Being a good boss is about more than showing up and giving directives. Sadly, many people are put in leadership roles without ever receiving the tools and training they need to effectively manage people. While anyone can be a boss, but it takes focused thought and attention to be a good boss. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you be a better boss in 2018:
Establish Clear and Attainable Objectives
As a boss, you have a lot on your plate. You have been given a multitude of goals that you must accomplish in order to be successful. In many cases, the workload you are presented with may be more than you could ever do alone. While it may be tempting to arbitrarily delegate tasks to your direct reports, this will not necessarily help the overload. In fact, delegating tasks without regard to each team member’s level of skill and competency is more likely to lead to chaos and frustration than a job well done. Take some time to assess your team and identify their individual strengths. Doing this will allow you to create a workload that is manageable for each team member. Once you’ve made a plan to get the work done, sit down with each team member to carefully articulate the goals you’ve established and what you expect of them. Having these clear, attainable objectives encourages them to strive towards those goals with confidence.
Be an Inspiration to Your Team
Being the boss does not mean that people will always do what you say. When teammates do not respect your authority, they will do the bare minimum to retain their position. Leaders must be able to inspire their team to achieve greatness. This means that you must find a way to help each member of your team personally connect to the objectives at hand so they can take ownership. Always remember that your goal as a boss is to empower each teammate so they will take pride in the work they do and be grateful for your faith in them.
Focus on the Positive
The pressure of being a boss can be tremendous at times. When faced with tight deadlines and an ever-growing workload, it can be frustrating to deal with mistakes made by members of your team. It is not uncommon for a boss to spend the bulk of their time correcting their subordinates for each mistake in hopes that it will eliminate errors. Unfortunately, an environment of constant criticism can have just the opposite effect. During team and individual meetings, make an effort to praise your team for what they are doing right. Not only will this increase their confidence, but it may also inspire them to work harder to earn your praises.
Stay Committed to Personal Growth
Becoming a boss is just the beginning, the true work lies ahead. Now that you have more autonomy, you also have more responsibilities. One of your biggest challenges is to remain committed to personal growth and self-improvement. Few things can inspire your staff more than seeing you identify your own weaknesses and making a conscious and public effort to change them. The best part of this is that your entire team benefits from your success in this area.
Encourage Your Staff to Solve Problems
As you have probably already learned, being the boss means that you are now accountable for anything that goes wrong. With that kind of pressure, it can be easy to forget that you do not have to fix everything alone. In fact, keeping your team actively engaged in finding solutions to problems benefits everyone. If you find that a team member is not interested in solving problems for the greater benefit of the team, then you’ll have to find a way to motivate or remove them from your team.
Be an Active Listener
As a boss, you have years of experience and advice that you can share with your team. When you are too eager to give this wisdom to your team, it can be difficult for you to sit back and listen to what they have to say. When an issue arises, try presenting it to your team to solicit their input on the best possible resolution. This type of engagement challenges your subordinates to use their critical thinking skills to resolve issues. It also encourages your employees to think more for themselves rather than always looking to you for solutions. Actively listen while they explore problems and possible solutions and provide gentle guidance if they get too far off track.
Choose Your Battles Wisely
Being a boss means that you have so many things going on that it is impossible to fight every issue. Instead, focus your time and attention on areas where you can make a real impact. For smaller issues, empower your team to use their best discretion to put out small fires. While it may take them a little longer and they may not always succeed at putting out fires, they gain the knowledge and confidence in dealing with those situations.
For many people, work is a means to support their lives outside of the job. Chances are that your employees have lives outside of the office and use the income from the job to support those lives. During the time they spend at work, they work to help you and the company achieve your respective goals. With this in mind, be generous with praise and show gratitude for the work they do. When the opportunity arises, show concern for each employee’s individual well being. Your employees need to feel appreciated and know that you genuinely care about them as people, not just employees.
A new year means new opportunities to be a better boss. Following these simple tips will have you well on your way to being the best boss you can be in 2018.