This week in the ted Learning office we’ve been thinking about the essential and desirable qualities to be an effective manager, and it’s interesting to think about how we recognise these, even when we may not be that adept at displaying them ourselves yet. Throughout our education and our working life, we encounter role models and figures of authority in lots of different situations which shape our views and opinions on how a good manager should behave. Think back to that teacher at school whose lessons you always liked more than the others – chances are they were great at making the work fun, and bothering to figure out what inspired you about the subject so they could tap into your motivation. How about that first boss in your Saturday job when you were 16 and new to the world of work? Whether they were supportive or scary, they probably taught you a lot about the basics of being in charge of a business and team whether you realised it at the time or not!
Sometimes the best examples of how to be a great manager are experienced when we’re on the receiving end of a not-so-great one ourselves: Working for a manager early on in my career who spent our busiest times out shopping taught me an invaluable lesson about leading from the front; Dealing with the fall out from an aggressive bully of a senior manager showed me clearly that managing through fear is never an appropriate approach; And reporting to an ineffective line manager who offered no direction or support but repeatedly told me to ‘do my best’ helped me understand the importance of gaining the respect of my team. What lessons have you learnt along the way? And how have they shaped you into the manager you are today?