How To Be A Good Manager. 11 Proven Best Boss Tips

Don't Listen To HR! Having Managed Thousands of People Over a 25 Year Blue Chip Career, I Can Tell You Exactly How You Can Be A Good Manager

Good managers support their team, promote a success mentality, understand business objectives, and are respectful, professional, firm, and fair. Clear communication and swift conflict resolution will also propel a manager to greatness.

Do you want to learn the traits of a great manager? Are you new to management or an experienced manager wanting to improve team performance?

The best managers can harness their teams’ groupthink to make the very best decisions. Great decision-making leads to success. They are polite and respectful yet firm. They can lead from the front, and their team will follow because they know they are all on the right path.

To be a good manager, you do not need to be a great leader of people, but you do need to care about people to get the best out of them.

How To Be A Good Manager
How To Be A Good Manager

1. Support And Protect Your Team.

An integral foundation of a well-running team is that they should be operating in a safe space. This means that in your team meetings, they can speak openly and honestly. If your team is in a pressured environment where they engage with customers or other teams or functions in the broader organization, there will be times when they come under attack or face criticism.

These are the important times when you need to protect the team.

2. Promote A Success Mentality

The simple fact is that there is a team because the amount of work related to a specific function requires more than one person and more than one type of skill. So, for that process to function or the team’s goals to be achieved, all the team members must work together. The team’s level of success is directly related to how well the team works TOGETHER.

Believe it or not, you will never be a successful manager if you cannot deliver results. You cannot deliver results if your team cannot deliver results.

As the three musketeers once said, “It is all for one and one for all.”

3. Understand The Business Objectives

Understanding the business’s goals is critical to being a successful manager. If the business is in fast-growth mode, you need to ramp up as many salespeople as possible.

The business might launch a new product, and you must attend industry exhibitions. The company might face severe competition, and you might need to find efficiencies and productivity improvements.

You might be battling unions or going on hiring drives. As the manager, you take on the challenges and drive forward, no matter what, with integrity and ethical respect.

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4. Know Your Numbers

If you do not know your numbers, you could be in trouble. Here, we are talking about the financial aspects of your function, such as:

  • How many people do you have?
  • What is your salary bill?
  • What are your sales targets?
  • What is your customer support turnaround time?
  • What is your customer satisfaction rating?
  • What percentage of your projects are complete?
  • How are you doing against your balanced scorecard?

A myriad of questions that you need to be able to answer.

5. Be Respectful & Don’t Get Too Close

When you land your first team leader role, it can be tempting to let the power go to your head and start to show dominance or authority over your new team members or “show them who the boss is.”

Outwardly demeaning or belittling people in a professional environment is deeply disrespectful. Not only that, but other people outside of your team will begin to detest you. No one likes a bully, and everyone dislikes someone who preys on the weak.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you do not want to get too close. A manager who tries to be the best friend of every team member is simply trying too hard and will, as a result, lose the team’s respect.

Keep your team relationships professional at all times

6. Show Great Patience & Understanding

Patience and understanding are not just words but a mindset integrated within politeness and respect.

Not all team members operate at the same levels of intensity and achievement. Some people learn faster, some slower. Some people need the same message multiple times until they understand; others get it immediately.

The art of patience is needed by those who require extra effort, new team members, less experienced, and those who learn a little slower.

When you get impatient with someone, it shows in your voice, actions, and mannerisms, and it can be very stressful for the person receiving those signals. This creates a bad working environment.

To develop patience is learning to understand a person’s situation.

7. Be Positive & Optimistic

Is it so hard to smile and speak with energy and purpose? Negativity can be contagious, and it can quickly bring down a team’s morale. As a leader, you set the tone for the entire team. Your positive attitude and optimism will help motivate and keep your team engaged.

How To Be A Good Manager. 11 Proven Best Boss Tips Leadership & Management Guides

Even during tough times, remaining positive and finding solutions is important instead of dwelling on problems. This helps your team stay focused and shows that you have confidence in their abilities to overcome challenges.

Remember, positivity breeds positivity. So, spread it around and watch your team thrive.

