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How to be a good manager

As David Hanrahan, Zendesk's VP of People Operations, says "Being a good manager is really f*cking hard." To help make it a bit easier, he's written a guide that's full of advice and best practices called Manager Playbook: The essential guide to being a good manager (click the link below to download it).

David and many Zendesk managers spent a lot of time discussing what it means to be a good manager, looking inwardly at the practices that work best for them, but also looking outwardly at some of the best practices cited in articles and research. The culmination of that is this guide, and in it David explores these 6 essential competencies:

  • Communication, Trust & Respect

  • Direction Setting, Prioritization & Decision Making

  • Motivating & Recognizing

  • Conflict Management, Feedback & Developing

  • Hiring, Onboarding & Diversity

  • Change Management & Removing Roadblocks

We've made it available to download here on Relate in it's entirety. While the tone is very Zendeskian, we hope you'll find it applicable and helpful in your setting as well.

Download the guide, give it a read, and if you've got some advice you'd like to add, drop us a comment below. Also, don't hesitate to share any feedback on this directly with David Hanrahan (


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