Do Managers Need to be Liked to be Effective?
An effective manager is one who is not only able to make decisions, but also has the influence and the personality to convey the decision and get others to follow their instructions. Many managers fall down in this respect usually because they are only proficient in either one or the other of these skills. For example, they are either good at coming up with the solution to a problem and making a decision, but they are not comfortable in issuing instructions to employees and tend to shy away from doing so particularly if the decision is a tough one that is likely to cause unhappiness such as making a redundancy or introducing cutbacks for a department or work area. Alternatively, the manager may have fabulous influencing and communication skills but tends to make poor decisions which can often leave the business or department in a poor state or failing to take advantage of upcoming opportunities.
A manager who is effective at communicating and influencing will often have a likeable personality or manages to command respect through their presence and authority. Workers are more likely to respond positively to a manager who is friendly, approachable and likeable than they are to one who is rarely seen, bad tempered and criticises often without giving praise when it is due.
So whilst a manager does not necessarily need to be liked to be effective if they are still able to command respect or perhaps even instil a little fear into workers to perform well, they stand a far greater chance of getting the best out of their employees if they are liked and have a good professional relationship with workers. If they do, and this is combined with a manager who is also good at making appropriate decisions and has a vast array of skills learnt on management training courses, then this equates to a truly first-class manager.