Ultimately the manager or boss sets the tone of the workplace. If the manager is competent, optimistic, almost always in a good mood, greets workers before work, is willing to give advice and ask for advice when appropriate, engages in solving problems, gives appropriate praise or rewards for work well done, fairly punishes or disciplines when necessary, shows concern for the emotional state of employees and empathizes with them, is kind and considerate, has a sense of humor, and generally has a positive can do attitude then you can’t really ask for much more.

The ideal manager has integrity, is moral, trustworthy, not pretentious, dependable, competent, respected, a good communicator, and has emotional intelligence. Respect is usually earned with time so trying to maintain respectability under almost all circumstances is important for the long haul.

Emotional intelligence: n. the ability to accurately assess a human’s emotional circumstance and to proceed to communicate appropriately and/or to motivate samer human to achieve a goal(s)

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to impulsively control your impulsive desires to express intense anger, fear, hatred, jealousy, frustration and not offend or greatly threaten the human whom you are communicating with and not stimulate them into defensive intense emotional reactions. It is the ability to communicate these “negative” emotions where appropriate in a calm controlled way.  

EQ is also the ability to confidently communicate loving, caring, empathetic, praising, or inspiring emotions which motivate a human to do their best at achieving a goal(s).

Emotional intelligence can be used to do good and/or bad things and to some extent it is also the ability to manipulate other humans to achieve desired goal(s). That is why managers with high emotional intelligence are sought after in business and institutional enterprises.

Good management means mostly staying emotionally cool or businesslike, listening intently to complaints, suggestions, or problems needing a solution, asking questions and follow up questions to pinpoint the problem, not arguing but being in discussion mode, attacking or trying to solve the problem without personal attacks, getting feedback on the progress of a job when necessary, being courteous and being polite can help in some instances, maintaining high standards of work and good behavior, and not micromanaging.

Employee disputes should be addressed by listening intently to both arguing sides, asking for or giving possible solutions, not taking sides and so not trying to embitter or create unneeded drama and hurt feelings, and letting the employees work it out for themselves if possible. Communicating your expectations and having a clear plan in mind on what to do is important in any dispute and job performance issue which needs guidance.

Mentoring and delegating authority in small steps may be done for employees who hope to advance in the organization to a managerial level.

A written warning can be issued and a little time given to resolve performance issues of a serious kind which may result in firing if not corrected.

We might mention that there is a big difference in managing well defined jobs such as cashiers, stock personnel, and janitors where you can be more authoritative and strict in your management style and managing a team of specialists who are all working together to fulfill project goals.

Managing a team of specialists or creative personnel where you have no detailed knowledge of their job skills is mainly a question of assessing possible cost of the project, length of the project time wise, number and type of personnel necessary, resources needed now, during, and at the end of the project, getting skillful feedback on progress during the project, and finally having the emotional intelligence to keep everyone motivated and working hard at achieving the stated goals of the project.

What you say to your employees and the tone of voice is also important. Sincerely saying good morning, how are you doing? anything new? how’s your family? is everything going smoothly? and any problems? can show a genuine interest in the well being of an employee. Saying – sorry I was wrong, I made a mistake, it was my fault, I could have done better, or laughing at an error shows humility and makes you more respected since employees realize that you are not claiming to be perfect and have some vulnerabilities.

There are many types of incompetent managers who may also have personality problems. They are not confident that they will climb the corporate ladder any further and are fearful that their job will be replaced by someone lower in the pecking order. They may be secretive and sometimes exert their authority with bossy threats, rudeness, and inconsiderate behavior. Added to this they may have a high turnover of employees fearing that one of them will eventually replace them and that they will be without a job or have to move on to another one. If you are this kind of a bad manager then you deserve what you will ultimately get-replaced.

Summarizing one could say that it is most important for a good manager or supervisor to be authentic and not pretentious, to motivate, communicate well and often enough with employees, and be a manager who is willing to learn something new and improve one’s job and human skill set. A good manager is a good role model, a leader, a teacher, a motivator, and a disciplinarian if necessary.

If you are interested in more detailed management knowledge then read a book on emotional intelligence such as Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, and use a search engine to look up topics or words used in this article such as motivating employees, feedback, communicating in the workplace, leadership, teamwork, solving problems, disciplining employees, toxic employees, etc.

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