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8 Things You Should Do To Make Employees Love You As A Boss

8 Things You Should Do To Make Employees Love You As A Boss

As there are now five generations represented in the work place, it has become ever more important for businesses and organizations to adopt new styles of leadership and management. No longer can bosses rule with an iron fist. These days, they must learn to adapt and lead by the inspiration of their actions.

In this age, the job of a boss is way more complex. He is no longer just leading people and managing commodities; he is going to have to rise with the challenge of leading a wide range of ideas, beliefs and filters if he is going to be successful in the workplace. If your goal is to improve camaraderie with your employees, here are five things you should do to make them love you as a boss.

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1. Allow freedom of action and independence

Great bosses understand that micro management will limit the independent performance of their workers. To operate efficiently, they understand that they have to show confidence and trust in the abilities of their associates.This respect shown by a boss will lead to a mutual love and respect from the team. This will even lead to a more positive work environment. Great bosses allow and promote a system of circular leadership in the workplace. So for example, if an employee sees a need in the business that they feel requires immediate attention, they should feel empowered to take action to solve it, even if it is not in their title or job description. As employees, we may feel the need to accumulate titles and hierarchies before we are qualified to lead and inspire action. A great boss will remind his team that they are Verbs, Not Labels.

2. See your employees for who they are, not what they are

Many employees feel that they are too often seen and judged as labels. Great bosses however, see people without filters. They are not given to the perceptions of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or titles. As they get to know their employees better, they also begin to delegate work by passion, skills and abilities; not the monotonous routine of job titles and job descriptions. A great boss thinks of people by their actions, what inspires them, and not just a part of process. To demonstrate this, Employees would like their bosses to take the time and ask them “what problems within the organization they are inspired to take action and lead change.” This way you are more likely to have a team that will work for you with blood , sweat and tears, not just people who work up to the limits of their job titles and job descriptions for a pay check.

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3. Do not show favoritism

Each time you get to know a group of people, it is common to develop favorites; people you can identify with as friends. However, a great boss learns to treat everyone fairly without favoritism. Employees want to know that you will not take sides with one person over the other or treat some better than others. For example if you have a rule on tardiness, it has to apply to everyone and not just some of your employees. As long as you are fair and the rules apply to everyone, people don’t mind you being strict.

4. Lead by example

Great bosses will never ask an employee to do anything they are not willing to do themselves. Employees prefer that you lead by your inspirations. Sometimes the best way to inspire your associates is not with rousing speeches, but with your actions. Get in the fray and get your hands dirty. Standard management tactics will tell you to delegate rather than participate. However if you want your employees to love and respect you, they have to see you getting involved with them in performing daily tasks. Your employees will be inspired to lead themselves in action after they have seen you lead yourself in action. This is a new idea  and concept on delegating work.

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5. Listen to your employees

Bosses often do more talking than they do listening. However, a great boss knows that his employees have a perspective of the workplace that he will never see. Often times they will have knowledge of the flaws or holes in the system that you may not be aware of. By listening to your employees, you can improve the functionality and profitability of your business and prevent waste. Most businesses have daily brainstorming sessions for managers. Try involving your employees in these meetings. You may be amazed at their perspective or points of reference. Many employees hope to share their perspective and their values to the company rather than just listening to the boss like a robot. Listening to them can make them feel that they have contribution to the company.

6. Have a sense of humor

Positions of power often lead to abuse of power. The headiness of being responsible for so many people under your authority can sometimes make egos swell. Employees want to know that you are indeed still human.  A great boss will temper this with a good sense of humor and not take themselves so seriously. Workplaces typically tend to mimic the personalities of their bosses. So if you are a boss hoping to gain the love and respect of your workforce, try a daily dose of humor.

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7. Be inspirational

Great bosses inspire you by showing you their humanity. By sharing the struggles and difficulties of their careers, they inspire you to want to work for them. People show up every day to work for people, not titles. A great boss will temper superiority in the workplace by making himself vulnerable to his employees. For example when I worked as a manager, we were required to conduct daily five minute hurdles. While these meetings were designed to communicate the performance of the various departments to the employees, they also provided me with an appropriate opportunity to tell my workers about times I struggled to achieve results in my career and the actions I took to be better and improve. Employees want to know that it is okay to fail sometimes. With the pressures of the corporate world. bosses too often forget this and push their teams too hard.

