Since we recently celebrated National Bosses Day on October 16, I began reflecting on the various professionals I have reported to over the years in terms of how they managed the team, handled problems and dealt with day-to-day operations. Thankfully, I have had some wonderful supervisors who have been positive role models and challenged me to be a leader, as well as improved my time management, communication skills, conflict resolution and overall attitude.
Taking the best of the best, here is my list of what it takes to be an excellent boss:
- Multi-task – Being able to handle and reprioritize what needs to get done is an essential skill.
- Be fair/consistent – Don’t let your personal feelings affect your professional decisions. Be fair and consistent with your interactions.
- Delegate appropriately – Delegating is important, not only to make sure that your workload is manageable, but also to show that you trust your team to get the job done.
- Place others before yourself – Good bosses are not only leaders, but also servants. They realize it is more important to create a feeling of togetherness instead of a fragmented environment.
- Compassionate feedback – Having to provide negative feedback when there is conflict or to an employee who has done something incorrect is a necessary evil. Make sure to tell your staff members what they’ve done right as well, not just what they’ve done wrong.
- Let it go – There will always be people who have an issue with you simply because you’re the boss. Stay focused on the positive.
- Be respectful – The Golden Rule says treat others as you would want to be treated. It is as simple as that.
- Ask for feedback – Show you truly care about your employees’ opinions. Also, whenever possible, implement suggestions that make sense and give credit to those involved.
- Communicate – Regular communication ensures that everyone is fully aware of communal goals, as well as encourages individuals to reach their highest potential.
- Problem-solve – When there are issues, positive leaders roll up their sleeves and dive into problem-solving mode.
- Be appreciative – Don’t be afraid to compliment someone for a job well done. This goes a long way towards productivity, attitude and loyalty.
- Enable work-life balance – Work-life balance is critical to effective management. Show you care by occasionally allowing exceptions to someone’s schedule.
- Be positive and have fun – Keep a positive attitude and add some fun activities to the daily grind. This will encourage employees to work harder and more productively. People want to feel good about coming into work and this, in turn, improves loyalty.
Studies have shown that the primary reason people stay or leave a company is due to their direct boss, so the question is this – do you want to work in a culture that’s positive, respectful and fulfilling? If so, follow the guidelines above to reach this goal, keeping in mind that we are all continually striving to be better.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any personal stories you are willing to share? Please feel free to ask questions or share your experiences below.
- Leadership and 10 Great Leaders from History
- What Makes a Great Boss?
- Webcast: 15 Qualities of Success
Jeremy S. joined Empathia in 2007 as Manager, Client Care Services and currently serves as Account Manager/Sales Consultant. He is also a certified wellness and tobacco cessation coach. Jeremy has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Organizational Development. Prior to joining Empathia, he spent 14 years in the EAP industry in a variety of managerial/leadership roles at another behavioral healthcare organization. Jeremy enjoys reading, photography, music and spending time with his wife and daughters.