearning solution, said that without the right guidance, first-time managers fall into common behavior traps .

She noted six management behaviors to avoid:

  • Only providing feedback during performance reviews or when issues arise.
  • Micromanaging rather than trusting your team.
  • Failing to ask for or address questions, feedback or concerns.
  • Being closed-minded to criticism or new ideas.
  • Avoiding difficult yet necessary conversations.
  • Setting expectations too high or too low, or not being clear with your goals.

Management development options

You should never be left in the dark when taking on a new role. Here are three ways to learn and grow as a leader.

Management training

 According to a research study by Grovo, 87 percent of managers wish they were given the chance to learn and progress when they first assumed their role, and nearly half of new managers felt that they were unprepared for their position.

Every company should offer training before hiring. However, whether because of the price of programs or lack of time, many don’t prioritize management development as much as they should. In fact, some even reserve these programs only for senior leaders, and offer them just a few times a year, said Salomonsen.

Microlearning

Microlearning is a popular training method for small businesses. It’s quick, intensive and collaborative. Managers can learn all they need to know in short bursts, without feeling overwhelmed.

“With microlearning, both new and experienced managers can access digestible lessons that focus on the critical behaviors they need to perform their best, right in the course of their day-to-day work,” said Salomonsen.

Mentors and L&D partners

Working with a mentor or learning and development (L&D) partner can set new managers up for success by providing them with personal support and expert knowledge.

Keep an open mind about colleagues, friends and professional connections, and network as much as possible. Once you work with someone who can guide you through the beginning process, you’ll feel more confident in your role.