8. Be warm and accessible

Communication is the key to any great relationship, even the relationship between a boss and their employees. A great boss needs to be understanding and approachable on a daily basis.  Employees need to know that they can also come to you and seek the advice of a friend. If the boss is too intimidating or simply never around, the employees will never feel as if they can depend on them for leadership and assistance. Great bosses are loved because their employees know that they can always reach them. For example, when I worked as a manager, part of my daily routine was making sure I had a conversation with all fifty to sixty associates on my shift. I wanted them to know that I was welcoming and easy to talk to. I wanted them to know that i cared.

Being responsible for inspiring and leading others is never easy. However with these eight tips, you will be on your way to becoming a great boss.

Featured photo credit: https://gigaom.com/ via gigaom.com

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Last Updated on July 15, 2019

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

This is an article I didn’t want to write. Even if it appears that way on the surface, few things are black and white. Between the two colors is a world of gray. Notwithstanding the bosses who behave criminally, some of the people who carry the “bad boss” label have possibly been, or have the capacity to become, a “good boss.”

This is an article I didn’t want to write because I understand that depending on whom you ask, many of us could be labeled either a good or bad boss.

Perhaps another reason I didn’t want to write this article is because context matters. Context for the organization and context for the individual. What is happening in the organization? What is the culture? Is the “boss” in a position for which the individual is equipped to do the job? Is the person in a terrible place in life? The office culture, the relationship a team member has with a boss or board and the leader’s personal life can all influence how the person shows up and leads and how others perceive the individual.

But since I am writing this article, I will share a few signs that bosses are bad and in need of a timeout.

1. Bad Bosses Don’t Know and Haven’t Healed Their Inner Child

If you plan to lead people – well, if you plan to effectively lead yourself – you must get reacquainted with your inner child. Just because you are in young adulthood, middle age or the golden years doesn’t mean your inner child matches your chronological age. If you experienced trauma as a child, your inner child may be stuck at the point or age of that trauma. While you walk around in a woman’s size 10 shoe, your behavior may showcase an inner child who is much younger.

In a June 7, 2008, Psychology Today article, Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D., observed,[1]

“The fact is that the majority of so-called adults are not truly adults at all. We all get older … But, psychologically speaking, this is not adulthood. True adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and parenting one’s own inner child. For most adults, this never happens. Instead, their inner child has been denied, neglected, disparaged, abandoned or rejected. We are told by society to ‘grow up,’ putting childish things aside. To become adults, we’ve been taught that our inner child—representing our child-like capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness—must be stifled, quarantined or even killed. The inner child comprises and potentiates these positive qualities. But it also holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears and angers.”

Sometimes the key that your inner child needs tending to is conflict with someone else’s inner child.

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Good bosses are aware of the ups and downs of their childhood, have worked or are working to heal their inner child and are aware of their triggers. Good managers use this awareness to manage themselves, and their interactions with others. Bad bosses are oblivious to how their inner child impacts not only their life but the lives of others.

2. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Accept Feedback

Bad bosses are not intentional about creating an environment where their peers and colleagues can share feedback about their leadership. They don’t solicit feedback. Given the power dynamic that managers, CEOs and others in leadership yield, they must go out of their way to solicit feedback, and they must do so repeatedly.

Before being completely honest, most team members will test the waters and share low-stakes information to get a sense for how their boss will respond. If the boss is angry or retaliatory, team members are less likely to risk being candid in the future.

So being unable to accept feedback takes on two forms: failing to proactively and repeatedly ask for feedback and reacting poorly when feedback is shared.

3. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling to Give Timely Feedback

The flip side of accepting feedback is giving feedback. Both require courage. It takes courage to open yourself up and accept feedback on ways that you need to grow. Similarly, it takes courage to share honest feedback about a team member’s or colleague’s performance or behavior.

Since not everyone is open to accepting feedback, whether they’re a manager or not, having an honest conversation about areas a team member or colleague has missed the mark, is not always easy. Still, good bosses will find a way to share feedback, and they’ll do so in a timely fashion.

