Whether you are the CEO of a major corporation or a small business owner with a few employees, you face the daily challenges of leadership and responsibility. As the head of your business, your employees depend upon you for guidance, feedback and wisdom. Not all bosses are created equal. Some are more respected and admired than others. And some will go down as one of the most horrible bosses their employees have ever had. If you want to be considered one of the former, start with these seven things the most respected bosses do every day.
1) They delegate instead of micromanaging
Have you ever experienced your boss continuously nagging you by checking in on every facet of a project well ahead of a deadline? The most respected bosses know that micromanagement leads to discontent and discontent leads to disrespect. Micromanagement also cuts down on productivity because it takes up the boss’s time and interrupts employees’ work. When you delegate work to somebody, trust in their ability to complete the task at hand. You will earn the gratitude and respect of your team, and everyone is likely to get more done in the meantime.
2) They balance the boss/friend scale
Being respected and being liked are not the same thing but it is still important to strike a balance between being a boss and being a friend. A respected boss toes this important line every day, maintaining authority while still treating employees with kindness and humor. Certain professional relationships are bound to become friendships, since co-workers share in both the triumphs and the challenges of the workplace. The boss has to be a real person to his or her team and not an unapproachable personality. Nonetheless, a good boss knows how to draw a line to maintain professionalism.
3) They listen
Well respected bosses are great listeners. When employees feel heard, they have a greater sense of participation and workplace morale is higher. People doing the hands-on work of an organization can frequently see problems from perspectives that elude managers, so there is great value to listening carefully to employees’ concerns when they come up. Many people believe that authority is best wielded by speaking the loudest but the most respected bosses always make time to listen first and problem solve second.
4) They maintain consistency
It is difficult, if not impossible, to lead effectively if you are unpredictable. The most respected bosses are careful to maintain a level of consistency in their workplace behavior, leadership style and their rapport with employees. No matter what might be happening outside of work, good bosses care about having a positive office culture.They show up ready to put their best face to the organization. Erratic, impulsive behavior will make employees lose confidence. By staying consistent, a boss can maintain high expectations and employees will always know what is expected of them.
5) They keep their cool
There is a persistent caricature of bad bosses in popular culture that is best personified by a hot-tempered, fly-off-the-handle leader whose employees are forced to tiptoe around them. These types of bosses manage through fear, not respect. Good bosses are thoughtful and level-headed. They keep their cool under pressure. When things go awry, they take a breath and proceed calmly. When you think back to your most memorable bosses, you will surely recall their coolness in tough situations, not their fiery over-reactions to small mistakes.
6) They give feedback
Good bosses give frequent feedback on employee performance. When somebody does good work, they deserve praise. Conversely, when an employee isn’t doing well, they need to be told clearly how they can improve. Many poor managers prefer to wait until annual or quarterly performance reviews to give employees feedback. Waiting to give feedback – either positive or negative - is a sign of a boss who prefers to avoid confrontation. This is viewed as bad leadership at work. Employees don’t respond well to criticism when it has been withheld for a long period of time. Respected bosses tell it like it is while also maintaining professional delivery. Workers benefit from this because they always know where they stand and how they need to improve.
7) They keep their egos in check
It is easy to understand why some bosses let their status within the organization go to their heads. Anyone who becomes the boss has worked hard to get where they are. It takes a great deal of confidence to achieve a leadership position but as my best boss always said, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. A humble boss is a respected boss. A humble boss puts the organization before their own search for glory. The success of the entire team should be the goal of any good boss. Instead of patting themselves on the back, the most respected bosses acknowledge and celebrate the hard work of their team.
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