Self-Assessment: The Habits Of Good Management

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Great managers combine an aptitude for leading people with a genuine interest in doing it extremely well.They learn from experience, never making the same mistake twice.In the hubbub of daily business life, we find that it’s easy to back-burner your personal development as a manager.

To help you refocus and prioritize, we created a free assessment tool, “The Habits Of Good Management.”

Below you’ll find instructions, the assessment tool (including a PDF of a blank form for your use), and a scoring guide.


1) Complete the self-assessment and calculate your scores.

2) Explain to your team that you’d like their anonymous feedback to help you do a better job.

3) Put a BLANK unscored copy of the assessment on employee desks or in their mailboxes.

Click here to get a PDF of the blank form to use with your team.

4) Designate a dropoff point that is out of your line of sight. Do NOT ask them to put their names on the forms.

5) Set a due date within 7 days by which they should return the assessments.

6) Recalculate your scores using the assessments your staff completed.

7) Analyze your scores:

First, identify the management habits where your view of your behavior differs significantly from their view of your behavior.

Next, identify the habits where you and your team agree you could do better.

Last, identify the habits where you and your team agree that your performance is strongest.

Use the scoring guide to create a personal development plan for the areas where your staff feels you fall short. Remember to maintain the habits that you do well.

The Habits Of Good Management


Management Habit

Strongly Disagree



Neither agree nor disagree

Somewhat Agree



1 I make decisions promptly, without delays that negatively affect others and their work.
2 My “office manners” are courteous and respectful of everyone, regardless of position or the mood I’m in.
3 My team members feel that I treat everyone fairly and balance their work equitably.
4 I work effectively with difficult people or situations, rather than avoiding them.
5 I ask questions when I don’t know something, rather than pretending to know it.
6 I tell the truth to my coworkers.  If I can’t share information, I say that I can’t talk about that topic right now rather than lying about it.
7 I keep sarcastic, angry, negative or “snarky” thoughts to myself.
8 I hold my tongue when I’m angry.
9 I share information quickly and broadly.  For example, I brief my team within 1-2 days after staff meetings with my boss or other managers.
10 I offer specific praise.  Rather than simply saying “Great job”, I might say something like “Great job of updating the charts for each client
11 I work on improving my faults, rather than treating them as virtues. For example, if I always ran late, I would work on my time management rather than just laughing and saying “Oh, I always run late!” 
12 I share power and responsibility by knowing my team’s strengths and giving them room to operate independently.
13 I know my weaknesses in business.  I know exactly who on my team is strong in those areas, and I draw on their skills.
14 My words match my actions.  For example, if I’ve talked about the importance of deadlines, I don’t keep rescheduling performance reviews or one-on-one meetings.
15 I provide negative feedback within 1-2 days, rather than waiting weeks or months.

Sub-total each individual column:

Total Score:


Add all four  sub-totals together

Scoring Guide
30 or lower

Your poor management habits are probably increasing staff turnover and frustrating and demoralizing your team.


Are you new to management, or in a new position where you feel overwhelmed?  If so, prioritize the three habits rated lowest by your staff and develop specific plans to improve your skills in these areas.  If you’re an experienced manager, consider whether this role is a good fit for you.  Are you burned out in this job or at this company?



Other points to consider: Is this position a poor match for your interests and capabilities? Do you really want to manage and lead people or would you be happier as an individual contributor?



In our experience, management training cannot substitute for a complete lack of interest or aptitude.

31 – 45 A score in this range suggests that your management habits are generally inconsistent.  A few key habits are certainly deficient.  It also often indicates a team that is extremely disengaged from the company – simply showing up for work and going through the motions.  Improving these habits is an almost certain way to reengage your team.
46 – 59 Your management habits are moderately effective.  You’ll probably notice in the scores from your team that you do extremely well on some habits.  On others, they probably view you as inconsistent (“neither agree nor disagree” or deficient in certain areas (“disagree” or “strongly disagree” ratingsPrioritize the habits which will strengthen your team’s overall effectiveness and develop plans to improve these habits while maintaining your good habits.
60 – 70 Excellent management and leadership habits.  You’re setting the right tone and doing the right things to make your team successful.  Don’t pat yourself on the back yet, though.  Excellent managers continue to learn and improve.  Look for opportunities to further strengthen the habits you do best, and work to improve the habits which received lower scores. 
71 or greater If your team is high-performing and has low turnover and a high level of employee satisfaction, this score is a real testimonial to your effectiveness as a manager.  However, few managers consistently perform all of these habits at such a high level.  A score this high is therefore often a red flag rather than a compliment.  A strong possibility exists that your team did not take your feedback request seriously, or is afraid to give you honest feedback.