If you have googled ‘how to be a better boss’ and come across my article, then firstly I applaud you for taking the initiative and asking the question, because guess what, it means you actually care and you’re heading in the right direction.
These little snippets are based on my experience of working with good and bad bosses, some of the traits of each reflected in some tips here.
1. Know your team
Firstly, understand the people who work for you, like, really know them and how they tick. What motivates them? How should you communicate to them? What’s their worst nightmare scenario? If you can get to know your people on a deeper level, you can give them everything they need to excel and thrive.
2. Be consistent
Be consistent in how you treat people. People like to know where they stand with you. If one minute you’re blowing hot and the next you’re blowing cold, people start walking on egg shells and that’s not a comfortable place for anyone to be.
3. If you say you are going to do something, do it.
You’re trying to build trust with your team. They need to trust you to as much as you need to trust them but if you’re constantly letting them down, they are going to stop taking notice of what you say and become disheartened and less productive.
4. Give your team opportunities
Let them figure stuff out for themselves. Don’t feed everything to them. People thrive when they’ve overcome a problem. If your team is varied in terms of skill and ability, rather than neglect the weaker ones, ask yourself how you can help them narrow the gap.
5. Truly value their opinion
Don’t pay lip service to this one. Sometimes bosses can be guilty of not really taking opinions on board, they ask for help just to make their team feel included but then go ahead and do what they want to anyway. Genuinely ask for help, genuinely listen to the opinions and tread carefully with your response. You can either switch them off and they’ll never want to help you again, or, they’ll get a massive kick out of helping you. Which one do you think is best?
6. Make time for the social niceties
Extremely important with the remote workers, it can be easy to be work heavy, you have a job to do and you’re on a mission to do it. I get it, but try and leave a bit of time for the social niceties either at the beginning or end of your conversation.
People are so much more than their jobs and most of them love to talk about themselves and what they do. You might be surprised by their hidden talents plus it’s all part of really getting to know them.
Vanilla Ice was a very wise guy, because NOT listening is one of the biggest causes of misunderstandings in the workplace. Active listening not only reduces these, but it helps you to build empathy and trust with your team.
So stop, collaborate and listen
8. Be a decent human being.
Nothing of what I have said here is rocket science, people just need the occasional reminder, but fundamentally, if you’re a decent human being and treat people with respect, you should have no problem getting your team onside. If you’ve read this far, I already think you’re winning!