This article seeks to delve into the world of management, specifically bosses – what makes up a good boss, why being a ‘good’ boss is so important and what you can do about it.
It’s no secret that relationships at work are important, but your relationship with your line manager may top the importance of others. A good relationship, or at least the foundation to build a good relationship, especially with your boss, relies upon your boss being ‘good’ at what they do.
“The mediocre boss tells. The good boss explains. The superior boss explains. The great boss inspires.”
The above is a twist on a famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote, originally to inspire teachers to be better. It is, therefore, not much of a stretch for the quote to be applicable to management/bosses, as teaching and support are a key element of the role they fulfil.
Being a good boss is subjective to those on the other end of the ‘bossing’ – what the employee expects and looks for from their prospective leader. There are, however, some aspects of ‘good management’ that employees respond well to, universally:
You shouldn’t be in management if you aren’t competent at what you do. If an employee comes to you with an issue, and you have no idea how to fix or deal with the issue, you’ll lose credibility with your staff. Being knowledgeable is imperative to leading a team to success, and being the primary source of knowledge creates the level of respect you need to effectively lead a team.
Appreciating an employee’s contribution or their quality of work is a huge aspect of being a good boss. Doing a good job and being acknowledged for it leads to high job satisfaction and, ultimately, higher productivity. Incorporating regular recognition into management styles can keep employees happy and motivated.
This aspect seems to be simple, but I can assure you it’s not. There are plenty of bosses who fail in even being fair to their staff. For example, giving an employee an opportunity to progress into a better role, rather than stifling their progress for their own benefit (not needing to pay them a higher wage).
Does your boss inspire you? As per the quote at the beginning of the blog, telling or showing isn’t enough to be a good boss; leading by example and inspiring your employees is the standard. Having an employee look at you and think: “I want to be that good,” or “I aspire to be that knowledgeable,” is the goal, when looking at the standard of management.
These are only four examples of a much, much bigger list of what makes a good manager or boss – we’ve barely scraped the surface.
For the purposes of this blog, in the interest of a balanced argument and providing you, the readership, with the tools to assess which category your boss may fall into, we’re also going to look into aspects of a bad boss.
Does your boss:
Dishonesty can be infectious, lying from the top can create a dishonest workforce and a toxic environment to work in. Lying about productivity, targets or just day-to-day occurrences isn’t acceptable in a management role and can be detrimental to the progression and mood of your employees.
We’ve all been there, the promise of more responsibility, promotion, pay rises; when the time comes, all you’re greeted with is silence. Overpromising in these circumstances as a manager can be of huge detriment to your employees, leaving them demotivated, not productive and generally unhappy.
There’s no worse work environment than someone constantly looking over your shoulder or giving you task after task when they could be allowing you to operate under your own steam/initiative. Micromanagement is a by-product of a lack of trust from management, someone being unable to trust you with the entire task and feeling the need to walk you through every step of the way.
Possibly the most degrading scenario in this list. Having a colleague who your boss treats entirely different to you, for no particular reason. Visibly treating an employee differently to another in your employment can create tension, demotivate and upset the affected individual.
Yep, you’ve read that right – these people actually exist. Fully grown people throwing a temper tantrum in a working environment due to not getting their own way or you not doing something in the manner they wanted you to. Apart from just being outright immature, it creates an awkward environment where employees feel as though they’re walking on eggshells.
Not having a good boss can have a huge impact on your work life; your development, productivity, motivation and, ultimately, your happiness. It’s extremely important that you don’t allow it to happen, some people can accept the insolence of their boss, get used to it, not question it, or perhaps not even know any different to be able to identify the issue.
So, if you’re reading this and you think your boss may fall more into the ‘bad boss’ category, make a change today! You’re worth more than that.
Don’t settle. Be pro-active. Prioritise your happiness today!
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