I’ve asked over 600 groups of managers from all around the world about their personal experience of good management.  In these groups activities I always made it clear I wasn’t looking for ‘text book’ responses about leadership and that I wanted real personal experiences of good management that really made a difference.

Optimism has always featured on the ‘best managers’ list of characteristics and in our experience, the best candidates like to work for great managers.

Optimism lies at the heart of a managers ability to inspire others, particularly in time of change.  Management and leadership is about relationships and the ability to help others remain positive, is key if you want a dynamic culture and want your team to deliver outstanding performance.  It is too easy for a team to default to a pessimistic outlook, particularly in challenging times.   Of course it’s easy to be optimistic on good days.  Managers with the ability to remain optimistic and instill optimism in others on the not so good days are worth their weight in gold.

How do you recognise an optimistic manager?

In my experience they tend to exhibit the following attitudes:

They focus on solutions

Optimistic managers use optimistic language.  Faced with the ‘why does this happen to us’ of pessimism, the optimistic manager always prefers to seek out options or new opportunities that might arise from a particular difficult situation, they are more likely to say ‘how can we find a solution?’.

Optimist managers don’t tend to over analyse or apportion blame for a problem before they get on with finding a way forward.

They seek out quick wins and small victories

Positive mangers keep and eye on the big picture and the organisations ultimate goal – but they never miss a chance to celebrate quick wins and small victories.  They actively seek opportunities to recognise their teams efforts, marking an obstacle overcome, an customer issue resolved, a technical advance or a new client won with praise and celebration.

They seek out what their team does well and they recognise even modest success.

They focus on strengths not weaknesses

Optimistic managers cultivate and strengthen everyone’s strong points, seeking to minimise any weaknesses by using their strengths in order to find ways to improve and progress.

They encourage perseverance and risk

Positive managers understand that failures are part of life and that setbacks can be an opportunity to learn.  They prepare for setbacks and know what they will do if things go wrong – they don’t give up and they don’t give in.  Optimism creates the right environment for perseverance – a dogged determination to succeed.

The mangers in those 600 groups who shared their experience of good managers with me often said about optimistic leaders ‘when the chips were down and we couldn’t see a way forward, they got us to believe in ourselves again’

If you would like to learn more about what makes a great manager and what attracts the best candidates for your job roles, call Tricia Hay on 01453 755330 or email tricia.hay@first-base.co.uk.