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10 Examples of Management Behavior (+ What to Avoid)

Learn what behaviors you should practice and the ones you should leave behind as you continue on your management journey.

By Brier Cook  •   February 7, 2024  •   7 min read

Picture this: you’re working on a new team managed by someone with little regard for workplace etiquette. You’ve noticed that your manager’s less-than-ideal habits are inhibiting your team’s ability to complete work on time and that the morale has declined, too. Your colleagues have begun whispering about the new positions they’ve applied to on other teams and at other companies.

The truth is that most individuals—including employees—will go out of their way to avoid others who constantly exhibit negative traits. The most productive teams have leaders who are trusting, adaptable, and great communicators.

Read on to explore the top 10 behaviors all good managers should demonstrate and the seven behaviors to actively avoid, and discover how to build great meeting habits and foster a positive workplace culture using Fellow.

Why is management behavior important?

A manager’s behavior is important because it sets the tone for the entire team. When a manager shows their team members that they value them and the work they produce, they create a positive workplace culture based on mutual respect and trust. A good leader knows that their behavior directly impacts employee motivation and engagement!

While disciplinary actions are sometimes necessary to keep operations running smoothly, managers should never belittle their team, micromanage, or assign blame without cause. Bad management behavior like this will negatively impact their employees’ well-being, productivity, and performance.

Build better management habits

The world’s best managers promote a growth mindset in their teams. Fellow makes it easier for managers and their direct reports to collaborate on talking points, exchange feedback, and have engaging one-on-ones.

Top 10 examples of effective management behavior

If you want to foster a positive work culture and help your employees thrive, you should start by improving your organizational behaviors. Here are 10 habits you should prioritize this year:

Leading by example in all situations

Great leaders should emulate the behaviors they want to see in employees. This means speaking to your employees how you would like them to speak with others, taking initiative when a workplace challenge arises, and showing up on time (if not early) every day. Leading by example also means that your actions mirror your words every time. You should be a genuine, walking example of the values by which you want your colleagues to live. 

Being transparent and vulnerable

Managers should be honest with their employees about their strengths and shortcomings and strive to promote psychological safety in the workplace. Vulnerability in leadership means admitting your mistakes, seeking feedback often, and, above all else, being human. Being transparent with employees will make individuals more likely to share their concerns and mistakes, leading to more effective operations overall. 

On his Supermanagers episode, Jacob Morgan, Leadership Futurist and the author of ‘Leading with Vulnerability,’ delves into the tangible benefits and ROI that comes with embracing vulnerability in your management style.

Aligning goals with organizational values

Your organization’s core values are the bedrock of why the company exists, so ensure you can clearly communicate with your employees how their work fits within the business’ larger objectives. For example, when reviewing the tasks associated with a new team project, offer your team insight into how their effort will aid the organization in meeting its strategic goals. 

Being human 

As a manager, offering your employees empathy and compassion is important. Being human means focusing on personal and professional relationships and prioritizing emotional intelligence. Leaders who build trust through authentic relationships have higher engagement overall and better turnover than managers who act superior to their employees. 

Showing appreciation for their hard work and dedication

There are several easy ways to make employees feel appreciated. Show your colleagues that you value them by checking in, offering ongoing and honest feedback, and investing in their professional development. Great managers actively express their gratitude in one-on-one and group settings to show their team that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. 

The feedback feature in Fellow makes it easy to give and get feedback in real-time, effortlessly. You can incorporate it into the team’s day-to-day experience, creating a culture where giving, receiving, and implementing feedback is part of the DNA.

Encouraging and elevating others’ opinions

Leaders should regularly invite new perspectives by asking for their teammates’ opinions. During team meetings and one-on-ones, ask colleagues how they think the team should approach new challenges. Remember that the best managers trust the opinions of their workers and bring their great ideas to the forefront when it comes time to make important decisions. 

Fostering genuine candor when coaching team members

Fostering candor means that, as a manager, you can challenge employees directly while also showing them that you care personally. The idea comes from author Kim Scott’s book Radical Candor about building better teams and relationships at work. This behavior can help managers and employees build trust and communicate in a manner that helps them achieve desired goals more efficiently. Managers must seek out constructive feedback from their teammates and be willing to give it out freely (and kindly) to achieve small wins that will later lead to major victories. Check out our blog post on how you can use Kim Scott’s framework to improve how you give feedback and collaborate with others. 

Hosting weekly one-on-ones with each teammate 

One-on-ones are dedicated time to connect with each direct report. These meetings are the best way to share feedback, build rapport, discuss performance, and proactively address issues with individual employees. Meeting regularly with teammates can allow you to coach them on their priorities, leading to improved productivity and positive work relationships. These meetings are the ideal environment to exchange feedback on performance, management style, and the team because they’re private, face-to-face interactions. 

Encouraging employees to solve problems proactively

Leaders too often feel the need to solve their employees’ problems and micromanage their work. What if we told you that the most effective managers challenge their teammates to develop solutions instead of making executive decisions? When you begin giving employees the space to make their own decisions, it may seem like the entire process is slower; in reality, allowing teammates to become confident problem solvers will free up your time in the long run as their skills develop.

Hosting productive team meetings

One way managers can showcase good behavior is by leading effective team sessions. During each meeting, ensure that you prioritize teamwork instead of reporting. Productive team meetings never involve listening to a laundry list of announcements and updates. Instead, managers should define an objective in advance so the group can use its time to effectively problem solve and make decisions. Choose a meeting format, send invites, circulate meeting expectations and a collaborative agenda in advance, and only invite employees who are required to be there. 

7 management behaviors to avoid

Multiplying tasks

Do your best when assigning tasks to never assign the same one to two different employees. This multiplication of effort can cause unintentional competition, and it’s a waste of everyone’s time at the end of the day.

With a software like Fellow, you can clearly assign, prioritize, and track action items across your team and workflow, ensuring no efforts are duplicated.

Being unresponsive

If a direct report approaches you with a question, concern, or simply something they’d like to bring to your attention, don’t ignore them or make them feel like you’re too good to hear what they have to say. Give your team members an answer or, if you don’t have one, let them know you’re going to find out an answer on their behalf. 

Failing to acknowledge emotions

Your employees aren’t robots, so when they express frustration, concern, or signs of burnout, acknowledge them. Never make an employee feel bad for being emotional. You want people who care about your team. 

Not giving reasoning 

It’s not easy to trust a manager who withholds information or doesn’t share their reasoning. Give your team a peek into what’s happening behind the scenes and share information or the reasoning behind decisions.

Acting contradictory 

Good managers avoid acting contradictory and instead focus on clear, concise, and consistent communication styles and standards.

Eating first

Eating first, or taking special privileges, is a management behavior that should be avoided. Think of this like flying first class to a conference while your team flies coach. Remember, there are times when a manager should be on the same playing field as their team. 

Not contributing in times of need

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “all hands on deck!” you know how important it is for managers to step up in a crisis. Employees notice when a manager rolls up their sleeves and helps when needed. They’ll also notice when managers think they’re “too good” or “above” helping out.

Harmony in hierarchy with Fellow

Fellow is the best all-in-one management platform for leaders looking to level up their management practices through effective meetings, recaps, and feedback. 

If you want to build great meeting habits this year, start by running productive meetings. Set the stage for meetings that move work forward with AI-enabled preparation tools, follow-up features, and automated meeting feedback and analytics

Check out our 500+ ready-to-use meeting agenda templates for everything you need before, during, and after each session.

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