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5 Characteristics of Successful Managers

We’re happy to have you back here at the Pathway Blog!

Few things make us happier than encountering a positive, healthy workplace. Seeing people working happily on their tasks and feeling comfortable with the people they work with and for is a special experience, and we’d love to be able to see it more often!

One of the most impactful facets of a work environment can be found at the management level. When you’re hiring a manager for your company or organization, it’s important to look for a few very specific characteristics. 

1) Reciprocal Communication

It’s easy to say you’re looking for “good communication skills” as you begin your search for a management hire, but what, exactly, does that mean? We’ve found that managers who exhibit reciprocal communication skills are often highly appreciated by the people they manage. 

Reciprocal communication looks like:

  • Asking questions within conversation, listening to and retaining the responses
  • Acting upon the things that have been communicated
  • Acknowledging the feelings of the person they are talking to
  • Following up on conversations

2) Empathy

Hopefully, you’re not surprised by this one! As much as we’d love to think that companies can run like a “well-oiled machine,” the truth is the opposite: companies are made of people, and people have feelings. 

Managers who display empathy in their interactions with peers and subordinates are more likely to establish trust and loyalty within their organizations. This kind of environment breeds high employee engagement and morale. 

3) Belief in Company Culture

A manager who doesn’t believe in the overall mission of a company will have a very hard time engaging with work and the people they are in charge of motivating. When you’re hiring managers for your organization, it’s important to ask questions that show where their values lie. A belief in the company means there is motivation to innovate for the greater good. 

Your organization — and the people on your team — deserve a manager who believes in the company, its values, and the people working to make it successful. 

4) Accountability

No matter the workplace or situation, a manager is sure to encounter times in which they make mistakes. In these situations, accountability is more important than culpability. A manager who is willing to accept their shortcomings and work to correct them is ultimately a manager who will be able to problem solve and act effectively in a crisis. 

5) Long Term Focus

A manager who can look ahead and focus on long-term goals can see past temporary setbacks. This attitude will help to find solutions that will serve the company’s overall mission. As you interview potential candidates, find out what kind of goals a potential hire might have as a manager — it can say a lot about their future within your organization. 

Did we miss anything?

That’s a silly question — of course we did! We know there’s so much more to being an effective manager than five quick personality traits, but we’re curious. What do you think makes a successful manager? Let us know in the comments!