5 Managerial Qualities You Didn't Know You Already Have

illustration of a mom in business casual clothes with a cape and kids playing in the background

Lately, you’ve been thinking about the next step in your professional life. You’re good at your job, but you’re ready to take on a new challenge. But what about taking a step up into management? How do you know if you’re ready to transition into more of a leadership role in your work?

While the technical skills and knowledge needed to be an effective manager can be developed with experience and education, there are certainly some qualities of a good manager that just tend to come naturally. What’s exciting is the fact that you may already have some of these qualities in your would-be manager’s toolkit—and you’ve likely been refining them by just living your life!

That’s right, your life outside the workplace may have given you professional tools you didn’t know you had—the kind of tools that can lay the foundation for you becoming an effective, respected, and great manager. In this article we’ve asked business professionals to identify some of the top natural traits of an effective manager—and why they matter.

5 Managerial traits you may already have in your toolkit

Being an effective manager is about more than knowing how to create a balanced budget or knowing how to make a process more efficient. There’s a mix of people skills and personality tendencies needed as well. Let’s take a closer look.

1. You know how to keep people motivated

As a manager, a lot of your responsibility is to keep members of your team working hard through unexpected obstacles and challenging circumstances. Whatever field you work in, situations outside of your control like unclear client expectations or a stressed consumer base will make it difficult for your employees to show up to work every day feeling confident in their ability to work effectively. This is where an ability to help people see their strengths and build up their confidence can help make your team successful.

Whether you’ve experienced this with a child coming home in tears after a rough day at basketball practice but kept their chin up after a pep talk, or had a close friend call you during a crisis and leave the conversation with a little less of a tremble in their voice, you know how to help people pick themselves up and move forward with confidence.

“You can have the most amazing business idea or feature concept,” says Allie Fleder, COO of SimplyWise. “But if you can’t rally and motivate the right people to build and market that idea, you will have nothing. An effective manager can make or break a department, a team, and a business.”

2. You meet people as they are

As a manager, you need to employ people who are vastly different workers, personalities, and thinkers than you are. The diversity of your staff will help you accomplish your goals with more innovation and competence.

If you are able to navigate many different social settings, from the woman you meet at the grocery store to the banker you meet with to discuss opening a new checking account, you have already been practicing these skills.

“Someone interested in leadership must demonstrate they can communicate well, are willing to assist others, and have the maturity to fit in with different personalities,” says Alex Azoury, founder and CEO of Home Grounds.

You’re not going to be best friends with every employee, and reasonable differences in opinion and attitude are going to exist. Being able to build bridges and find common ground is an important asset for any leadership role.

3. You know how to meet a goal

Managers are big-picture workers. While their team members tackle individual projects, managers make sure that the larger work of the organization gets done and gets done efficiently. The ability to function on an executive level by creating deadlines and making sure team members meet those deadlines and navigate unexpected delays in a way that won’t set a project back weeks or months is essential for anyone interested in a leadership role.

If you keep a detailed calendar for yourself or for other people in your life, you are already developing this critical skill. You are thinking through what needs to be accomplished and breaking it into manageable steps in order to move forward.

“In management, it can be so easy to focus on your own tasks,” says Amy McWaters, CEO of the Hamper Emporium. “But it is critical that you are able to absorb the overall impact of decisions, issues, and strategies department-wide.”

4. You understand mistakes happen—and quickly recover

If you think about the best managers you’ve had, a common quality is often a boss who understood the difference between a small mistake and a major offense. Particularly as you work with new employees, mistakes are inevitable and provide a chance to educate rather than chastise a person for something they may not have had a great deal of control over.

A good manager is able to empathize with their employees in order to understand why they might be challenged by certain areas of their work and excel at others. That empathy allows a strong manager to bring out the best in their workers and build mutual respect and trust.

Empathy is likely already be a major part of your life. Whether it’s as simple as not losing your head when someone cuts you off in traffic, or helping a child fix something they broke rather than punishing them for an accident, this skill is essential as you consider moving into management.

“Empathy helps a manager put themselves in their employee’s shoes,” says Ian Kelly, VP of Operations at NuLeaf Naturals. “This helps managers make employees more productive and is valuable to the company.”

5. You love to solve problems

Plenty of people are better at ignoring a problem than they are at solving them. This is kryptonite to a strong manager. If you like to deal with things head on and find creative solutions to obstacles in your life, you are already working on a critical skill in management.

“An effective manager who knows how to be a problem solver gets work done and does it well,” says Sturgeon Christie, VEO at Second Skin Audio. “An effective manager acts as soon as a problem arises, and that’s how they keep a business running smoothly.”

Round out your management skillset

If you have some of the natural skills to become a manager, there are lots of steps you can take to make yourself a strong candidate within your field. A Business Management degree from Rasmussen University can provide you with an excellent foundation of versatile business skills and knowledge. Want to learn more? Check out our article, “What to Expect in a Business Management Program.”

About the author

Anjali Stenquist

Anjali Stenquist is a content writer for Collegis Education who writes student focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. She is passionate about helping students of all backgrounds navigate higher education.

What Is Reactive Attachment Disorder

Related Content

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors-masters 0 Credits 90 Credits 180 Credits 48 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE Start Here MASTER'S DEGREE PURSUERS End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE End Here MASTER'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 90 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-msn chart-credential-laddering-nursing-programs chart-credential-laddering-nursing DNP MSN RN to BSN LPN to RN Bridge Accelerated BSN Professional Nursing ADN Practical Nursing Diploma Pre-Licensure Post-Licensure icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-lifelong-learning icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-location-pin icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-outline-person-presenter-screen icon-colored-outline-scales ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-briefcase-star icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-development icon-colored-duo-chatbox icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-forward-ribbon icon-colored-gears-clock icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-hand-stars icon-colored-hands-gear icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-hospital-building icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-checkmark icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-map icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-mortarboard-dollar icon-colored-national icon-colored-people-chat-bubbles icon-colored-person-cheer-star icon-colored-person-laptop-checkboxes icon-colored-person-screen-instructor icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-phone-chatbox icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-shirt-hat icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-triangle-arrow-up-plant icon-triangle-calendar-pencil icon-triangle-clock-rotating-arrows icon-triangle-display-gears icon-triangle-hand-right-speech-bubble icon-triangle-laptop-coding-brackets icon-triangle-mortarboard icon-triangle-paper-ribbon icon-triangle-person-cheer-star icon-triangle-person-juggle icon-triangle-triple-people-chat-bubble icon-modality-campus icon-modality-field icon-modality-online icon-modality-residential icon-arrow icon-bank icon-camera icon-filter icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-mglass icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-scales icon-share-square-o icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-spinner icon-tag icon-testimonial-quotes icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-circle-arrow-down icon-util-circle-dot icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x rebrand-arrows icon-social-facebook-colored icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram-colored icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p-colored icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-colored icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play graduate-cap-star-coin hand-coin hand-heart nurse-stethoscope-rays card-send-smile person-yoga-pose suitcase-star