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10 Things Highly Likeable Bosses Do Differently

10 Things Highly Likeable Bosses Do Differently

Did you know that highly likable bosses are still a rare commodity? If you would like to be in that category, look at these sobering statistics for a moment.

According to one survey carried out by Accenture, 31% of workers leave because they do not like their boss. In the Gulf states, that number rises to 44%. That is almost half! Looks like an uphill task. Read on to discover what highly likable bosses do differently.

1. They cut meetings to a minimum.

Workers hate meetings and resent the amount of time spent on them. Intelligent managers know this and are aware that a whopping 37% of employee time is spent on meetings.  They prune meetings to a bare minimum and ensure that there is a time limit on them. Bosses chair the meetings to make sure this happens and adhere strictly to the agenda.

2. They are accessible.

Some bosses build a cordon round themselves. They have minions who slavishly keep people out. The message is that the bosses are busy and staff naturally feel that they cannot easily approach them with a problem.  It is a well established fact that employees work much better for a boss they like and respect.

Popular bosses welcome suggestions from staff and always have an open door policy, which they actually put into practice. They understand that the key to any successful business is a happy, motivated staff who are consulted and appreciated.

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“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him. But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.” —Lao-Tzu

3. They are 100% reliable.

Reliability is a two-way process. It permeates a successful company. But the highly likeable bosses know that they have to deliver on the following:

  • decisions are followed through
  • tasks are completed on time
  • they are prepared and on the ball
  • they are punctual
  • they lead their teams with a mix of persuasion and firmness

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.” —Dwight Eisenhower

4. They delegate successfully.

The key to successful delegation is that bosses know what to let go, so that they can concentrate on top priorities. They also know that they can delegate the task to employees and show them that this is developing their skills and training. Employees see a delegated task as an opportunity for empowerment and a great chance to acquire new skills. They also realize how their work fits into the bigger picture. Highly likeable bosses can do this very skilfully.

“Delegating work works, provided the one delegating works, too.” —Robert Half

5. They are flexible.

Interesting research shows that where employees have flexible bosses, they suffer fewer health problems. It has a positive effect in less absenteeism too.

Employees need more flexibility when it comes to caring for sick children or parents. They should also be given the possibility of choosing their work schedule if it does not interfere with offering customer service or productivity.

6. They are optimistic and positive.

Successful managers exude confidence and optimism. They may do that instinctively but there are sound reasons for doing so. They know that optimism is infectious and can motivate employees to be more enthusiastic and focused. Keeping these thoughts to the forefront can produce better results and happier staff.

The research by Dr. Martin Seligman is very interesting in this regard. He says that everybody must make a real effort to look at the positive aspects and opportunities rather than moaning about all the obstacles. The managers who can inspire their staff to do just that will become successful and highly likeable.

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” —Zig Ziglar

 7. They are friendly.

Highly likeable bosses take an interest in their staff. They are great at remembering important events in people’s lives and can celebrate with them.

They also know that negative forces such as dislike, resentment and bitterness can lead to poor performance and can be extremely contagious. This is why these wise bosses do everything they can to be friendly and create goodwill without giving up on objectives and deadlines.

“The boss depends on authority, the leader depends on goodwill.” —Anon

8. They are compassionate.

Many bosses try to be tough and want to show that they are still in control. If a person is always late, they will sack them on the spot.

But popular and compassionate bosses take a much more intelligent and humane approach. They first explain that unpunctuality is having a knock on negative effect on productivity, staff morale and relationships. They then ask the employee to implement changes and give them a deadline to improve. This creates less resentment and is a much better way of dealing with a difficult issue.

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9. They show appreciation and thanks.

When work is done well, intelligent bosses know that a short congratulatory email is the right way to express their appreciation. This encourages employees to do even better. It can also be used in their assessment and is a powerful motivational tool.

Showing gratitude pays handsome dividends. One survey by Glassdoor showed that 80% want to work harder when they are thanked for their achievements. That figure fell to 40% when the bosses were unpopular, demanding, and ungrateful.

10. They are charismatic.

It is difficult to define what charisma is, yet we know it when we see it. Highly likeable bosses are charismatic. They are self-confident, open and friendly. You can feel their presence in a room immediately. Their body language is as confident as they are. They have a real gift in listening to you and making you feel important. They are empathetic to a very high degree.

Now, if you are a highly likeable boss and meet all the above criteria, congratulations! If not, at least you now know what you need to work on.

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Featured photo credit: Annual Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony / USAG – Humphreys via Photo Pin

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Published on July 17, 2018

How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

I’ve never believed people are born productive or organized. Being organized and productive is a choice.

