Advice for Household Managers: Characteristics of an Effective Team Leader

Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Advice for Household Managers: Characteristics of an Effective Team Leader

Household manager from Staffing at Tiffanie's directing other household staff

Household Managers must possess and employ a range of skills in order to effectively lead the teams of domestic staff they manage. Acquiring these characteristics will help improve the leadership you may already offer in home-based team management and provide a solid foundation for your next placement.

The Ability to Adapt

Now more than ever, a Household Manager needs to be adaptable to stay competitive in the industry. Yet a Household Manager’s ability to adapt also extends to their role. This particular position requires an ability to not only change direction when needed, but also a willingness to consider and adopt the perspectives and ideas of your team.

Your adaptability skills will also be very useful when you don’t have sufficient or clear direction from your Principal.


In order to get the most from your team, you must be willing to be transparent with them. Let them know how they are doing in their roles and what is happening with their workplace. A big part of being transparent is being authentic and showing your vulnerability.

The House Manager role demands the ability to be direct and honest, even in the face of difficult circumstances. This will help you to build trust with your team and inspire them to engage with you more frequently.

Effective Communication

Communication skills are just as fundamental to possess as adaptability. It’s important to remember that communication is a two-way street; great team leaders know that it is just as vital to be clear when communicating as it is to listen actively to communication from their team members. Active listening means being present and listening to understand.

Communicating effectively also means the sharing and receiving of important information with your Principal. This skill will ensure that no matter who you are interacting with in the House Manager role, everyone will understand.

Emotional Management and Understanding

Your role as a Household Manager will most certainly require you to possess and exercise emotional intelligence every day. However, you may wonder what this term means. Simply put, emotional intelligence describes several skills.

Your ability to manage your own emotions in times of stress, uncertainty, and frustration is of utmost importance and an asset in this role. The ability to build and nurture relationships with members of your team and understand the emotions they are experiencing is the other aspect of emotional intelligence that you are demonstrating daily in your role as Household Manager.

Making Informed Decisions

Another fundamental characteristic of an effective leader is decision-making. This is especially true for House Managers, who must be able to make multiple decisions every day. Each decision you make as a House Manager will impact everyone you lead, as well as your Principal.

You must be able to consider all aspects of the situation and make even the most difficult decisions with efficiency, even when you have not been given sufficient information and the stakes are high.

Delegating Tasks

Household manager delegating tasks

Good leaders are not only able to delegate tasks to their teams; they are also comfortable doing so. Delegation is a cornerstone of the House Manager role and allows your team to run efficiently.

Solving Problems

When you’re managing so many people and situations, problems are bound to arise—but your ability to meet these challenges is what will identify you as an effective leader.

In order to problem-solve effectively, you will have to think critically. This will help you choose the direction that is best for all involved. Great leaders not only know how to solve problems when they arise, but are also able to look ahead, identify, and take preventive action against potential problems before they can become significant.

Supporting Your Team

Effective leadership has a lot to do with team management. In order to excel at what you do, you have to become your team’s cheerleader. Be willing to take the time to listen and help them achieve their goals.

How to Obtain These Characteristics

The qualities of a team leader do not appear overnight; they must be acquired, practiced on a regular basis, and developed over the long term.

Learn from Others

Acquiring these characteristics is possible when you seek out and learn from those who are leading teams, whether as House Managers, Estate Managers or Director of Residences.

A mentor or coach can be of great value, both if you are currently working as a House Manager or are aspiring to become one. Formal training is another option that can help you learn and adopt the skills and characteristics necessary to excel in the House Manager role.

Conduct Research and Learn

Household manager from Staffing at Tiffanie's

Reading and learning about leadership trends will keep you up to date and also help you develop the lifelong learning skills that effective leaders possess. Taking leadership courses will teach you how to develop your skills.

If you’re looking to become a House Manager in the near future, look to see what’s available in your current employment role to learn leadership skills. This will require you to travel outside your comfort zone—something that House Managers are used to doing.

Good Team Leaders

The best team leaders possess a set of important characteristics. If you are a skilled Household Manager seeking your next placement, consider applying with Staffing at Tiffanie’s. Our proven process has allowed us to place the best Household Managers with Principals for 26 years. Visit our hiring page today to learn more and apply.