Leaders vs Managers

Do you know the difference between management and leadership? Too many managers assume the two are one and the same. In truth, while these skill sets are complementary, they’re also very different.

In fact, many talented managers aren’t leaders. They’re effective at implementing processes, overseeing projects, and creating a positive work environment — but they don’t necessarily think outside of the box or inspire employees.

At HBL Resources, Inc., however, we believe the best managers both execute and engage. What does that look like in action? These are the traits that set great bosses apart from ordinary managers:

Great managers are self-aware.

Personality plays a significant role in workplace dynamics. Before you can improve staff engagement, you need to understand how your behavior style influences how you communicate, motivate, and build rapport.

Top-down management styles are effective at getting things done, but they risk alienating employees and hurting engagement. When managers involve staff in the decision-making process and solicit feedback, they instill a sense of ownership that drives motivation.

It’s also essential to manage your stress and anxiety as a manager. Negativity at the top trickles down to infect the entire team. Don’t just mask your stress, but take steps to keep it in check.

Great managers strive for self-improvement.

Self-awareness also means recognizing when your management skills need work. Do you feel lost in a rapidly evolving business environment or need to hone your interpersonal skills for today’s diverse workforce?

You don’t need to pause your career to brush up on leadership and management skills. HBL Resources management training covers a breadth of management skills in just six hands-on workshops. Want to take your career to the next level? Online MBA programs let you work towards an advanced degree one class at a time and access course materials 24/7 so you can fit education into your busy schedule.

Great managers are emotionally intelligent.

Every degree program or leadership training needs a component on interpersonal skills. As workplaces grow more diverse, managers must possess the emotional intelligence to establish rapport with a wide variety of people.

Emotionally intelligent managers are better at motivating employees, managing conflict, and building trust among teams. While some people are naturally empathetic, anyone can improve their emotional intelligence through developing skills like active listening, recognizing unconscious bias, and receiving and giving feedback.

Great managers give feedback confidently.

Speaking of feedback: Providing feedback is one of a manager’s core responsibilities, yet many still struggle to deliver feedback confidently and effectively. That’s in part because we associate the feedback with criticism. However, the best managers issue praise and positive feedback too. When constructive feedback is necessary, they focus on the behavior, not the person, and are specific about expectations.