Follow steps to become a better boss
In the world of bad management, styles differ: from the loud and radical CEO, who can never yell too loudly, to the timid middle manager, afraid of uttering a word of constructive criticism. Countless employees experience such leadership horrors in the biggest national corporations and in the smallest enterprises. No matter where the disgruntled employee works, the message remains the same: Behind every mean boss stands an unhappy and unproductive worker.
Improvement is necessary. Ask any company, “What makes the ‘perfect boss’?” and a multitude of answers will arise. While it is not reasonable for anyone to strive after a state of perfection, it is practical for managers to improve in areas they may be lacking. Many ways of improving management styles exist in order to increase productivity and garnish more respect.
Take time to personally reflect on your own management style, and use the following tips as a guide for improvement:
■ Learn to be professional, not childish. Be professional when criticizing employees. Be sure not to mix personal feelings with job performance when dealing with an employee. Offer constructive, positive criticism, with helpful suggestions. Realize that not every person will like the boss. Understand that it is OK not to be liked by everyone, but it is essential to be respected. There is no possible method by which you can please every one, and trying to will only create conflicts. Do not forget that you are the boss, and you achieve your current position with your knowledge and ability; not because you pleased everyone. Your employees must respect your position as the boss. Remember, the amount of respect you get is determined by how well you interact with your employees.
■ Have an open mind. Listen to what employees say and value their ideas and suggestions. Your faith in your employees’ abilities should be a high priority. Opening up to their suggestions not only increases their self-value, but also increases their interest in the business.
■ Let it go. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Not enough can be said about allocating proper tasks and responsibilities to the right workers. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Let your employees think for themselves. Guide them with ideas and direction, and then let them take over. Oversee their progress, but do not perch over them like a vulture waiting for the kill.
■ Encourage dialog and communication. Don’t treat your employees like children. Let them know what is going on in the company. Devise a communication system that keeps employees informed.
■ Do not fall asleep at the helm. Watch for problems. If your employees complain, listen. Don’t just brush them off. Watch for signals that indicate something is wrong. If everyone becomes quiet when you approach, or if there is decreased activity, these are two signs that things need attending to.