Being an exceptional manager isn't about having an immaculate résumé or a laundry list of industry connections; if anything, it's about possessing a sort of empathy and gut intuition that allows you to speak openly and honestly with your employees. "Good bosses look good on paper. Great bosses look great in person; their actions show their value," writes Jeff Haden, a best-selling author, career expert, and LinkedIn influencer, for Business Insider. Haden learned everything he knows about management by working his way up in a printing company, starting as a forklift driver and ending as a manager of a 250-person plant. Below, read up on the three traits that define exceptional managers, according to Haden.
They forgive and they forget. "When an employee makes a mistake—especially a major mistake—it's easy to forever view that employee through the perspective of that mistake," he writes. "But one mistake, or one weakness, is just one part of the whole person. Exceptional bosses are … able to forget that mistake because they know that viewing any employee through the lens of one incident may forever impact how they treat that employee."
They transform company goals into employees' personal goals. "Exceptional bosses make their employees feel that what they do will benefit them as much as it does the company," explains Haden. "After all, for whom will you work harder: a company or yourself?"
They look past action to uncover emotion or motivation. As with many things in life, acting out at work is typically a cover up for something else. "It's easy to assume they [these employees] don't listen or don't care," he notes. "But almost always, there's a deeper reason: They feel stifled, they feel they have no control, they feel marginalized or frustrated. Exceptional bosses search for the underlying issues that, when overcome, lead to much bigger change for the better."
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Managers, do you agree with Haden's advice? What would you add or take away? Share your thoughts in the comments below.