Plain and simple: It just isn’t easy being the boss- too many people to please, and too little time. Ok, now that I’ve acknowledged that, let’s cut to the chase. Accept that you are in a challenging role, and take some steps to be the best boss that you can possibly be in 2014. I’m here to help you. I’ve summed up 20 tips below that will make your employees smile, and your company take note.
1. Save the whine for happy hour. In a leadership role, you should stay positive and refrain from the need to win – and rub it in- in all situations at the workplace. When you succeed or do something great, people will know it.
2. Be cautious with your two cents. Sometimes, it’s important for you to chime in to correct an employee or steer him/her in the right direction, but refrain from overwhelming adding your own two cents to every discussion.
3. Be judge-free. Your own standards might be great, but they are likely not the same as everyone else. Be sure to keep judgment out of the workplace and catch yourself when you might be imposing your standards on others.
4. Mind your comments. Being witty is fun, but sometimes it is misinterpreted. Maintain your sense of humor, but be cautious about needless sarcasm and cutting remarks out of office conversation.
5. Save “no,” “but” or “however.” The overuse of these negative qualifiers, which secretly convey to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong,” can be destructive and bring people down. Make sure you qualify what people say, not disqualify it with these negatives.
6. Telling the world how smart we are. The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are.
7. Speaking when angry. Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
8. Keep it positive. Have you ever said: “Let me explain why that won’t work.” If you’re guilty, it’s ok, just think twice next time when you are tempted to share negative thoughts that could put someone down.
9. There’s no “I” in team. Sharing is caring. Don’t hold back information to gain a competitive advantage over others.
10. Give a gold star. Everyone loves recognition. It’s a great motivator. Praise and reward those who deserve it.
11. Don’t steal their thunder. Don’t claim credit where credit is not due by overestimating your contribution. Give proper credit and reward when deserving.
12. Own up. Refrain from using repetitive excuses and blaming others for things. Own up to your responsibilities and be self deprecating every once in awhile. Employees will relate to you. After all, no one is perfect.
13. Release the past. Don’t hold on to, or blame past events for current circumstances. Release the past and take action in the moment to achieve your goals. Get your employees on board with this, too.
14. All are equal. Try really hard not to pick favorites in the office. Give every employee a fair shot.
15. Express yourself. Learn from your mistakes and share them with your employees. Don’t suffer from the inability to take responsibility for your actions. Admit when you’re wrong or recognize how your actions may affect others.
16. Put on your listening ears. Well, there really isn’t any other kind, so use your ears as they are intended. Actively listen to people as they are speaking to you. Pay attention to not only what they are saying, but also how they are saying it. There is a lot being communicated, and you will always have a more informed response after attending to all of these informational cues.
17. Say “thank you.” The most basic form of manners and respect is always appreciated. Extend thanks when and where appropriate. Always be grateful for employees and their work.
18. Mind your messengers. Don’t kill the messenger; or, at least don’t take out misguided emotions on him/her. Most messengers are just delivering information, not in charge of creating it, so be mindful of how you treat your messengers.
19. Keep the buck. Don’t pass the buck or blame others.
20. It’s all about “me.” An organization, at its core, is about a team of people working together for a shared goal. Keep this in mind with all for your actions and communication with employees. They will model your behavior, so be a good role model for how you want employees to think, work, and act in the workplace. Embrace faults and work towards fixing them.
If you notice some tips on which need working, you can facilitate on-the-job change by asking for help from a select group of peers. Here are some additional guidelines to help through this process to be the best boss that you can be.
1. Get good information about what needs to change. A 360-degree feedback assessment is usually an effective means of determining how others perceive you. A qualified, experienced executive coach can help you obtain accurate feedback from your peers, bosses and direct reports.
2. Once you’ve identified a bad habit you would like to change, work with your coach to implement a plan of action. Get involved with a small group of colleagues with whom you can work to make improvements.
3. Apologize to people for your behavior, ask them to let go of the past, and tell them you are going to stop engaging in the bad habit. Ask them to let you know how you are doing, and when you fail or succeed.
4. Listen to others’ input, and thank them for helping you. Arrange follow-ups with them after a predetermined time interval.
- Based on these 20 tips, how many do you currently practice in the office?
- Is there a behavior that you could work on, or change to be a better boss?
- Who could help you change your behavior, and what’s your plan of action?