25 Qualities and Characteristics of
a Good Manager
Do you work well with others? Are you a leader? If
you have these qualities, you might make a good
manager. However, you need just more than these
two qualities to be a good manager. There are a
number of factors that play into whether or not you
would make a good manager.
The good news is that you don’t have to rely solely on
natural, inborn traits. It is possible to develop the
qualities good managers possess. You can complete
a management program to learn some of the
necessary characteristics, and you can also develop
many desirable qualities on your own. As you prepare
for a job in management, keep in mind these 25
qualities and characteristics of a good manager:
There are items that can help you improve yourself,
and enhance your interactions with others. Desirable
personal characteristics make a manager someone
that others can look up to, and feel comfortable
1. Self-Motivation: An effective manager can’t
motivate others if he or she can’t self-motivate. Self-
motivation, the ability to get yourself going, and take
charge of what’s next for you, is a vital personal
characteristic for a manager. You have to keep
yourself going — and motivate those who work with
2. Integrity: People trust a good manager because
they know he or she has personal integrity. Workers
need to know that you will fight for them, do what
you say, and follow the rules.
3. Dependability/Reliability: As a person, you should
be dependable and reliable. Your superiors, as well as
your subordinates, need to know that you can be
counted on. Others in the organization should be able
to rely on you.
4. Optimism: Do you look to the future with hope? An
optimistic attitude can help build morale in your
employees. Your positive attitude can inspire others,
and help them feel good about getting things done.
5. Confidence: Do you have confidence in yourself. You
need to be able to make decisions in confidence, and
show others that you are capable of making good
decisions. Your confidence will rub off on others, and
can be of benefit.
6. Calmness: As the manager, you can’t afford to break
down when the pressure is on. The ability to remain
calm and do what needs to be done is essential in a
7. Flexibility: A certain amount of flexibility is needed
by a manager, since he or she may need to adapt to
Some level of business acumen is important when
you are a manager. While you may not need to be on
the level of a professional dealmaker, familiarity with
basic business principles and practices can be
8. Industry Knowledge: What do you know about the
industry you are in? It helps understand your
industry so that you can answer questions and
perform your work more effectively. Workers may not
need industry knowledge, but a manager should
9. Know When to Delegate: An effective manager
knows that some tasks need to be delegated. You
should be able to identify workers who will do well,
and give them tasks they can succeed at — while
helping the project.
10. Organization: You need to be organized in order to
be a good manager. Keep track of projects,
employees and assignments so that you are on top of
what needs to happen in the business.
11. Basic Money Management: Understand basic
financial concepts so that you understand how to
manage money as part of a project you have been
12. Business Hierarchy: You should know how the
hierarchy works at your business, and follow the
chain of command. Make sure that you understand
your duties, and to whom you report. You should also
know how the organization affects your subordinates.
13. Legal Implications: While you don’t need to be a
law expert, you should have a grasp of the legal
implications of sexual harassment, proper hiring and
firing practices, confidentiality, and more.
A good manager needs to be able to communicate
effectively. You might be surprised at the different
qualities there are related to communication. Make
sure that you develop the ability to communicate as
part of your efforts. Here are some qualities to
possess if you want to be an affective communicator
as you fulfill your management duties.
14. Written Communication: Learn how to
communicate effectively in writing. A good manager
should be able to write professionally and with
correct grammar, expressing him or herself in email,
memos, and thank you notes.
15. Public Speaking: As a good manager, you should
know how to speak publicly, annunciating your
words, and concisely communicating your ideas,
whether in an interview, or addressing workers.
16. Constructive Feedback: Learn how to provide
feedback in a way that is helpful to workers and
17. Active Listening: One of the most important
communication skills is listening. Make sure you are
listening to your workers, superiors and customers,
and that you acknowledge them.
18. Specific: When giving instructions, be specific in
what you want, and in expected outcomes. Make sure
your employees understand what should happen.
19. Organize Your Presentations: Organize and
practice your presentations before giving them so
that you are clear and concise, and so that your
presentation flows well.
Your characteristics as you build relationships matter
when you are a manager. You will need to know how
to manage relationships between yourself and your
subordinates, as well as manage the relationships
among those who work under you. You should also
know how to develop relationships with your
superiors, and coordinate relationships between
those above you and below you in the hierarchy.
20. Customer Service: You might be surprised to
discover the customer service is a relationship
quality. However, it is. You need to be able to build
good relationships with customers if you want to be a
good manager. Learn how to relate to customers, and
see things from their perspective.
21. Mediator: Do you know how to make peace? Often, a
good manager needs to be able to act as a mediator
between workers, between a worker and a client, or
between a superior and a worker. Brush up on your
mediation qualities, and learn conflict resolution
techniques to be a good manager.
22. Team Player: Are you part of a team? You need to
be able to function as part of a team if you want to
succeed as an effective manager. Make sure that you
are willing to work with others, and that you will hold
up your end.
23. Respect: You need to be respectful of your workers if
you are to have respect as a manager in return. It’s
up to you to set the example and build relationships
24. Collaboration: You’ll need to set up collaborations
with others, and with your team. You should also be
able to work well with others, and understand how to
integrate ideas and personalities.
25. Value Others: A good manager helps employees
feel valued. Surveys show that employees want
recognition from their superiors, and you need to
make sure to recognize contributions from your