The Best Kind of Boss: The Most Sought-After Attributes in a Manager

Posted on October 2014 By Speller International
Attributes In A Manager

​ Last month, we talked about the key attributes hiring managers are looking for, but work goes both ways, so what kinds of attributes do employees (current and potential) look for in a manager?

We asked ourselves this question during our own staff professional development day and the 10 of us came up with no less than 30 words to describe a good manager. Don’t worry, though, this isn’t going to be a novel! The 30 words, tellingly, fell into just four categories.

Talking the Talk

Communication is crucial when it comes to being a great boss. Employees want a manager who listens, is transparent in their dealings, is open and honest and who earns and keeps their trust.

A great communicator:

  • Instructs just as well as listens

  • Makes the speaker feel heard and understood

  • Is transparent in behaviour

  • Says what he means and means what he says

  • Keeps staff abreast of important information ‘from the top’ (but protects them from the politics)

  • Enables a better understanding of staff or a workplace situation

  • Allows for better resolution of differences

  • Builds trust and respect

  • Creates an environment of creative ideas and problem solving

  • Positive and constructive communication

Attitude is everything

An amazing boss has an amazing attitude. He or she is respectful, approachable, confident, and empathetic and, perhaps most importantly, has self-respect.

  • The right attitude shows in these attributes:

  • A sense of fairness in dealing with people and issues

  • A positive and constructive approach

  • Maintaining a positive outlook (and a smiling face), even in the face of adversity

  • Infectious positive energy that brings out the best in colleagues and employees

  • Respect for others – which ultimately leads to being respected in return

A leader you’re happy to follow

Being a good leader means more than just bossing people around – they must have good values and a strong moral compass, be forward thinking, resilient, supportive, hardworking and inspire people to work hard.

Here’s why good leadership skills are a crucial part of being a great manager:

  • True leaders are able to instill trust, provide direction, and delegate responsibility amongst team members, boosting productivity as well as morale

  • A good leader has personality, courage, clear vision with ambition to succeed, resulting in the success of the team or project

  • Managers who are always asking ‘how can I improve myself?’ have the best tools to ask for improvement in their employees

  • Being a leader isn’t always glamorous – it takes skills and courage to make difficult decisions when needed

  • The humility required to be a good leader means he or she will take ownership for a mistake or failure, but push the praise on to others for a win, resulting in success and an elevated profile for all team members

Breaking it down

A top boss knows how to give great feedback, but often more important is being able to receive feedback, too. Consistency, honesty and humbleness in the face of criticism are key attributes for a great manager.

Feedback is important because:

  • It’s regular and in addition to performance reviews or annual evaluations

  • Appreciation for work consistently ranks as employees’ most desired employment perk

  • Positive feedback directly following a win affirms our good work. We all enjoy being recognized for our actions!

  • Feedback shows a leader is interested in how they can improve – and taking feedback from staff shows they want to create a solution that works for everyone

  • Evaluation of events, programs and policies is essential for improvement and progression – of teams, projects and people

  • Feedback encourages development opportunities for staff to cultivate each individual’s talents, making for a more powerful team

So there you go – it takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a team to make a leader. Important things to think about before that next job interview, right?