What are the 7 Qualities That Set Great Managers Apart?

What are the 7 Qualities That Set Great Managers Apart? | Leadership | Emeritus

Technical proficiency and a solid educational foundation aren’t the only requirements for becoming a successful manager today—leading and motivating a team requires more than that. Evidently, successful managers possess a specific set of non-academic traits. These traits assist them in connecting with team members, handling difficult situations, and achieving desired outcomes. So let’s dive into the fundamental manager qualities and characteristics that extend beyond technical proficiency and discover how they can make you a better leader.

Essential Qualities of a Good Manager Beyond Technical Skills

The essential manager qualities that go beyond technical skills include:

1. Leadership

Manager qualitiesStrong leadership qualities enable managers to inspire and motivate their teams to achieve their goals

How to Hone This Skill?

Develop effective communication, set clear goals, lead by example, and seek continuous learning and growth

2. Communication

Clear and concise communication helps leaders connect with their team, peers, and superiors

How to Hone This Skill?

Through practice, feedback, and participation in courses or workshops

3. Empathy

A good manager must empathize with team members and understand and respond to their needs. This requires active listening, compassion, and support

How to Hone This Skill?

Through active listening, observation, and practice

4. Decision-making

Making informed decisions promptly is one of the vital manager qualities. In brief, they should be able to gather information, analyze it, and make decisions that are in the best interests of the team and organization

How to Hone This Skill?

Seek new information, exercise critical thinking, and solicit feedback

5. Adaptability

Apart from adapting to changing circumstances and being flexible in their approach, managers also need to deal with unexpected challenges and adjust their plans accordingly

How to Hone This Skill?

Expose yourself to new situations, seek out challenges, and learn from your mistakes

6. Collaboration

Effective collaboration with team members and other departments helps build strong relationships, facilitating cooperation to achieve common goals

How to Hone This Skill?

Manager qualitiesCultivate relationships, seek out different points of view, and practice active listening

7. Accountability

Managers must be responsible for their actions and decisions. Furthermore, they should hold themselves and their team accountable for their performance and results

How to Hone This Skill?

Setting clear expectations, holding oneself and others accountable, and learning from mistakes, are some of the best ways to develop it

ALSO READ: 11 Essential Skills Every Prospective Leader Ought to Have

Can Empathy and Social Skills be Learned?

Empathy and social skills are important manager qualities that can be learned with practice. According to a 2022 Harvard Business Review study, social skills such as communication, collaboration, and teamwork are critical for managers’ success. Additionally, managers who received high ratings for their social skills were likelier to succeed in their roles, delivering better outcomes for their teams. As a result, managers must have strong social skills to lead their teams and achieve their objectives effectively. Moreover, empathy has been identified as another critical quality for effective leadership in managers. According to a Catalyst study, organizations with empathetic leaders are more likely to have inclusive workplaces. Overall, 50% of those surveyed said their workplace felt welcoming when they had compassionate leaders, as opposed to 17% with less compassionate leaders.

As mentioned above, empathy and social skills can be honed by engaging in empathy exercises, practicing active listening, seeking out diverse perspectives and experiences, and engaging in empathy exercises. Active listening entails paying close attention to and comprehending what others are saying verbally and nonverbally. Exposure to various perspectives can help you broaden your understanding and appreciation of multiple points of view and emotions. Empathy exercises, such as perspective-taking or putting yourself in another person’s shoes, can help you improve your empathetic skills. Overall, anyone can improve their empathy and social skills with deliberate effort and practice.

Effective Ways to Develop the Non-Academic Qualities of a Manager

The primary ways to develop non-academic manager qualities are:

1. Seek Feedback

Seeking feedback from colleagues, team members, and mentors is one of the most effective ways to develop non-academic manager qualities. Additionally, feedback can reveal areas for improvement and assist individuals in identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

2. Take Leadership Courses

Non-academic qualities such as empathy, communication, and teamwork can be learned from leadership courses. Moreover, these courses provide opportunities to practice and develop these skills in a safe environment.

3. Join Professional Organizations

Professional organizations can help you network with other professionals, share ideas and insights, and learn about the best leadership practices.

4. Active Listening

This is an important skill for effective leadership. Active listening enables leaders to develop empathy, build trust, and improve communication with others.

5. Embrace Diversity

The best leaders value different perspectives and experiences. That is, they embrace diversity. In short, they become more effective at managing diverse teams by actively seeking out varied viewpoints and experiences.

ALSO READ: 5 Steps of Leadership Development: How to Build Strong Leaders

Find the Best Leadership Courses on Emeritus

To conclude, a manager’s success relies heavily on non-academic characteristics such as empathy, communication, emotional intelligence, adaptability, collaboration, decision-making, accountability, and resilience. Effective leadership requires these essential manager qualities that can be developed through various routes, as listed above. You can improve your leadership abilities with the leadership courses from Emeritus, taught in collaboration with the world’s top-ranked universities. 

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About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Sritoma's tryst with education started during her early years as a teacher. Drawing from her teaching experience, Sritoma understands how students learn and educators teach, which helps her create content for edtech. With an extensive experience in content creation over 6+ years, she has an innate ability to research and convert complex information into reader-friendly content. Sritoma is a creative soul, and during her free hours, she loves turning blank canvases into captivating works of art.
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