You can only be as good at managing others as the effort or importance that you place upon it. What do I mean? Well, how much do you really care about the success of those you manage? Do you set a good or the right example? Does your staff want to come to you because you’ll listen, you won’t judge, and have their best interest in mind? It is no surprise that bad management can have a devastating effect on employee morale, the guest service experience, and ultimately on the success of your business.

I’ve worked for some real “special” individuals in the course of my career; so let me give you a couple examples. I had a boss in Florida, a lady who was intimidated by my friendly, outgoing nature, where I’d made more friends and professional connections in 6 weeks than she did in her entire 6-year career at this company. She would purposefully sabotage me by giving poor directions, refusing to meet with/instruct me, and would change her mind on instructions she’d given me in order to try to make me look bad.

Another guy in New Mexico, said that I was joining a “family” and that we’d all be good buddies, I just didn’t realize that it was the Manson family. He was just like a sniper and at management meetings, he’d be lying in wait to ambush his next victim as he set them up for embarrassment and humiliation. He would ridicule his victim for their opinion on a topic one that he just asked for… in front of others to ensure complete and utter destruction of their confidence and self esteem. He was every human resources director’s nightmare and likely a very unhappy, arrogant, and selfish person.

These lessons from “bad” managers taught me most importantly-I never want to be like him/her! I figure in life that we all have our lessons to learn and that we grow as a person from bad managers like this guy. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to keep my good nature and positive outlook, through it all, and most importantly, to always remember to treat others with the respect they deserve. This matter of respect has become my founding value in my work and my life.

Good managers are so because they exhibit the following types of sound psychological behaviors. First, they never had to compromise their ethics and honesty in any decision they make. Secondly, they never forget where they came from-meaning they have no need for arrogance based upon position, salary or title. Third, they recognize that not all individuals are alike and that each person needs slightly different input, support and feedback to find their niche in their career and work. And, lastly, they lead by example, by always exemplifying behaviors and actions which are respectful, and know that those actions speak louder than their words.

Good managers are just that, because it is not about them but about the people, the work, and how that work gets done. Additionally, they have found that sound communication, good listening skills and respecting the opinion of others go a long way towards teaching, growing and build strong, confident employees, teams and organizations.

My advice is just this: Always remember that you are dealing with individuals, people with feelings and fears. Choosing to be a good manager rather than a bad one, is not only the right thing to do but will come back to you ten-fold in the satisfaction you will see in their eyes and the pride that you will feel when your employees are a success and thankful for your support all along the way.

HR Question of the month: Please send your HR questions and concerns, or share your thoughts on your human resources challenges via email to the following address. Send input to Your comments, questions or concerns will help determine the direction for my next month’s column and earn you a copy of my book. Include your mailing address when sending your responses.