Learn From Bad Managers
Along with management training courses which give you good examples of how to manage effectively, a person can also learn a lot from existing managers who do not manage tasks or people quite so well. There is no definitive 'right way and wrong way' of managing, particularly as the task can often determine the most appropriate style of management, but there are some obvious ones which are talked about below.
Whilst the problem may be you or the particular job itself, if you do not feel happy at work there is a good chance that the manager has failed in one of their primary tasks of motivating those under their responsibility. A happy worker is a motivated and productive worker, so managers need to address any issues or concerns an employee has to see if there is a solution which can be put in place. Sometimes though it will not be the manager's fault. No matter how good the manager is, if the employee resents having to work (think teenager forced by their parents to work during the summer holidays!), or the task is a particularly unpleasant one, even the most inspirational of managers will find it hard to make a person love being there.
Another issue many managers struggle with is the art of delegation. This is easy to understand though, as the manager will be the one who gets the blame from senior management above them in the company hierarchy for not achieving objectives or making mistakes. However, it is important for managers to delegate, as it is highly unlikely that they can do everything by themselves; certainly not in the long-run as they will probably have a breakdown from stress and overwork.
A lack of delegation implies that the manager does not trust their workers to complete tasks to an acceptable standard. Similar to a lack of delegation, some managers may delegate tasks to those beneath them but then check everything they do. There is an extremely fine line between acceptably ensuring that workers are on the right track with what they are doing, and checking too much. Failing to supervise can not only mean workers go off at a tangent, but can also give the impression that the manager does not care and the employee's work is not important. But too much supervision can make the employee feel like the manager does not trust them, and may cause irritation and resentment, leading to a poor working atmosphere which may spread throughout the department. A good manager will find the perfect balance between the two, as well as maybe finding ways of surreptitiously checking on an employee's progress without the employee noticing!
So if you are a manager for the first time or even an existing one, don't forget to observe other managers and remember those you have worked for in the past to avoid repeating their mistakes.