Published June 4, 2019

What do you think are the signs of a really great manager? If you consider the wellbeing of the staff and the company as a whole? Scientists believe they have found the ultimate recipe for success…

The manager’s role has, at least in many northern European countries, undergone quite a few changes in the last dew decades. “Pointing with your whole arm” has slowly but surely been replaced by a more inclusive and coaching leadership. The boss has gone from being an order-giving general to acting more like a team coach, motivating his or her employees and helping them grow.

But exactly what are the characteristics of a good manager today? Researchers at The University of Exeter, UK, have explored this. In a so-called meta-study, they studied around 130 previous research projects on this topic, and their results were presented at the end of April in The Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

In the words of the researchers, the most important conclusion is that, “Managers who put their employees first also improve their business”.

According to the researchers, you simply need to be a “servant leader” in order for your employees to become independent and to grow and evolve. This way you create a positive work environment where the employees feel good and are happy and motivated. As a result, they will become more creative and more productive.

In order to succeed in this, it is primarily three qualities that are required of you as a leader:

Show emphathy. This involves understanding how your employees feel and how they are doing. In addition, you need to be able to relate to their feelings without judgement, even in cases when you do not agree.

Build trust. Here several things are essential. You need to know what you are talking about in order to be perceived as credible and trustworthy (i e have enough knowledge behind your statements not to be revealed as a fraud if questioned), you need to be reliable (i e really go through with the things you have promised to do and keep your word), as well as have integrity (stand up for your values and for your employees).

• Be genuinely interested in your employees. Build relationships with your staff – listen to them, focus on them, pay attention to them, praise them. It is not you who should shine, it is your employees.

The researchers claim that the link between “servant leadership” and staff productivity is so strong that they recommend to companies to train their managers to strengthen exactly those qualities.

Here at The New Leadership, we are rather pleased to hear this…

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