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10 Behaviors That Make a Manager Great, According to Google
AnnaMarie Houlis

Recent research done by Google suggests what makes managers at Google great — and because the company went from 0 to 60 in just a few years, many companies look to it as an example of success. Google has shared the 10 behaviors that make its managers great, and they're applicable to most great managers in most industries.

1. Challenging

The fact is that all employees, regardless of who they are and how well they perform, need managing in order to do well — feedback is critical. A good manager takes the time to coach and challenge all employees, not just those who are falling behind.

2. Well-Balanced

A good manager knows how to balance freedom and advice; they don't micromanage, according to a sample breakdown from an internal presentation included in a 2013 Harvard Business Review article. In other words, they let their team members know that they trust them while still offering some guidance.

3. Inclusive

Managers who can create an inclusive team — and show concern for the success and well-being of that team — are good managers. This includes the un-biasing — or the process of becoming aware of and combating unconscious biases — of a team.

4. Productive

A good manager is results oriented and leads a productive and, therefore, successful team by example.

5. Communicative

Good managers are effective communicators (and, by that, we also mean good listeners).

6. Supportive

Career development is important to most people, and managers who care about their team members care about the fate of their careers, too. So they discuss performances and expectations to help their team members progress in their careers.

7. Clear

A good manager has a clear vision and strategy for the team and communicates that well, so everyone is on the same page. 

8. Technical

Not only should a good manager know how to work well with people, but they should also know what they're doing technically speaking. While this isn't the most important skill to have, it's good to know.

9. Collaborative

Effective cross-organization collaboration and stronger decision-making were important to Googlers, according to the research.

10. Decisive

Good managers are also good decision makers who can listen to and share information, stay informed and set priorities accordingly. Team members appreciate those who can effectively make decisions.


AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.

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