Thursday, March 29, 2012


You're the boss. Sounds like fun, but it's not (and can be very difficult) when you’re a boss who is not respected, ineffective at managing staff, or is even actively disliked. How do you get your staff to be the best thing that ever happened to you? By being the best boss that ever happened to them.

Whether you manage smaller, more casual setting or a big corporate environment the following tips will set you straight on how to be a good (or at least a better) boss.

·      Management Succeeds Because of the Workers:  Just because you're in charge doesn't mean you deserve all the credit for the work being done. Your staff is responsible for the bulk of the work. You are leading them and motivating them, but at the end of a project it is your staff that put together the details that made it successful.  Make sure to give them credit for that.  The boss who presents a project to clients or management taking all the accolades for his or herself without acknowledging the staff that worked on it is not fair minded.  The opposite is also true.  Have you ever been in a situation where mistakes were made and your boss points to the team and says it was their entire fault, not mine?  If you are the boss and a leader you have to be there for the good…and the bad.

·      Delegate Responsibility and then Trust Your Staff: Micro-managers are never appreciated. Once you've trained someone to handle a task, allow them to do it without interference. Different people have different approaches, and someone else's way of doing something may be just as efficient as the way you would do it. Before you step in and force your way on anyone, give an honest evaluation to the method, and if you find it works just as well, even if it's different from yours, let it be. Constantly correcting your staff undercuts their confidence and does not allow them to exercise their own style.

·      Know Your Employees And You’ll Know Your Strength: Watch your staff, get to know them as individuals and understand what motivates them.   Know their strengths and weaknesses.  Doing your best to understand them allows you to enhance, adjust and align their motives with your goals. The cream always rises to the top, and it's your job to figure out which employees do what is ‘required’ in their jobs, and which employees do ‘all they can do’ in their jobs. There is a huge distinction.

·      Don’t Be Threatened By An Employee Who Does A Good Job: The truth is, the best boss trusts his or her staff and appreciates that they can be relied on.  If you are threatened by your staff you really have to look at yourself and figure out why.

·      Empower Your Staff To Make Decisions…Don’t Second-Guess Them:  If you've done a good job of training your staff, then you must believe they are doing their best to act in your (and the company's) best interest. Even if they make a wrong decision, or handle a situation in a way you would not have, don't second guess or berate them. Instead, use it as yet another training opportunity. Hear out their reasons for their action - most of the time, when taken in context, there was a logical basis for what they decided to do.

·      Allow Them To Work Out Issues Without Your Intervention: Sometimes one or more of your staff may experience friction with others. If they come tattling on one another, listen to them carefully and encourage that they work it out with the other person. If someone is not fulfilling his or her own responsibilities or is mistreating another employee, you'll need to step in and resolve the conflict. But if you're satisfied it's only an issue of competition or a simple personality clash, urge them to settle it between themselves. Don't interfere unless they bicker in front of customers. Put a stop to anything like that instantly.

·      Listen To Your Staff: Any boss who is terribly busy totally understands the statement,  "I don't need all the details. Bottom line it for me."  You don't have to be so blunt that you insult or disrespect the work that was done.  Get to the bottom line, but set up another meeting where you can give the staff your undivided attention and listen to all the details and effort that went into the successful completion of the project.

·       Don’t Discipline Your Staff In Front Of Others:  When issues come up discuss them with your staff and listen to them in private.  Don’t react without understanding.  Yelling at and insulting staff, especially in front of their co-workers, is inappropriate and negatively effects the work environment and the attitudes of all staff.  Meet with problem staff individually and try to understand their issues.  Help them come up with a plan to correct the issues.  Make them feel that you are there to help…not berate …them.

·      Tell Staff How Much You Appreciate Them:  Never hesitate to pat your employees on the back, Compliment them and always thank them for their excellent service.  Letting customers know how much you value your employees actually gives them more faith in the services your business provides. When your staff feel valued and appreciated, their job means more to them than simply a paycheck. When your customers know that you, as the manager think highly of your staff, they feel confident that they're in good hands.  A simple thank you makes for a happy employee and a satisfied customer.

·      Show Your Appreciation: They go the extra mile for you so do something nice for them.  A staff luncheon, an afternoon snack…even a dress down Friday shows the staff that you really appreciate them.

·      Be An Effective Listener:  Your employees deserve to be heard when they have concerns. Allow them to finish talking before you speak; do not assume that you know what they are going to tell you before they finish talking; do not form objections in your mind while they are talking. Instead try to be fully engaged while they are talking without making it about your rebuttal. Acknowledge their points, which does not mean that you agree, but does mean that you understand their concerns. Repeat their points in your own words to confirm, if necessary, that you understand what they said.   You may not need to take any action, but hearing them out is important to their sense of empowerment and significance. Often, simply saying, "I appreciate your telling me this" is all that's needed to make them feel they were heard.

Always remember that as a boss you are only as good as your staff.  When they feel appreciated and respected by you, they are going to work harder and do a better job.


1 comment:

  1. I am preparing a course on language learning and I would love to include this text as part of a reading comprehension activity. I wondered if you'd mind. I don't see any reference to the LTU and I prefer to ask you beforehand. Thanks in advance! ;)