Patience goes hand in hand with positivity and optimism. When dealing with different personalities on a team, it’s important to remain patient and understanding. Not everyone learns or operates at the same pace, and that’s okay.

I have seen many leaders walk around with a sad face, talk in a monotone, and fail to raise a smile in an interaction with another human. That is extremely soul-sapping for the team they manage.

8. Communicate Clearly & Often

It took me a while to work this out, and I learned this from my staff in our year-end performance reviews.

When I asked for 360-degree feedback about myself and my performance, many said I was a great communicator.

When I probed further, they meant I spoke at a steady rhythm and spoke very clearly and pronounced.

Communicate Open & Clearly
Open Body Language: Myself presenting at a 200-strong All Managers Meeting” at our campus in India

Clarity of voice is everything. If you feel your accent is too strong or do not articulate your words clearly, you must work on it.

Toastmasters International is a great not-for-profit organization where you can work on confident communication and public speaking techniques. It is the best way to learn the art of communication for a small price and make friends simultaneously.

9. Set Great Goals, Not Tasks

Micromanagement is the scourge of high-performing teams. It is also very difficult to do with a virtual team across different locations. So do not try to do it. Do not focus on the task; focus on the goal. This means you must develop clear, simple goals tied to your assigned business objectives. Therefore, their goals are also your goals.

Become Goal Focused By Assigning SMART Goals

Honestly, I have heard the S.M.A.R.T. goals mantra so many times over my career, and it makes me cringe.

Specific Goals

Set a maximum of 3 or 4 big goals for the year per person, enabling them to be focused.

Measurable – set a number on the goal.

  • Dollars in new sales generated.
  • Customer Satisfaction Feedback Above 8
  • How many doughnuts can you fit in your mouth at once?


They need to be able to achieve the goal. If you set the bar too high, they will be stressed out all year and ultimately fail.


Is it realistic that this goal can be attained?


Finally, we have time-based goals. This simply means there needs to be a date for achieving the goals.

So now we have SMART goals.

10. Resolve Conflict Quickly

Do you cause conflict, avoid conflict, or try to resolve conflict?how to resolve workplace conflicts

Conflict can take many forms, the most common of which are conflicting opinions and personalities. The key is not to let differences in people’s values and ideas turn into real conflicts, such as wars of worlds or even actions.

Conflicts worsen over time if not remediated by the parties themselves or a third party. This will impact the team.

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11. Have A Regular Meeting With Each Employee

Holding a great One On One meeting means you will have a highly motivated and energized employee. Repeat the process repeatedly with your employees to have a high-performing team.How To Be A Good Manager. 11 Proven Best Boss Tips Leadership & Management Guides

What Is A One-on-One Meeting?

A “one-on-one” meeting, also known as a “one-on-one” (121 meetings), is a great way for a manager or team leader to stay personally and professionally connected to a team member and for the team member to stay connected to their manager.

In my experience, an average or poor manager will neglect regular one-on-one meetings because they are “too busy” or have more important priorities.

If you want to be an average leader of an average team, then ignore One to One meetings at your peril

How Common are these Traits Among Leaders in America?

Having managed teams and managers across the globe, I have found that U.S. managers generally have higher levels of politics and in-fighting within their teams.

Perhaps due to the competitive and aggressive nature of business in the U.S.A. Compared to teams in Canada, the Philippines, and India, team members have a much more peaceful existence.

How has your Best Manager Impacted your Work?

The best manager I ever had supported me no matter what. This enabled me to thrive under pressure because I knew I operated in a safe and positive space where mistakes were allowed.

Even more important, we were always part of the same team. I always had his back, and he had mine.

How did he achieve that?

Ethical and moral integrity at all times.

When you as a manager foster a great culture of understanding, respect, direction, and integrity, people are proud to be in your team and perform at their best.

Trust and a mutual professional relationship are everything in this race of rats.

Barry D. Moore
Barry's 25 years of experience with Silicon Valley Corporations such as IBM, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise & DXC Technology enables him to share his knowledge of succeeding in today's professional corporate environments and develop a great work life for yourself.