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Four things to expect from effective managers


Recently, I read an article about the fast food Chipotle restaurants.  The article stated that when supervisors at Chipotle want to be promoted, their entire team is interviewed to give input. What a concept! How many supervisors and managers do you know that will get a glowing recommendation to be promoted by their team? {{more}}

Being an effective manager is not an easy task. That person must be able to understand his/her team, see the needs of the team and then provide the resources to facilitate quality work.  He or she must be in touch, so to speak, with the team.  If necessary, a manager should have no problem pitching in to help, but he/she must know how to delegate to the right people.

He or she must also have open communications with upper management and there must be a support system in place. This is critical, as a manager is the bridge between the frontline staff and those at the top. A manager will be ineffective if he/she has great rapport with the staff but struggles to connect with senior level personnel, as the true power comes from the senior level personnel’s ability to support the manager in empowering his/her staff.

The following are some of the qualities managers in any results-oriented work environment need to possess:

1.  Effective managers work well with diverse populations. Regardless of what business one is in, a manager will come in contact with diverse people through direct supervision or as customers. Diversity cuts across racial, ethnic, generational and social lines. Working in harmony with different people to meet the organizational goals will take a sensitive, open and insightful person to know how to best meet the needs of the different groups.

2.  Effective managers are motivators and should be invested in developing team members. Every staff member during their career will reach the point when progress seems impossible or an extra push is needed in order to overcome a particular business barrier. It’s during these times that employees really want someone who believes in their abilities and can positively motivate them to produce exceptional work, especially in high-pressured environments. The ultimate job of the manager is not only to get the work done, but also to play an active role in the professional development of their team members on a regular basis.

3.  Effective managers are great communicators. Studies show that when we listen to someone speak, we receive 55 per cent of what is said through his/her body language, 38 per cent through tone and inflection, and only 7 per cent of the actual words are understood. It’s critical that managers are very clear and direct when giving instructions. Leave almost nothing to speculation or interpretation, as that’s when costly errors occur.

4.  Effective managers must think in the box and out of the box.  So much emphasis has been placed on out-of-the box thinking that time and energy are wasted on things that are simple and straightforward. Yes, out-of-the box thinking has its place and can revolutionize a business, but it does not apply to everything.

Although there are many more qualities of an effective manager, anyone in a management position must stop every now and then and evaluate himself or herself. How well are you doing as a manager? How do you motivate your staff on a regular basis? How effective are your communication skills?

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to
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