Being told you’re a bad boss isn’t fun. But it can be a gift. Remember, it took courage for your team member or team to tell you they hate your bad management style.
It’s 2021 and time to get busy. Use the feedback as a great opportunity to get real about how to manage your team members. It will improve your results and make you more coachable.
7 Important Tips to Become a Better Boss
Listen to Learn. This is key! Usually, bad bosses are poor listeners. They listen to defend, minimize their responsibility, and blame others. STOP! Don’t fall into that trap. You’re better than that. Remember, listening is a lifelong skill that you must develop each and every day.
Value Feedback. Complete a 360-degree feedback assessment. Then, review with each of your team members. Do this to learn about how they feel about working for you. This is NOT to find out who said what about you. This very important feedback can advance your career if you’re willing to listen and learn. Remember, your team members may feel hesitant to tell you what they really think. Give them permission to tell the truth and DON’T HOLD IT AGAINST THEM!
- First, ask, “What’s the #1 thing I do that upsets you?” Listen to understand, not defend or out-talk them.
- If you’ve offended them in the past, apologize.
- Then ask, “How do you believe I should handle this type of situation differently in the future?” Listen to understand, not defend or out-talk them!
- Thank them.
- Now, talk it out with your coach about what to do next
Learn How to Delegate. Too often we give our favorite team members the best assignments. These may not be the ones with the best skills to get the job done. A good boss delegates to people’s strengths and gives them opportunities to expand their skills. Your focus as the boss is to manage the process and coach your people to grow and succeed while meeting customer deadlines and budgets. Note: If you’re a micromanager, stop it! Learn how to trust your team members to get the job done and focus on managing the results.
Develop Your People. This is one of the key job responsibilities for any good boss, manager, and/or leader. What are you doing today that is helping your team members excel? What do they need from you to help them achieve their personal and professional goals? What can you do to provide them the necessary resources to excel? Ask them … never assume you know the answer.
Stop Hiding Out. When things get tough, and they can at inconvenient times, be ready to get involved. This normally requires resolving conflict, project snafus, and/or customer upsets. Plan on rolling-up your sleeves and become your team members’ assistant. Focus on uncovering the issue and providing needed resources to resolve it, not assessing blame.
Set Expectations. One of my expectations as a boss was for employees to get along. And, they did. Whenever one person would come to me with an issue, I’d ask if they had talked it out with the person. Then, added, “If you need me to get involved, let me know. But I know the two of you can resolve this.” Normally they resolved it better than if I had gotten involved. One of the keys for this to work is being clear about your expectations. Keep them real and not pie-in-the-sky. Also, remember, if you expect your team members to get along, you need to get along with others too.
Hire a Coach. If you haven’t done so already, hire the right coach immediately. Successful bosses have coaches. Have the coach include a qualified assessment as part of the process. This high-quality assessment uncovers your blind spots and provides insights to overcome them. Plan on talking with your coach weekly to ensure you’re moving forward. It’s easy to go off into the weeds when you attempt to use an approach you found on social media.
Remember, becoming a good boss is a process, not an event. Make 2021 the year you enjoy the journey.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2021
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.
A Note About Being a Good Boss from Jeannette. Becoming a good boss isn’t easy. Many companies make the very costly mistake of promoting their best team members into boss roles. Too often these are not the best career paths for these once successful employees. Work with the right coach to help you learn the skills necessary to manage people. If this isn’t the best job for you, move on once you can. But use the time to learn how to work with and through others to achieve win-win-win outcomes. It’s a priceless skill.