Withholding feedback and sharing it months after a situation has unfolded or in a snowball fashion is unhelpful to the employees. One of the ways we grow as leaders is through feedback. When people have the courage to tell us the truth, that information allows us to progress.

4. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Acknowledge Their Mistakes

Owning their mistakes is like a disease to bad bosses; they do not want it. Instead of being risk averse, they are accountability averse. The problem is that they can only gloss over their weaknesses or failures for so long; the people around are able to see their flaws and weaknesses, and bad bosses pretending they don’t exist is not helpful. It is infuriating.

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However, bad bosses are masterful at reassigning blame. They are unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes — small or large. But career expert Amanda Augustine told CNBC “Make It” in May 2017, that “good managers also admit their mistakes.”[2] They don’t pass the blame or pretend they didn’t make a mistake. They own it.

5. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling or Incapable of Being Vulnerable

Vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill. But well-placed and well-thought out vulnerability enables employees to see their leaders’ humanity, and it creates a way for leaders to bond with their teams.

Bad bosses may talk about vulnerability, but they don’t practice it in their own lives, particularly in the workplace.

6. Privately, Bad Bosses Do Not Live Up to the Organization’s Stated Values

Bad bosses may publicly spout the values of the organization they work for, but privately they either don’t believe or don’t embody those values.

If they work for an environmental group, they may not practice sustainability in their private lives. Their words and actions are incongruent.

7. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Inspire Others

When bad bosses are unable or unwilling to take the time to inspire others, they lead through fear or command. Neither are helpful.

A culture dominated by fear will stifle creativity and risk taking that can lead to innovation. An autocratic management style will have a similar effect in that team, members will not feel they have the space to step outside of the box they have been placed in.

A good boss is someone who takes time to share the big picture and time to inspire their teams to want to be a part of it.

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8. Bad Bosses Are Disinterested in How Their Behavior Impacts Others

They are narcissistic and focused on self-preservation. In “19 Traits of a Bad Boss,” Kevin Sheridan said,[3]

“Terrible bosses are endlessly self-centered. Everything is about them and not the people they manage or what is going on in their employees’ personal lives. It is never about the team, but rather all about how good they look. Conversely, great bosses lead with integrity, honesty, care, and authenticity.”

Rather than seeing their team’s talents and seeing people’s full humanity, bad bosses believe their team exists to serve them. Families, personal life and priorities be damned. Bona fide bad bosses believe that their comfort should be prioritized over their team’s needs and desires.

9. Bad Bosses Have Likely Received Negative Feedback

Bad bosses have likely been told that they are poor supervisors. They have likely been told time and time again that their behavior is harmful to the people around them.

Perhaps they do not know how to change or are unwilling to change. But bad bosses certainly have received clues, insights and direct feedback that their management style and behavior are harmful to others.

Even when someone hasn’t explicitly said, “Your behavior is harmful to me and others,” the absence of feedback indicates a problem. It can mean that the leader’s team doesn’t feel safe enough to share feedback, that people do not believe the leader will act on what is shared, or that people have determine the best strategy is to avoid the boss as much as possible.

10. Bad Bosses Are Perfectionists

Bad bosses are driven by an internal urge to be perfect. Perfectionists don’t just want to be perfect; they want everyone around them to be perfect as well. This is a standard that neither they nor their team can live up to.

Since perfection is illusive, they spend their time chasing their shadow and being frustrated that they cannot catch it. They are unable to enjoy the journey and often block others from doing so as well. They let “perfect” be the enemy of “good.” Rather than embracing a growth mindset that desires to learn and improved, they are compulsive and toxic.

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If you are like me and you see yourself in parts of this list, do not despair. A bad boss can change. The key is seeking honest feedback and being willing to work through that feedback and your triggers with a therapist or coach.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of your age and the mistakes you have made, you can change and become a healthier leader whom others respect and appreciate.

Conversely, if you are employed by a bad boss, do everything in your power to take care of yourself. Understand that your boss’s behavior, even if directed at you, is not about you. Your boss’s reactions, if and when you make a mistake, is a reflection on that individual, not you.

To survive the work environment, think about the lesson you are meant to learn. You can do this with a trusted therapist or capable coach. However, if you deem the work environment to be toxic and harmful to your health, seek employment elsewhere.

In the end, this is an article I did not want to write, but I’m happy I did.

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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