Think about the best manager that you’ve ever had. What put him or her into that category for you? Undoubtedly, your performance was enhanced while you were working with that manager. Now think about your own team members. Do you think you fall into the “Good Boss” category for them? If you aren’t sure, here are some things you can do to help yourself get voted into the “Good Boss” category with your team and grow your organization.
First of all, when was the last time you took stock of your professional role, priorities and ability to influence others at work? What changes have you made in your management style that made you more effective? Have you tried anything new lately?
We all want to be in the “good boss” category, but what can you do to get there, and use your “good boss” status to strengthen and grow your organization? Here are some simple shifts you can make right now.
Practice being happy to see people at work. Start to greet your own subordinates and other employees by name, and make sure they know you are glad to see them, even as you pass them in the hallway. Consistently taking this one step will round the edges off of the next situation you need to address.
The people you don’t directly manage, work with or work for are often the most critical in solving a cross-departmental situation or in bringing your name up in a positive light.
Keep yourself from being reactive. When an employee shares a situation with you, don’t make the assumption that your input or help is needed. Make a point of asking if they would like you to take action or if they are just seeking your empathy. If empathy is called for, listen actively and give them the encouragement they seek.
If action is being requested, make a conscious decision whether you want to get involved, or if your time is better spent counseling the employee and sending them on their way to give it a try on their own.
In short, resist the urge to get involved in everything. Sometimes holding back will give you the time and space you need, and will help your employees grow in new ways.
Get buy-in where possible, but sometimes you need to make the call. It is common management knowledge that your results will be better if your team buys in to the plan, project or decision that it is faced with. Authentic collaboration is priceless, right? The fact is, sometimes you can’t spend the time and energy it might take to rehash the decision that needs to be made.
Give the team members the opportunity to get involved with a solution, but if it doesn’t happen, don’t over discuss the topic. Put it to rest. You are the boss, and sometimes it makes the most sense to get the team moving on a plan or solution more than it does to get their vote of approval.
Use these take-aways to revamp how you interact with others, spend your time and determine your team’s priorities.
- Are there any employees you walk by or interact with, whose name escapes you? Find out their names, and begin to use them each time you run into them. What are some other steps you can take to boost your enthusiasm on a regular basis?
- The next time someone approaches you with a situation, what steps can you take to make a conscious inquiry into whether you should even be involved?
- What are some typical empathic phrases or sentiments you can use to show encouragement while staying out of a situation? Can you brainstorm some phrases that help direct an employee to begin problem solving on their own?