We are talking about becoming a respected boss here – not merely a popular one! There is so much out there on leadership traits that’ll make you a good boss – so much on delegation, trust, empowerment, mentoring, goal-setting... You may do all that, always. But if you overlook certain very basic expectations that your team members will have from you as a boss, all those other efforts of yours may go unnoticed!
So here are five very simple and basic things to follow:
Studies in psychology show that bad bosses do not help others, and they are too insecure to seek others’ help. They do not help others because they fear that the other person will get all the credit. And they do not seek help because they do not want to appear inadequate, or for it to look like they don’t have all the answers!
If you want to be a boss who is respected, seek help when you need it. It is also vital to help others willingly and graciously, with no expectations in return, and without a condescending air. This will help you earn a lot of respect.
A good boss will make it a point to praise and give positive feedback in public. Of course, it has to e balanced and factual. You praise an act, behaviour or the way a task was done, and not gush over a person.
When giving negative feedback, a good boss will ensure it is done privately. Criticizing or reprimanding people in front of others is the sign of an incompetent boss.
Take criticism as an opportunity to learn. Because bad bosses are insecure, they aren’t open to suggestions about how to do things smarter, faster, or cheaper. But a “my way or the highway” attitude will usually discourage people from telling you about problems and setbacks, until it’s too late to fix them and you’re up to your elbows in alligators.
Avoid that. There will be times, no matter how well you think things are going, that someone will tell you they’re not. Listen up, glean as much useful information as you can, and then put your entire focus on doing better.
A good boss will not inject too many details of his or her private life into the workplace. The office isn’t the place for group therapy. It’s important to set boundaries, so that everyone’s attention is where it belongs—on the task at hand.
If someone on your team is distracted by a personal problem, you need to have an open-door policy, where people feel they can talk to you, and to be compassionate. But your role should be to refer team members to professional help, and not to get personally involved. If you become everyone’s buddy and confidant, your authority as the boss is undermined.
Don’t gossip ever. Bad bosses never think twice about spreading rumours, especially nasty ones, if that’s advantageous to them. But gossip is not only hurtful and destructive, it’s a waste of your time and energy—and the company’s—and does nothing to accomplish your goals.
A big determinant of how hard employees work for the overall success of the business is how well they respect their boss. Staff members that feel ignored, unappreciated or exploited by their boss will tend to slack of at work, or simply look for another job.
Therefore, an important goal of every manager needs to be being respected by their staff.