Being a good boss is not rocket science, my friends, it is merely a spin on common courtesy. There is no trick to it and is really quite easily accomplished if you follow these two simple rules:
1: Don’t be bossy.
2: Treat the members of your crew the way that you would have your boss treat you.
I think the skills of my being considered a good boss can be attributed to my upbringing — yes, I owe it all to my parents. There, I said it. But, seriously, I was raised in a time when it was proper etiquette to treat others the way you would want to be treated, so much so that that behavior was expected from us by those around us. Being raised in that type of environment, a person cannot help but to have those same sentiments overflow into their work life.
Many of my younger years were spent toiling in an office cubicle, behind a customer service counter, or setting up displays in stores all at the mercy of the people I called ”boss.” I had some really nasty bosses, yet I was blessed with some really awesome ones as well. It is the impact of those awesome bosses that really stuck with me and that I learned a great deal from when it was time for me to have my moment in the sun as a boss.
We were working for a large merchandising company doing major store resets when we were asked to take our very first crew lead positions. I was terrified. I really wanted to do a good job but was afraid that I couldn’t be a good boss and still maintain a good rapport with my crew members. After struggling with the fears I drew on some of the memories I had of the really great bosses that I had had over the years, I worked to show my crew members that same respect and courtesies that those bosses had shown to me. My husband seemed to be a natural at it.
It was like magic. That was the key. Treat your workers with respect, humanize them, value their work, and should they stumble or have difficulties with a project guide them with your own experience rather than yelling at them or belittling them. We must have been doing something right as we remained crew leads with the company until we both retired in 2009. It was an awesome run!
Keep in mind always that these are human beings with feelings and dreams just like yourself. Make them feel as though they matter and are important to the overall outcome of the project and they will reward you ten times over with their loyalty and desire to improve the outcome.
Never put yourself over them in a snotty or overly bossy way. If you have to answer to your boss for something that is a direct result of their work, talk to your workers. Explain to them that you have someone that you answer to as well and that you rely on them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Explain to them that you are all partners in the process that brings the finished goods together and none of you can do your jobs without the input of the other.
Make yourself human in their eyes and you will see their respect for you and your position grow. Make it personal. But be considerate. Remember, they are human, too. A mean and hateful boss is the last thing anyone wants to work for, and you will only have angry bitter workers should you act in such a way.