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Quiz: Qualities of Exceptional Managers – How many do YOU have?

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Have 3 minutes?

Take this quick (and not very scientific) pop quiz. Simply review this list of key attributes for great managers, and give yourself a point for each skill set you possess:

  • Communication skills. This includes solid abilities to communicate effectively in a variety of situations, and across a variety of platforms (e.g., writing business correspondence, speaking with clients on the phone and in person, sharing news and constructive feedback with employees, etc.).
  • Active listening skills. This cluster of skills includes things like: focusing on what the speaker is saying (and not how you’ll respond); paying attention to the other person’s nonverbal cues; and clarifying or probing for more information, to ensure full comprehension.
  • Emotional intelligence. This is a combination of self-awareness and awareness of others. It’s a unique kind of intelligence that enables a manager to identify and manage their emotions. The result of effective communication between the rational and emotive centers of the brain, emotional intelligence (commonly referred to as “EQ”) also helps a manager to recognize others’ emotions and understand their behavior better.
  • Team building. Another cluster of skills, team building includes the abilities to: identify individuals’ strengths and weaknesses; assign responsibilities based on strengths; provide required training to close skill gaps; foster collaboration, information-sharing and other qualities of successful teams; and unite a group of employees to work as a unit toward accomplishing a shared goal.
  • Conflict resolution. This group of skills allows a manager to: defuse tensions among the parties involved in a conflict; identify the root cause of the issue; discuss potential solutions civilly;  encourage compromise to create agreement and buy-in on action steps to fix the problem; and resolve the situation in a way that satisfies all parties.

How did you score?

0 – 1: Yikes. How did you get the job you’re in?

2 – 4: Work in progress. You have a solid foundation for management success with room to improve.

5: Management ninja. Congratulations! If you possess all these skills, you undoubtedly excel in your management role.

Ok, I’ll come clean.

These are qualities of great customer service managers (not just managers in general). Still, I believe they’re relevant for individuals in any type of leadership role within your staffing or recruiting firm.

Why? If your managers don’t put customers (clients, talent AND internal employees) at the center of everything your staffing firm does, the rest of your team certainly won’t. Managers set the example for your customer service culture. It’s really that simple.

So, if you or anyone else on your team needs help developing exceptional customer service skills, check out these earlier posts:

Stop the Churn! Practical Customer Service Tips to Increase Client Retention

The Surprising Reasons Your Customer Service Could Be Failing (and what to do about it)

Ears: Your Customer Service Secret Weapon

Is Formal Customer Service Training Really Important for Staffing Services?


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