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Managers1 are responsible for overseeing a team of people, including setting goals, assigning tasks, and measuring progress. They work in a wide variety of industries and capacities, but that main objective remains the same.
What else does a career in management entail? Here’s what you need to know about a role as a manager.
The specific responsibilities of someone in a management position will vary from place to place. However, the core responsibilities remain largely the same.
Typically, the manager2 is responsible for the bigger picture thinking and planning in a department or specific business unit. They keep their finger on the pulse of overarching goals and objectives and oversee the daily work of employees that contributes to those goals.
This can involve planning and maintaining systems for completing work, working with Human Resources to determine and address staffing needs, providing oversight and direction to employees, monitoring performance and providing feedback, fostering a positive culture, and developing and empowering employees to own their work and take charge of their own careers.
A role as a manager is both challenging and rewarding, and is the perfect fit for someone who is organized, a skilled listener, and a strong leader.
Because managers are responsible for overseeing and leading the activities of an entire department, there’s undoubtedly a lot to keep track of. In fact, many managers complain that they often get bogged down in the minutiae of the everyday, which makes it difficult to tackle those larger challenges.
For this reason, many managers have procedures in place to keep tabs on routine activities—without requiring so much manual effort.
By building out the work systems and processes mentioned earlier, managers are able to feel confident that tasks are completed in a predictable and streamlined way across the department.
Additionally, many managers maintain an “open door” communication policy with their teams and even schedule frequent check-ins, so that they can better monitor progress and proactively address any challenges that arise.
Every manager has a different style or approach that he or she uses to direct and communicate with employees. There really isn’t one “best” style—some are better in certain circumstances, and others suit different personality types or work cultures.
With that being said, here are six different management styles, as outlined by TINYpulse3:
Autocratic: Manager tells employees what to do.
Consultative: Manager gathers feedback before making decisions.
Persuasive: Manager makes decisions, while helping employees to understand the reasoning behind them.
Democratic: Decisions are made by the majority.
Chaotic: Manager hands over all control to employees
Laissez-Faire: Manager acts as more of a mentor than a leader.
Much like your actual approach, what qualifies you as a “good” manager will vary depending on where you find yourself working and the team you’re leading. One work environment might be better suited to a fast-acting manager who isn’t afraid to be direct, while another might prefer someone who’s more collaborative.
But, ultimately, a good manager4 will be organized, a strong communicator and listener, supportive, and always open to feedback from his or her direct reports—those are values that all employees appreciate.