Three interviewees – Peter Dawson, John Ellis and Samantha Merton are giving their opinions on what they consider to be the three most important qualities for a good manager.
- In the second part of this interview I’d like to ask each of you in turn what you consider to be the three most important qualities for a good manager. Perhaps we could hear your ideas first, Mr. Dawson.
- I think that at present the most important quality is the ability to deal with other people. I know that we are a manufacturing industry but I feel very strongly that we also have a great responsibility towards our personnel. Secondly, let me see…yes, in my opinion the second most important quality must be the ability to talk to our personnel about their jobs, their futures, their problems, etc., to be able to relate to them, you know. And, thirdly, well… I suppose I’d put adaptability as the third most important quality. I think that fits in with the other two points I mentioned to give my idea of a good manager.
- Thank you for your opinions, Mr. Dawson. Perhaps, we could hear your views now, Mr. Ellis.
- I consider the present situation requires a rather different approach to the whole question of management and, therefore, different qualities for managers. I believe that a good manager is one who can persuade people that this way is right. Isn’t that why he is a manager? Getting people to accept his decision and to follow his leadership that, in my view, is the mark of a good manager. Secondly, I feel that he should be firm with his people. That’s how they’ll come to respect him. And thirdly, I’m of the opinion that he should be physically fit. In this day and age the pressures and strains are so great that only the fittest can survive, and those are the ones that should be the managers. Mentally competent, of course, but physically competent also.
- Thanks, Mr. Ellis. Could we hear what you think, Mrs. Merton.
- Yes, certainly. I think my views probably represent a mixture or synthesis of my colleagues’ opinions. The most important quality is, in my opinion, the ability to think flexibly – to find new answers and new solutions. Secondly, I feel that as managers we should be able to handle people, as I’m sure that for the company good labor relations mean a happy and secure future. But this doesn’t mean that we should be too lenient or too dogmatic. Now, the third quality should be, in my view, the ability to direct and control people effectively.
- Thank you all for your opinions.
Exercise 1. Using the expressions (a) and information (b) speak about an ideal manager:
a) Expressing your opinion strongly you’ll say:
I definitely think that …
I’m sure that …
I’m convinced that …
I really do think that …
Expressing your opinion neutrally you’ll say:
As I see it, … I think … I consider … I feel …
In my opinion … To my mind
Expressing your opinion weakly you’ll say:
I’m inclined to think that …
I tend to think …
I’m disposed to think …
I’m prone to think …
b) employee’s view:
to know how they are getting on with their jobs
to have the opportunity to discuss their work in detail with the boss
to discover their own weaknesses to find out what view the boss has of them
to know how to work more effectively
to discuss their future within the organization to see how their careers are developing
managers can profit from closer contact with individual employees
managers can find out what their employees do well or could do better
managers can review the performance of their staff by interviewing them
the company can profit from interviews, because they create closer working relationships
interviews help the company find out which people can be promoted
interviews help find out which employees can benefit most from further training
interviews help people believe in the company more