How to be a good boss if you aren't one already
How to be a good boss?
Ideal boss, good boss are phrases that are rarely heard. It would seem as if good bosses are an extinct race. On the other hand, I wonder if all bosses are maligned by people who are averse to authority? If such is the adverse atmosphere in which a boss has to work, is it possible to be a good boss? What makes a boss a good boss? What do employees expect from a good boss? It is tough to be on top, it is somewhat lonely out there with all the employees below ganging up against you or bitching about you. Being a boss is not easy especially when your title has a negative connotation to it. It appears that a boss assesses his workforce once a year, while he/she is on trial each day of the year. How to be a good boss - when everything you do could be turned against you? I believe anyone can be a good boss and have a great relationship with his subordinates with a little understanding and fine-tuning of his soft skills.
15 great tips to become a good boss
Be a boss, not a manager. A manager is one who just manages things around the place, but a boss is one who says ‘the buck stops here’ and takes full responsibility for his actions and those of the people who report to him. As a capable boss, take responsibility for the action of your subordinates because they work under your directions. If you come up with excuses that you are unaware of the action of your subordinates, you own up to the fact that you have no control or the authority that comes with this position. Being a boss also means that you lead and direct the team or the department in a goal-oriented manner.
Give credit where it is due. One of the major complaints against bosses is that he/she takes credit for the ideas and work of his/her team members. A good boss not only gives credit where it is due but also uses this opportunity to motivate others to perform well. Be quick to praise and slow to upbraid. Be ready to give people the benefit of doubt, and believe that things could go out of control, despite their best attempts, even for his employees.
Mentor people. A good boss not only uses his authority to command and get work done out of people or to enforce discipline but uses his position, standing and power to mentor juniors and develop their skills. Mentoring is a great way of keeping abreast of the latest changes in the field. It is not doing someone a favour. As a boss you could be caught up in the day to day affairs of managing, it is possible to have lost touch with what is happening, the latest technology and the latest developments in the field. Mentoring is the best way to get hands on and be the best boss around. Mentoring is a great way of grooming people for future responsibilities.
Get into the finer details. Just giving the orders won’t do. Getting your hands dirty and getting into the nitty-gritty sends a clear message to your team that you are perfectly capable of doing what you expect them to do. It stops people from fooling around and giving you below par work.
Lead by example. When you lead by example, people know that they will be judged by the same standards. Leading by example helps others to learn some of the important skills from you, especially in the area of man management. Be a person of integrity and stand up for your values. This sets the standards for the whole department and the lines become very clear and distinct. Your employees know what to expect from you. This way, you always inspire respect and admiration from your team. This would take you a long way in becoming a good boss.
Don’t blame people. Blaming has never been known to have solved any problem. Help people to find a way out of their messes. Train them to think creatively and find ways of working through their problems. A good boss shows his people that it is okay to make mistakes but it is more important to learn from them. This will ensure that you have an efficient team of people who are pro-active and innovative.
Delegate. It is very important to delegate work to people and clearly assign them responsibilities. When you delegate work, also ensure that you delegate authority to them. Most bosses delegate work, but keep the authority with themselves and interfere with the tasks of their sub-ordinates. Delegation is the best way to groom people for higher responsibilities. Being a good boss is letting people take up responsibilities and prove themselves.
Define roles and responsibilities clearly. Set specific goals and clearly outline your expectations. Very often, problems arise at work because roles, responsibilities, goals and expectations are never clearly defined, clarified and/or communicated. When people have to assume and presume things, especially in these areas, they get into problems with their peers and their boss. Team members also tend to get de-motivated as they lack direction and their efforts seem to go to waste. A good boss ties up all these things together.
Be fair in your dealings. This is an important way in which you can be a good boss, when you are fair in your dealings with the whole team. Transparency in dealings and fairness in the rewarding and punishment systems sends out clear messages to everyone. Being a good boss is also being a neutral player in the team.
Be a team person. A good boss always has the organisational goals, team goals and personal goals of the team members in focus. All your actions and decisions need to be geared toward the betterment of organisation, team and the individuals in his group. Be the link that binds your team together, always encourage team work and discourage tattle tales. Being a good or a bad boss depends heavily upon how effectively you make use of your conflict resolution skills.
Be aware. Be aware of what is happening in your jurisdiction. A bad boss is the last to know of any problems that arise at the workplace. This helps you to be proactive and take charge of situations. A good boss has his/her own grape wine, but relies on good judgement before accepting any information.
Motivate and bring out the best in your people. A good boss always inspires and motivates his people to give their best. The time spent in motivating people is often time well spent, as it adds to your success.
Recognize that you need your team as much as they need you. Your power and authority comes from the people whom you manage. You need them because all your work and accomplishment is based on their performance.
A good boss does not feel threatened by the skills of his sub-ordinates. He should be able to see his teams skills as complimenting his own and not as competition. A bad boss is in competition with his own employees, which means bad news for his team and team collaboration.
Treating everyone with respect and not letting power go to your head is a very important quality of a good boss or manager. Power that you have, comes because of your subordinates. It is good to keep a professional relationship, but it is more important to be a person / a human whom your team can relate to. Using humour to have an easy relationship could help. Managing relationship is the best part of being the good boss.
To be a good boss you just have to be human enough while still being a boss. Being a good boss is never a hard task, you simply need to fine tune your skills and blend in with your team. Here is to being the best boss ever.