Top tips for becoming a great manager

Building trust

Photograph by Adrianna Calvo on


Create a safe space for your people to share their thoughts with you and listen to them really carefully. This could be as simple as a fortnightly one-to-one catchup.

Support and challenge:

Great managers strike the right balance between supporting their people and challenging them.

Give feedback:

Let them know what you think, provide constructive feedback and never shy away from telling the truth. But do it kindly, there is absolutely no benefit to being aggressive or mean in order to prove a point.

Say thank you:

They made you successful, just like you’ve helped make them successful so let them know you appreciate their work, say thank you.

Be human:

Let them know you’re human too and that you make mistakes as well. Say sorry when you get it wrong. Tell them if you’re struggling with something, that doesn’t mean you burden them with your problems, but rather you keep them informed.

Share what you know:

As a manager you will likely be privy to a new level of information that you’ll gather from discussions with other managers and leaders of the company. A bit of this information will probably need to be kept confidential sometimes, but it’s likely much of it can and should be shared. It’s your job to share what you know openly and promptly. When people are kept in the dark about important decisions or changes for too long they literally start imagining things. I’ve seen this happen a few times and ultimately it led to a lack of trust in management and leadership!

Lead with visibility:

When I first became a manager I used to think the goal was to become invisible, crediting my teams completely when the work was successful and taking all the stick when something didn’t work.

Champion creativity:

Ironically sometimes new managers, especially those who move away from being hands-on, fear they are losing their creativity or their craft, and therefore the things they were trained to believe had made them unique and valuable. But the truth is that great managers have to be highly creative problem solvers, with the ability to bring together different ideas and move them harmoniously in the same direction. It is a different job, you will end up using different tools, but it’s equally as valuable as hands-on work.

Take care of yourself:

When you’re busy focusing on developing your people it can be easy to forget to develop yourself. But in fact when your team see you care about your path, they are likely to care more about theirs as well.

Photograph by PIxabay on



Creative problem solver.

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