Career Advice Tips to be more productive

Good Vs. Great - Which Kind of Boss Are You?

As we move forward in our professional careers, we will undoubtedly take on more challenges and responsibilities, perhaps even becoming managers of our own teams. Hopefully when the time comes to lead, we will have accumulated the necessary skills and experience to rise above and find ways to motivate, inspire, and develop others. But what makes a good boss? How can we push ourselves even further to become great bosses? What can we do to continue to develop and stretch our own management skills?  

The fact that you are even considering ways in which you can be a better boss already makes you a considerably good boss, or at the very least, a thoughtful boss, which many may argue is an important characteristic of being a great boss. Utilise your empathy and concern for your team, harnessing it in ways to support and develop professional and individual goals. Establish an open channel of communication with your team and work on maintaining an easy rapport so that your team feels they can come to you with any concerns. Dialogue together to find solutions to the challenges they face and offer as much support as you and the company can.  

Aside from developing your individual team members, great bosses know to develop the team as a whole. Grow a strong team culture so that your employees are mutually invested in the group’s purpose and success, and know how to collaborate, create, and work together well. Build bonds so that each individual holds themselves, as well as others, accountable for their contributions to the work.  

Great bosses are the most effective when they are communicative, honest, and trusting. When directing and delegating work, be clear with your instructions then answer any questions and address any concerns that may have come up. Make sure that your team understands what is expected of them, what the timeline is for the project, and ensure them that while you are available for any further questions, you are trusting them to complete their work in their own way within the established parameters, of course. Refrain from as much micromanaging as possible so that your team feels empowered to work effectively. Offer guidance and direction as needed, but give them some autonomy to complete their work.  

Another pitfall of good bosses failing to meet their potential to become great bosses is that they simply stop working on themselves. Good bosses shift their attention to developing their teams and forget to carve out time to develop their own potential. Just as you may stretch your employees with challenging projects and tasks, give yourself the same type of opportunities. Don’t allow yourself to become complacent and rest on the laurels that got you to your management position. Make sure that you spend time improving your own long-term managerial skills so that you evolve along with your teams. 

Perhaps more than anything you can do to be a great boss is to gain and hold onto your employees’ trust. Capturing your team’s trust is comprised of two factors: trust in your abilities and trust in your character. Trust is the foundation in which a significant number of your future successes will lie and great bosses cultivate trust at every turn.