It’s often difficult to assess yourself, especially if you’re in a leadership position over others at work. At my job, I manage six individuals, who in turn lead their own unique and diverse teams. With over 15 years in my current profession, I have found what works to motivate my subordinates to routinely perform at high levels. My experiences with both good and bad bosses over the years have shaped my overall philosophy and transformed me into a better manager. Here are three practices that I follow which have made me a successful boss.
Provide Clear Guidance
To accomplish any task at work, I want to make sure my team understands exactly what is expected out of them. Crystal-clear guidance is the first priority. I’ve known other bosses who are usually vague with their requests and end up frustrated when their subordinates deliver the wrong product. I avoid this by explaining in detail the requirements to make sure everyone understands my vision. If there are questions, I’m always available to make sure they’re on the right track. In addition, I set realistic deadlines with intermittent goals so nothing gets lost in the process.
There’s always more than one way to accomplish any task. Sure, there’s my way, but I’m not looking to cultivate carbon copies of myself. I actively encourage my subordinates to pursue their own unique means of achieving success. I’m often pleasantly surprised at their ingenuity and sometimes even adopt the process if it proves more efficient. Using a worker’s idea to enhance productivity is a great complement and morale booster–just make sure they get the credit! As a good boss, I never want to stifle the creativity of my team members.
Know Your People
To be a good boss, I’ve got to know my workers. Although I always want to maintain a professional relationship on the job, people respond better when I treat them like human beings. I regularly engage my team with normal discussion to ask about hobbies, interests, or other similar topics. One member of my team loves competing in half marathons, so I frequently inquire about his training plan or the next race. Reaching out on a personal level strengthens bonds between boss and subordinate and creates a more positive work environment for everyone.
Be a Better Boss
I believe that providing the proper guidance, promoting creativity, and understanding your work force are key foundations to being a good boss. I have practiced these methods for some time and my team has responded positively to my leadership and guidance. If you’ve just received a promotion that places you in charge of others, or have been a boss for several years already and want to tweak your style, I’d recommend trying out these ideas. Good luck!
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