Great managers make people feel good about their work.
They catch people doing something right and thank them for it far more often they catch them doing something wrong. Affirming feedback outnumbers adjusting feedback by about 5:1.
They spend time with their team members observing them working and providing plenty of feedback and praise based on what they see. This is very different to many managers roles that are explicitly designed to ‘manage by exception’. ie the manager only gets involved when something has not gone as planned.
Great managers, when presented with ideas listen carefully for the tiniest germ of potential. Seizing that germ, they talk it through – teasing it, tweezing it, rearranging it – until the team member produces something workable.
Most importantly great managers make sure that team members know that their work is important. That it makes a difference. That they contribute.