You choose to keep your stuff organized or you don’t. You choose to get on with your work and ignore distractions or you don’t.

But one skill very productive people appear to have that is not a choice is the ability to compartmentalize. And that takes skill and practice.

What is compartmentalization

To compartmentalize means you have the ability to shut out all distractions and other work except for the work in front of you. Nothing gets past your barriers.

In psychology, compartmentalization is a defence mechanism our brains use to shut out traumatic events. We close down all thoughts about the traumatic event. This can lead to serious mental-health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if not dealt with properly.

However, compartmentalization can be used in positive ways to help us become more productive and allow us to focus on the things that are important to us.

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Robin Sharma, the renowned leadership coach, calls it his Tight Bubble of Total Focus Strategy. This is where he shuts out all distractions, turns off his phone and goes to a quiet place where no one will disturb him and does the work he wants to focus on. He allows nothing to come between himself and the work he is working on and prides himself on being almost uncontactable.

Others call it deep work. When I want to focus on a specific piece of work, I turn everything off, turn on my favourite music podcast The Anjunadeep Edition (soft, eclectic electronic music) and focus on the content I intend to work on. It works, and it allows me to get massive amounts of content produced every week.

The main point about compartmentalization is that no matter what else is going on in your life — you could be going through a difficult time in your relationships, your business could be sinking into bankruptcy or you just had a fight with your colleague; you can shut those things out of your mind and focus totally on the work that needs doing.

Your mind sees things as separate rooms with closable doors, so you can enter a mental room, close the door and have complete focus on whatever it is you want to focus on. Your mind does not wander.

Being able to achieve this state can seriously boost your productivity. You get a lot more quality work done and you find you have a lot more time to do the things you want to do. It is a skill worth mastering for the benefits it will bring you.

How to develop the skill of compartmentalization

The simplest way to develop this skill is to use your calendar.

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Your calendar is the most powerful tool you have in your productivity toolbox. It allows you to block time out, and it can focus you on the work that needs doing.

My calendar allows me to block time out so I can remove everything else out of my mind to focus on one thing. When I have scheduled time for writing, I know what I want to write about and I sit down and my mind completely focuses on the writing.

Nothing comes between me, my thoughts and the keyboard. I am in my writing compartment and that is where I want to be. Anything going on around me, such as a problem with a student, a difficulty with an area of my business or an argument with my wife is blocked out.

Understand that sometimes there’s nothing you can do about an issue

One of the ways to do this is to understand there are times when there is nothing you can do about an issue or an area of your life. For example, if I have a student with a problem, unless I am able to communicate with that student at that specific time, there is nothing I can do about it.

If I can help the student, I would schedule a meeting with the student to help them. But between now and the scheduled meeting there is nothing I can do. So, I block it out.

The meeting is scheduled on my calendar and I will be there. Until then, there is nothing I can do about it.

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Ask yourself the question “Is there anything I can do about it right now?”

This is a very powerful way to help you compartmentalize these issues.

If there is, focus all your attention on it to the exclusion of everything else until you have a workable solution. If not, then block it out, schedule time when you can do something about it and move on to the next piece of work you need to work on.

Being able to compartmentalize helps with productivity in another way. It reduces the amount of time you spend worrying.

Worrying about something is a huge waste of energy that never solves anything. Being able to block out issues you cannot deal with stops you from worrying about things and allows you to focus on the things you can do something about.

Reframe the problem as a question

Reframing the problem as a question such as “what do I have to do to solve this problem?” takes your mind away from a worried state into a solution state, where you begin searching for solutions.

One of the reasons David Allen’s Getting Things Done book has endured is because it focuses on contexts. This is a form of compartmentalization where you only do work you can work on.

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For instance, if a piece of work needs a computer, you would only look at the work when you were in front of a computer. If you were driving, you cannot do that work, so you would not be looking at it.

Choose one thing to focus on

To get better at compartmentalizing, look around your environment and seek out places where you can do specific types of work.

Taking your dog for a walk could be the time you focus solely on solving project problems, commuting to and from work could be the time you spend reading and developing your skills and the time between 10 am and 12 pm could be the time you spend on the phone sorting out client issues.

Once you make the decision about when and where you will do the different types of work, make it stick. Schedule it. Once it becomes a habit, you are well on your way to using the power of compartmentalization to become more productive.

Comparmentalization saves you stress

Compartmentalization is a skill that gives you time to deal with issues and work to the exclusion of all other distractions.

This means you get more work done in less time and this allows you to spend more time with the people you want to spend more time with, doing the things you want to spend more time doing.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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