The Daily Dot Learning Series

Outstanding Professional Development Every Day

The Daily Dot is a daily post aimed to give the reader an edge in business and professional development. It's purpose is to provide interesting, thought provoking and informative content through ideas, up-to-date information and advice focusing on achieving ‘outstanding results’ within a professional context.

Wednesday 02 Sep 20

The TakeawayHow to Effectively Manage Managers

Managing Managers: How It’s Different

Managing managers often requires a different approach and skill set than managing individuals.

While you’re still essentially managing people’s performance and output, you’re no longer looking at what they do, but rather how they do it.

Why Is Managing Managers Different?

When managing an individual, you look at what tasks they have completed, such as how many leads they’ve generated that week. However, when managing a manager, you focus more on how they do their job, such as how they motivate their team.

Our Top 5 Tips for Managing Managers

  • Advise, Don’t Dictate
    To allow managers to develop their skills and grow professionally, it’s beneficial to allow them more autonomy. If leaders are always dictating what their managers need to do and not allowing them to think for themselves or make decisions, their managers may begin to heavily rely on them and become complacent in their work. Instead, it’s best to guide and advise managers.

  • Share Your Experiences
    Most managers experience very similar issues at some point in their career, such as their team members making insufficient progress in a project. Therefore, sometimes simply sharing your own previous experiences can help guide managers and give them a good idea of what steps to take.

  • Lead by Example
    Leaders need to behave the way they want their managers to behave. Managers will look up to their superiors, and will often pick up on and imitate their behaviour. Therefore in order to have positive, effective and inspiring managers, leaders must portray these qualities themselves.

  • Trust Your Managers
    It’s important that leaders trust their managers and have a reasonable level of confidence in them. This will help motivate your managers and instil self-confidence in them. Leaders should allow managers to make their own decisions (within reason) and focus on helping them grow and develop further.

  • Avoid Micromanagement
    Micromanagement is the downfall of many managers of managers. Click here to see a step-by-step guide on recognising and letting go of micromanagerial tendencies. 

Putting It Into Context

If you’d like to look at your leadership approach through the eyes of your managers and contextualise the above information to your specific team, a great way to do this is through 360-degree reviews.

360-degree reviews gather information and opinions from others, giving you a new and improved perspective of your leadership style. 

Click here for an in-depth guide from CIPD that explains what 360-degree reviews are and how to best conduct them.

Recognising how managing managers is different than managing individuals can help you adjust your leadership style to fit the needs of your managers, ultimately helping you develop successful, hardworking and talented managers for the future.

“The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work” Agha Abedi


Have Teams That Work From Home?

Upgrade your management team's skills by giving them the ability to manage remote teams effectively

More info

Latest Posts