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2 Mar 2014

Top 5 Traits that Every Boss Look for in a Manager

For decades, businesses have been trying to discover the formula for the 'perfect' manager.  There are tons of books, blog posts and editorial articles out there, and even training courses on how to be a better manager.  While I cannot claim to have unlocked the secret theory of management, discussions with bosses and managers since 1987 revealed the following 5 traits of a 'perfect' manager:

1. Know How to Be Tough
Many managers are know to be tough to themselves, tough to their customers and sub-contractors and even tough to their families but soft on their team members. The reason is the lack of people working due to the tight labour market and the ban on foreign workers in many industries.  As a result, managers are too pleasing and let the subordinates climb over their heads.

On the other hand, there are some managers that are too tough that they become abusive, aggressive and hated by people.  Such managers end up with zero staff and have to work till midnight.

The middle path is the right path: Tough on the Problem but Soft on the People.  This means that the manager must engage his team and love them. Yet when there is a problem he can be tough.  As a result, he is feared but highly respected by people.

2.   Collaboration
I've met many managers that are very confident, but being confident does not give you the right to be a jerk.  Successful managers collaborate together and support one another.  A little bit of friendly competition is fine, but not office politics that kill people. One easy way to see if your manager is collaborative now is to see how he helps other departments achieve their goals.

3. Understanding of Human Psychology
To understand people is to know why the behave in a certain way and know how to influence them to your thinking without forcing them.  One way to tell if your manager understands human psychology is to ask him to organize training session to get all the staff to come back on Saturday (assuming Saturday is not a working day).

4. Know How to Sell
Selling is about persuading and influencing people and not just about selling products and services.  Negotiation itself is selling. If a manager cannot sell his ideas, how is he going to work?  Whenever we use force to get people to agree to us, people will use more force to defend their position.  Thus it's good that managers go for sales training to help them improve their managerial skills.

5. Research Skill
The ability to research and come up with solutions that people have not thought of before is a vital skill but seldom taught in schools.  Managers are supposed to be the expert and know how to answer tough questions, but if they don't do their homework they will look like an idiot or a conman.

This article is written by Andy Ng, whose courses on management are found here To continue  receivibg our articles, follow us in this blog. Readers that read this article also read the following related articles:

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