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16 ways to be a better boss

Whether you run an established company or a startup, it’s not easy to be in charge. Most bosses look for better ways to lead their teams, and the information given here can help. Using these tips can help you in the following ways:

  • Gaining respect around the office
  • Increasing performance
  • Providing reassurance that things are under control when you’re not in the office
  • Forming effective relationships with your employees
  • Building a solid team
  • Turning yourself into a more powerful public speaker

Becoming a trustworthy, effective leader is about more than delegating authority, it’s about learning how to accept everyone’s strengths, weaknesses and personalities—and leveraging them accordingly. With a bit of practice, you can save years of delays, mistakes, and frustration and you can be a better boss.

The Most Important Factor in Being a Better Boss

Becoming a more effective boss is mostly about perspective. One leadership development strategy may work well with some employees, but not for others. The classification is opinion-based, and it’s far from absolute. For example, some employees may take in-depth questioning as ‘micromanaging’, while others may take it as showing concern. Regardless of an employee’s opinion on the matter, their reaction to a certain leadership style says more about the worker than it does about their boss.

Take Some Communications Classes

While most bosses aren’t afraid of public speaking or making themselves the center of attention, there’s always room for improvement. When you take communications classes, you’ll learn how to be a stronger and more effective speaker. You’ll learn how to rehearse speeches before meetings because you’ll get to watch recordings of yourself to see what you look and sound like. As a boss, you should take classes covering a variety of communication formats, from email to public speaking, as well as coursework on foreign languages and body language.

Act (and Think) Like a Coach

This suggestion is common, but it works. Bosses should think like coaches more often because a coach knows each player’s strengths and they position them accordingly. As a boss, you should put employees in a position for success. When you learn how to be a better boss, you’ll realize that your company’s success is a team effort. To achieve your goals, you should learn how to make changes, take credit and blame where it’s due, and motivate people individually and as a team.

Spend More Time With Your Employees

A good boss makes themselves visible around the office, and they spend time with employees. According to research from Leadership IQ, bosses and employees should spend at least six hours per week together—doing so will make motivation, engagement, and innovation flow both ways. When you get on your employees’ level, you can see things from their point of view.

Treat Employees More Like Colleagues

A sound leadership development strategy cannot be run by a dictator. If you treat employees like contemporaries, you’ll turn old ideas about management structure upside down. When you hire the right people—and support their talents and aspirations—you’ll encourage creativity rather than stifle it.

Catch Employees in the Act of Doing Good

While most bosses are pessimistic by nature, it may pay to be more optimistic with your employees. Instead of focusing on their mistakes, you should encourage, notice, and praise the good things employees do. An upbeat management style can boost morale all around the office, not just for employees.

Set Reasonable Goals

When you set attainable, realistic goals, you can greatly limit the chaos, confusion, and frustration in your office. Start by assessing each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, and assign work accordingly. By establishing a few specific but reasonable goals and encouraging the team to complete them, everyone can develop greater confidence.

Lighten Up and Live a Little

Everyone knows that work can be stressful, especially when budgets and deadlines are a concern. However, you can temper the stress by letting everyone cut loose once in a while. Companies such as Google offer perks such as transportation to and from work, free cafeteria food, extended breaks, and office pets. By giving employees more reasons to come into work each day, you’ll gradually build a solid, reliable team.

Realize That Your Employees Have Lives Outside the Office

While you want (and deserve) your team members’ full attention, you should also remember that they aren’t at work 24/7, and they have responsibilities outside the office. A happy employee is more committed, and less likely to find another job. If a previously top-notch employee starts to flounder, don’t get frustrated—find out what’s going on. It’s possible that they’re having a hard time at home, and it’s affecting their work. When you are sympathetic to your employees’ personal struggles and their needs, they’re more likely to come back stronger than ever once problems are resolved.

Find and Fix Your Weaknesses

To be an effective leader, you should learn more about your own shortcomings. For instance, if public speaking isn’t your strong suit, you won’t be able to clearly state your expectations, or keep employees up to date on the latest office news. By finding and minimizing your flaws, you can put yourself and your team in a better position to succeed. Additionally, you can teach your team to find their own unique areas for improvement.

Set Your Watch 15 Minutes Early

Famed Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi had a habit of requiring personnel and players to be at least 15 minutes early for practice and meetings. That may sound like an unrealistic expectation, but business owners who’ve adopted this strategy claim that it decreases stress by making everyone feel less rushed. This habit can give you a chance to gather your thoughts, catch your breath and plan your objectives for the next meeting.

Don’t Take Your Frustration and Anger Out on Employees

Everyone has an off day once in a while, and it can be frustrating when things don’t go according to plan. When your work day goes off the rails, it can be easy to lose yourself in your temper. Take a walk or a few deep breaths—or do something else to avoid taking your anger out on your workers. Acting aggressive, condescending or hurtful will only make employees resentful and fearful, and that’s not a very good way to build a team.

Realize That You Don’t Have to (and Can’t) Solve Every Office Issue

You’re the boss, and it’s your responsibility to solve employees’ work-related problems. However, no one is perfect, and no boss can solve every problem. If you know someone else on staff who can address a particular situation more effectively than you can, accept their help. After all, teamwork will only make the company stronger and better in the long term.

Listen More and Talk Less

Your team has a significant amount of talent—that’s why you brought them in! Therefore, you shouldn’t automatically dismiss their ideas. Although you’re in a position of wisdom and authority, you should give your team members the chance to share their ideas, thoughts, and opinions. It fosters a collaborative spirit, and everyone can benefit from a new perspective once in a while.

Be Real

While you should make an effort to spend time with your workers, you shouldn’t try to ” fake it until you make it”. Employees can easily tell if you’re being unrealistic—and they’ll have more respect for you and your corporate culture if you’re straightforward with them. When you’re honest with your team, they’ll help you build your company.

Hire the Best Talent in the Business

Although you don’t want someone stepping in and taking your job, you should hire people who are on your level, both emotionally and intellectually. Today’s business environment is highly competitive, and your workdays will be easier if you surround yourself with bright, like-minded people who share your vision and values while having fun. By hiring articulate, talented workers, you can grow your new business into a wonderful place to work. Your customers will value your employees’ experience and business smarts, and you will, too.

Everyone wants to be the boss, but only some people are cut out for the job. Managing employees effectively and keeping everyone happy is a juggling act, and it can be difficult to keep everything going. By following these 16 tips and strategies, you can become a better boss and a more effective leader.

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Obviously, there are no guarantees of success; however, if you do the above, your chances for success are improved.

If you are considering launching a business or growing your ongoing company, check out Dear Mr. A for creating a strategy around your passions. The Next Level Navigator strategy process is a great crowdfunding tool! Click here to look inside Dear Mr. A.

Why not tell us about how your public speaking skills have affected your business? Please do so, either in the comments below or by submitting a guest post to us. We review these posts carefully, and as long as your contribution adds something to the entrepreneurial community we’d be happy to feature it on our site with a link back to yours!

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