5 Tips to Being a Great Boss
Updated: Oct 8, 2019
Ask around, and you’ll find that people who like their “boss” are unfortunately few and far between. That lack of rapport is really a shame, because the team that works under an effective boss can really produce great results.
1. Be a Leader, Not a Boss
“Boss” has a bad connotation of discipline, under-appreciation, and in extreme cases, wanton firing. A leader on the other hand, has positive connotations of inspiration, fairness, and trust. Your self-perception matters. Would you rather be a stern principal, sending employees to detention, or the captain of a ship sailing into battle, inspiring your crew to victory?
2. Leverage Positive Feedback
Get away from emphasizing negative feedback, especially publically, and consider tactful ways to deliver necessary reprimands. Instead, praise employees for their successes. Employees leave jobs because they feel underappreciated, while increased productivity has been linked to positive feedback, so leverage that positivity by attaching an “employee-fulfilling prophecy,” such as “you had great numbers last quarter, and I know you’re going to surpass that this quarter.”
This may seem pretty basic, but it really does go a long way. Employees may already feel like you control their livelihood, and everything else attached to that. You’d be surprised to learn that approaching them with a sour countenance can really get them worried, and set a bad tone to the day. Instead, smile and be happy. Consider bringing treats to the office once a week, like lunch or doughnuts. Another great side effect of this behavior is that you’ll strangely start to feel great as well.
4. Build Trust
As a boss, you have a lot of things going on, and it’s easy to get distracted. Don’t lose track of conversations you’ve had with your employees, even about topics outside of work. They’ll be flattered you remembered their favorite food, or care about their family. Be fair, be honest, and avoid gossiping about other people. Take employee feedback seriously, and trust your employees. They will trust you in return, because trust is a two way street.
The workplace can seem like an eight hour (or more) daily grind for most people, which can quickly degenerate into a very un-inspirational routine, but you can provide inspiration in larger and smaller contexts. Allow employees to share in your business vision. Book volunteer days and encourage staff members to participate. Send out daily inspirational quotes. Above all, be passionate about what your company is doing, because enthusiasm is contagious.