How to Be a Good Boss

How to Be a Good Boss

You’re the boss. Congrats. However, it can be very difficult being a boss who is not respected, ineffective at managing staff, or even actively disliked. How do you get your staff to be the best thing that ever happened to you? The answer is intuitive: by being the best boss that ever happened to them. This article is intended to be helpful in a smaller, more casual setting. Although the tips could be helpful to a person in a larger, more formal executive setting, some would not be appropriate in those settings. But if you’re someone who is pretty much the ultimate authority in his or her company or store (a small business owner or a general manager (GM) for a retail store, for example), there are a few guidelines you should follow to be the best possible boss. Developing trust and conveying appreciation to your employees, for example, might be all it takes to become the best boss you can be.


1. Realize that management succeeds via the efforts of the workers. 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 as they get it done to be sure all regulations are complied with, etc.,.


2. Delegate responsibility and then trust your people. Micro-managers are never appreciated and shows disrespect toward the team member. Once you’ve trained someone to handle a task, allow him or her to handle 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 people undercuts their confidence and does not allow them to exercise their own style.


3. Know your employees to know your strength. Watch your staff; get to know them as individuals. Understand their motives: Whatever that is, do your best to understand. That 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 employees do all they can in their jobs. There is a huge distinction.


4. Most bad bosses are under the (mistaken) impression there is something threatening about this, because the bad boss thinks that she or he is the only one who can perform a given function. The truth is, the best boss trusts that his or her staff can be utterly relied upon.


5. Empower your staff to Make Decisions, and don’t second-guess them. If you’ve done a good job of training your people to be your proxies, then you must believe they are doing their best to act in your (and your 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.


6. Help them learn 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 to you, Listen to them carefully. If someone is not fulfilling his own responsibilities or is mistreating another employee, you’ll need to step in and Resolve a Conflict at Work. But if you’re satisfied it’s only an issue of competition or a simple personality clash, urge them to settle it between themselves.

  • Talk to the other person, and upon verifying that it’s a personality issue, simply let them both know that they aren’t required to be friends, only to get along and get their work finished.
  • Tell them both you believe in their abilities to work and get along. Then leave them alone, but watch carefully. Don’t interfere unless they bicker in front of customers. Put a stop to anything like that instantly.


7. Deal with any problems quickly and directly. Any boss who is busy totally understands this concept: “I don’t need all the details. Bottom line it for me.” You don’t have to be so blunt that you crush people, and Be Honest Without Being Harsh is a big time saver, and frankly, appreciated in the end. When you see a problem, deal with it quickly and don’t nag your people about it later – let done be done. Try to elicit the agreement that whatever just happened was not acceptable. Remember that your goal is to promote productive behavior and retain the respect of your employee, NOT to antagonize your people, particularly in front of others. Here’s an example:

  • Boss: “Evan. I need you in the office for a moment.” (Say this in a neutral or pleasant tone. Don’t come out in front of customers or peers with your guns blazing, bellowing, “Evan, get in the office NOW.” This is between you and Evan.) Privately, once all prying eyes are away:
  • Boss: “Evan, the cell phone call. Is everything okay with your family?”
  • Evan: “Yes, it was just my dad wanting some help later…”
  • Boss: “Okay, I see. We’re all human, but when you’re out in the front office, you cannot take personal calls.”
  • Evan: “I know. I’m sorry. It’s just my dad doesn’t have many opportunities to talk to me…” (the actual problem or subject of the call is irrelevant)
  • Boss: “I understand; nevertheless – when you find you can’t end a personal call immediately, I’d like you to leave the front reception. When customers see you taking an obviously personal call instead of helping them, it looks bad for you and the business Our customer is always to have priority unless you have an emergency.
  • Evan: “Yeah… that was my mistake.”
  • Boss: “Alright. Glad you understand that. Ideally, I’d like you to let your phone go to voice mail when you’re at work, but at least leave the front office if you can’t end the call immediately,
  • And that’s it. Don’t belabour it, don’t nag him about it, just let him get on with his job. It isn’t necessary to cushion these discussions with compliments or flattery. Your employee should (A) know better than to take lengthy personal calls on the job and (B) be a grownup about discipline. You, as a Good Boss, should (A) stay cool – it’s a training opportunity, and (B) be kind and calm, but firm and clear in expressing your correction of the behavior and your expectation for the future. Excessive compliments and a constant attempt to “relate” to your staff’s personal issues are a waste of time, as are berating and belaboring lectures. Get to the point quickly – but without becoming strident or making a mountain out of a molehill.


8. Tell your staff how much you appreciate them – in front of customers if possible. Never hesitate to pat your employees on the back, Compliment staff, and thank them for their excellent service – if customers are there, letting them know how you value your people can go a long way toward the customers actually having 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, and it gives you more freedom to leave your customers in the very capable hands of your staff. See how this becomes a “win-win-win”? By lifting up your employee while your customer was watching, All you got something good from it – with zero downside.


9. Show your appreciation by doing things for them. They go the extra mile for you. You do something nice for them.


10. Learn to 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 do not mean that you agree, but does mean that you understand their concerns. Repeat their points in your own words to confirm, if necessary. 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.


11. Always say thanks to them for what they do at work.


12. Always say neat. People don’t hear it enough in everyday life.

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