How to Know If You Are a Good Manager

How to Know If You Are a Good Manager
Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

A Good Manager
The best managers genuinely care about the wellbeing of their team members in addition to each individual’s level of engagement on the job and productive results. These leaders stay closely connected to their employees, so they are aware early on of any problems or issues.

But what if, for whatever reason, you as the manager are the issue? How will you know if you are doing a good job or not?

The Problem
The difficulty with managers simply asking for feedback on how well they are doing is that they are unlikely to get any critical or constructive responses. As approachable as you may try to be and think you are, employees rarely feel free to share complaints about the way you are managing. Think about it. How comfortable are you at expressing your dissatisfaction with your superiors directly to them – even when asked?

So, what do you do as a people manager who would like to get valid and useful feedback without the help of reviewing and acting upon employee engagement survey results?

3 Tips to Solicit Constructive Feedback as a Manager
Management training program experts know that it is all in the way you ask for and respond to feedback. Here are three tips on how to solicit feedback in a way that will provide helpful information on how well you are doing and how you can improve as a manager.  The first two tips can be used as part of your 1×1 meetings with your direct reports. 

  1. Be Specific
    General questions produce vague and general answers. You need to focus on specific situations.

    For example, if you are looking for feedback on how well you facilitate leadership team meetings, ask if people felt today’s meeting met its objective. Then probe for suggestions on what might have hindered the meeting’s effectiveness. A more targeted agenda? A clearer goal? Broader participation? Paring down the number of invitees? Better facilitation?

    You are far more likely to get honest and actionable feedback if you ask about particular situations and then listen carefully – without justifying or getting defensive – for where you might be falling short in the eyes of your team.
  2. Open the Door
    Be honest and vulnerable. Begin the conversation by saying that you want to improve a certain skill. Let’s say you feel your situational leadership skills need improvement. Ask your employee for help in pinpointing weaknesses in your ability to diagnose competence and confidence levels of others based upon the situation and the desired results.

    Be open to understanding what they are really trying to say and how you can continuously improve.
  3. Solicit the Help of an Objective Observer
    Is there someone in the organization trusted by both you and your team? An HR representative perhaps or a manager of a team with whom you all work closely? Ask for their help in keeping an ear to the ground for any complaints about both the way your team is functioning and how you are leading them.

    This should not become a free-for-all gripe session; instead, you are looking for anonymously reported concerns and tips for improvement that are under your control and that you can address about how you are managing the team.

The Bottom Line
Wouldn’t you rather be aware of what your team may view as shortcomings? Or would you prefer to remain unaware of irritating problems that could grow into major issues? Be the best manager you can be by learning more about whether or not your team thinks you are a good manager. To learn more about if you are a good manager, download 5 Management Misperceptions that Slip Up Too Many New Managers

Evaluate your Performance


Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work


Health Checks

Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most



Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition



Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned



Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance


Client Case Studies

Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance