Team Management

The Characteristics of an Exceptional Manager

March 1, 2023
minute read

What exactly does it take to become a good manager? While most individuals have a knack for leadership, it isn’t something you’re born with, necessarily. Rather, it’s a skill that can be improved with determination and experience.  

With that said, what are the primary areas that require focus? There isn’t just one answer to that question. In fact, there are several focus areas to practice in order to become an exceptional manager.

Yes, ambition is a huge part of great management, however, emotional strength and intelligence is a must. After all, these are the characteristics that make for an inspiring individual, and a great manager inspires others every day.

In this week’s blog, the team at FRIDAY created a list of the lesser-known characteristics of a great manager. When you’re running your own business, it’s important to adopt the following characteristics and incorporate them into your leadership style.  

1. Trust  

Trust is significant in any kind of relationship, whether personal or professional. When trust is built between a manager and their team, things will flow a lot more smoothly at work. However, it’s a two-way street – managers have to trust their employees, and vice versa.  

While it’s a difficult thing to accomplish, it’s entirely possible with time. If you’re unable to trust your team, or they can’t trust you, you’re missing a key part of the puzzle. Trust should be your initial area of focus to become a better manager.

2. Empowerment

In all honesty, most workers have hostile feelings towards micromanagement. In other words, you won’t receive the best reaction from your employees if you’re breathing down their necks. This is where trust comes in.  

Aside from trust, you have to empower your team to produce the best work possible. This can be done without overly aggressive management. Your onboarding program should include several resources that empower employees.  

Give your team space to breath so they have the freedom to work to the best of their ability. With this in mind, avoid micromanaging your team, as it expresses a lack of trust or confidence in their work.  

3. Humility  

Leadership requires a healthy balance of confidence and humility. A humble individual makes for a stronger leader than the arrogant narcissist. When you think of someone you admire, you imagine a confident, yet modest person.

In reality, it’s unnecessary for strong individuals to parade their accomplishments because they speak for themselves. To incorporate humility into your leadership style, start by giving credit where it’s due.  

Recognizing your employees hard work, dedication, and commitment is healthy for the relationship you have with them. Instead of solely recognizing your own accomplishments, celebrate your team’s achievements. Appreciating your employees goes a long way.  

4. Facilitation  

A good manager is an exceptional facilitator, meaning they ensure that their employees have every advantage and resource available. Software, processes, or physical tools are all considered valuable resources for your team.  

Keep in mind that the cost of a new tool could possibly blind you from the impact it could have on your employee’s productivity – don’t let it. You can facilitate good work with one-on-one meeting templates, a certification course, or some feedback on an assignment.  

It’s important to frequently ask your employees if there’s anything you can do to help them.  

5. Empathy

In most cases, people in a leadership position began their careers having worked beneath a leader. However, it’s common for people to lose sight of their humble beginnings. This can be a big problem in the workplace.  

Remain empathetic with your team and do your best to see things from their point of view.  

6. Doing Well Under Pressure

A manager that flies off the handle at the slightest inconvenience is a recipe for disaster. As a leader, you need to be strong for your team. This means working well under pressure and never panicking when things become difficult.

A good manager will lead their team to victory, regardless of the circumstances. Maintaining composure is one of the toughest parts of being a leader, however, it’s possible. When it comes to building trust with your team, transparency is key.  

With that said, keep your head held high when challenges arise. Set a positive example for your team.

7. A Strong Desire to Learn

Regardless of your role at work, there is always something to learn. If you’re in a leadership position, your interest in learning should only increase. Keep your sense of curiosity, and work to expand your level of understanding.  

Your love of learning will rub off on your employees. Provide them with opportunities to expand their knowledge. This will help them to improve their performance at work and increase their engagement levels.

How can you do this, exactly? Try encouraging your team to take online courses within their field of expertise. Supply them with the resources they need to do so. This is a way of preparing them for their next advancement in your company.  

Behind Every Great Manager is an Exceptional Team  

Leading a team is no easy feat, however, adopting the primary characteristics of a good manager will make things a lot easier in the long run. Aside from this, being a good leader will be rewarding.  

Utilize these characteristics as a starting point to become a better leader for your organization. They will not only benefit you as a professional, but your team as well.  

FRIDAY Helps Small Business Manage and Pay Their Team  

When it comes to managing, tracking, and paying your employees, additional help goes a long way. FRIDAY is the simplest software created to help small businesses manage, track, and pay their team without any paperwork involved.  

FRIDAY is an easy to use, yet powerful payroll and team management solution.  


All information on or distributed by this Site is intended for general informational purposes only.