Managing a business is never supposed to be easy. In fact, like anything else in life that comes with significant reward, you’re most likely going to encounter some challenges while managing your own business or acting as a managerial employee for a company. That’s okay though, because a challenging job is one that helps you build valuable skills, traits, and experiences that can be used to improve your chances of landing better jobs in the future or launching more successful business endeavors of your own. With that said, here are the top 10 traits that every business manager should work to improve:
In many businesses, only the worker and employees are expected to practice discipline, as the supervisors or managers tend to slightly abuse their authority to grant themselves leniency that lower-ranking employees don’t have. This is a huge mistake to make as manager. Instead, you should practice true discipline to hold yourself to the same standards that your employees are held to, and by doing this you’ll notice your own productivity will skyrocket. This also has to do with leading by example, as others will likely slack if they see you’re already doing the same. Discipline is a key concept taught to students who are pursuing their Masters in Business Administration through courses like those provided by Suffolk University Online.
Many managers make the mistake of thinking that they don’t have to be friendly, they just have to get the job done right. Well, any time you’re collaborating with other people, a friendly and agreeable demeanor will be required to achieve optimal efficiency with minimal setbacks and communication issues. Also, some employees will lose morale and become de-motivated when they’re treated in a rude or impersonal manner.
Simply put, if you’re not paying attention to the concerns of your employees and customers/clients, you’re simply not going to be able to prevent and solve problems effectively. Plus, nobody likes to be ignored or pushed aside, so try to avoid the common mistake of halfway listening when someone is telling you something. You don’t necessarily need to make unbreakable eye contact with them the entire time, but at least make sure you’re taking a mental note of what is being said, as well as what you can do to remedy the situation now or later on.
Curious managers tend to progress in their careers faster because inquisition is the precursor to learning. You should always be asking yourself questions about the way the company operates and how you can take steps to improve workflow and results. The word “why” should be on your mind throughout the day, particularly when you encounter a problem related to the productivity or quality of work that your employees are providing.
A good manager can communicate effectively with their staff to make sure everyone is on the same page throughout the duration of a project or hectic work day. While you don’t want to overdo it with too many conversational interruptions, it’s important to respond to emails and in-person questions in a comprehensive, accurate, and useful manner. You may also want to work on your public speaking skills so you can give better presentations at meetings and conferences.
Punctuality – the art of being on time – is always going to be one of the most important traits to possess in any business, regardless of whether you’re the manager or the janitor. Everyone knows that time is money, so by lacking punctuality, you’re actually hurting the company’s bottom line. At the same time, it’s important to be reasonable about your expectations of employees in this regard and, as mentioned in the overview of trait #1 (discipline), try to set the tone for everyone else by also being on time yourself.
A great manager will always be organized, even when the workload is tremendous. Unfortunately, many CEOs, supervisors, and other managerial employees are constantly inundated with tasks, files, and papers because they haven’t implemented stable systems for organizing their work. Working on this trait means not only trying to develop a more organized mindset, it also involves becoming proficient in using software and storage tools to manage your workflow and office.
Company owners want to know that their management staff are extremely reliable, even more so than the rest of their employees. They never want to be thinking uncertain thoughts like: “I sure hope my manager can keep everyone in line and get the project done in time.” Of course, by developing the other traits on this list, you’ll automatically be working on your reliability. True reliability means having the ability to perform optimally on such a consistent basis that your output can be predicted and projected down to the minute.
Developing consistency means more than just being punctual and doing the same thing everyday – it means facilitating the delivery of a product or service that is consistently satisfactory for the end client or customer. In fact, that’s practically the name of the game. Likewise, the way you deal with your employees should also be consistent; try to avoid letting emotions, bad days, and social favoritism affect the way you interact with others at work.
What’s the difference between persistence and consistency? Consistency is your ability to deliver predictable results, whereas persistence is the ability to continue doing so for an extended period of time. When things get rough and you’re under a lot of pressure, you need to be confident and collected enough to continue persisting until you’ve achieved the goal. There are plenty of mental exercises that you can perform to improve mental resilience and overall persistence.
Becoming a Better Manager Means Becoming a Better Person
Overall, any steps you take to become a better person in your everyday life will most likely translate into you becoming a more proficient and dependable professional in your career. Thus, in addition to focusing specifically on the above traits, you may also want to study self-improvement books and blogs on a regular basis as part of a pre-work or post-work routine.