The Essential Traits of a Good Manager

Essential Traits of a Good Manager

The importance to being a good manager and leader in your complementary therapy practice is essential to your success.  But even if your skills are undeveloped or, perhaps, a little rusty, you can learn what makes up a good manager, and how to gain the skills you need.

Why Is Being a Good Manager So Important?

Even though you have the training and technical skills that your business needs, you also need to be a great manager. Manager is an all-inclusive word that defines how you communicate, train, and lead your staff. Without the proper management skills, you will not be able to grow your business, retain employees, and even acquire new customers. Do you have the traits of a good manager? If not, how do you get them?

Successful Management Traits

Though some people may seem to easily possess management skills, all is not lost if you are not one of the few. Most skills can be taught and with repetition, will become easy, even if you are currently struggling with your management abilities. To learn how to possess these skills, let’s first learn what essential traits you need to make your business a success.


  • Communication is perhaps the most important trait that a good manager can have. Keeping your employees, your customers, vendors, and others informed has an added benefit. If you are open and honest in your communication with others, they will feel comfortable in returning those communications. This can be especially helpful when they offer suggestions for improvements, identify opportunities that you hadn’t considered, or give you other information that is essential to the growth and success of your business.
  • In most groups, the leadership sets the tone for others. If you are positive about yourself, those around you, and the business you are building, others will feel that same excitement and motivation. Sometimes to fuel motivation, incentives may be offered, although many employees are motivated to do better and improve their workplace by simply replicating the positive energy of the manager.


  • Thinking outside the box, having the great idea, and even pushing the limits are all traits of a great manager and innovator. But in addition to having these traits, you need to foster the innovation of your employees.
  • Sometimes the best ideas come from those working on the front line.
    Planning is an important role of every manager. Knowing your vision for the future of your business, also puts employees at ease, because they feel included in the growth you are planning.

Have the Technical Skills

  • If you, as the manager, do not have the skills required, it will become evident right away to your employees. If you don’t have them, find someone who does. You should have the expertise available so that employees have a resource when needed.
  • Offering training to employees is a great way to help them grow and promote your brand. Even if you don’t have the technical skills yourself, offering training off site is an incentive for employees to continue their growth with your company.

How to Acquire Management Skills

Becoming a good manager doesn’t just happen overnight. You don’t wake up one day and have all the skills neatly tucked away in your back pocket. There are a number of ways to acquire the skills:

Find a Mentor

  • Do you know someone that can help you? Maybe a family member or a peer that has ‘been there, done that.’ Even if you do not know a person, you can join a group of like-minded business owners that can discuss everything from their successes to their pitfalls. They can share their approach to issues that come up.
  • Maybe you have a successful friend or associate that you can shadow for a day or two. This gives you the chance to observe their interpersonal skills in action. How they communicate with staff or customers, may give you a great example to model your own communications from.

Lean on Experience

  • This may not be a standalone tactic for improving your management skills, but it can be a great supplement. When your response to an issue, your reaction to your staff, or your strategy worked, learn from it! Take note of what went right, what you did to get the result, and what, if anything, you can do to improve the next time.
  • Maybe your approach didn’t work. That’s okay too. Learn from it! Next time, you will know what not to do and how to have a better outcome.


  • There are many companies that offer training to help you build your interpersonal skills. Some can be found locally in a classroom setting while others can be completed online. The most important thing when completing this training is to be sure that you put it into practice. Use the skills that you learn every day to get the best results.
  • Networking with other business owners is another great way to train. Many of the administrative functions or technical skills that you may not be strong in, can benefit from the experience of other business owners in your local area.

Learning how to successfully manage your complementary therapy practice will improve with time. The skills that you learn, need to be used again and again to make them easier, more natural, and become part of your management style. Work on the following:

  1. Build communication with employees by encouraging collaboration, and by welcoming opinions and ideas.
  2. Be clear about your expectations and welcome feedback from others.
    Practice listening. And let the other person know you are listening by asking questions.
  3. Set a good example. Employees will model themselves and their actions after their leader. Make your example a positive one.
  4. Train your employees. They will be happier, more job secure, and positive about their workplace.
  5. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Trust and Assurance With Insurance

In addition to being a good manager, another important pathway towards success is ensuring that your complementary therapy business has adequate insurance in place. This is vital to building trust with current clients and future potential customers. It also protects the business from issues with possible injuries, potential accidents, or illnesses that are always unforeseen.

It can be a complicated and confusing process so if you any have questions, comments, or concerns about insurance for your business, contact the International Institute of Complementary Therapists (IICT). Our helpful and friendly team will make sure you get what you need to be successful according to your needs and budget.

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