Everybody dreams of being the boss. But when you actually find yourself in a leadership position, especially if you’re just starting a small business, you may find it much more complex than you ever imagined. As Ben Parker so astutely put, "With great power comes great responsibility". This is the part you never really see coming about being the boss.
You are responsible for the entire operation, as well as all the people involved in it. While this could prove to be quite overwhelming, there are a few things you can do to make your management endeavor much easier.
6 Tips on How to Be a Good Boss and Effective Leader
In this article, we offer several tips on how to be a better boss and more effective leader.
1. Listen to Your Team
Communication is an integral part of management. If you want to be a better boss, then you can start by truly listening to your team. This means not only talking to each and every member separately, but also observing them while they interact. It is absolutely essential that your team knows that they can talk to you and that they can be sincere. Establishing this trust will make you somebody they can respect, rather than somebody they report to.
2. Set Achievable Goals for Your Team
One of the most difficult parts of being a boss is finding the middle ground between reaching targets set up by you (or by your boss,) and creating the right environment for your team to do this. One element that remains essential, though, is setting up goals that the members of your team can actually achieve. Pushing them to their limits every single time leads to a hostile work environment and you may be surprised to find out that this does not lead to anything productive.
3. Take Good Care of Your Crew
While this is something that a lot of bosses overlook, safety in the workplace is one of the pillars of productivity. Your goal is to keep workplace injuries to a minimum and the only way to achieve it is by having a long-term plan. Whether your workplace is an office or a warehouse, your team must be made aware of all hazards. Moreover, as the boss, you must implement safety procedures that are easy to follow and then ensure that your team sticks to the plan.
4. Visualize Your Team's Potential
To set up those achievable goals we've mentioned above, it helps to visualize your team's potential and to find the optimum path to turning it into reality. The best way to do this is to observe each member of your team separately in order to figure out their assets and their flaws.
Then, and just as importantly, you have to notice how your team interacts. Identify those times when certain team members working together has a synergistic effect. Encourage such collaborations to benefit the team and ultimately, your business.
5. Keep Your Team Just Close Enough
Being the boss means that you have to be your team's authority figure. This is a delicate matter because there is a very thin line between being somebody your team members can talk to and being a bit too close. Establishing a firm line between personal and professional relationships will take you far. However, it is going to be difficult to do at times, especially if you are a friendly person.
6. Be Assertive and Avoid Unnecessary Conflict
A good boss leads instead of dictating. You have to assign tasks and point out the end goal in an assertive yet respectful manner. Ordering your team around will not make them likelier to do what you say and, at the same time, asking them too nicely will not make you somebody they want to follow.
When you find the middle ground between these two, then you are on your way to becoming a good boss. In a sense, you are coaching your team for maximum performance.
Moreover, when things don’t work out the way you want them to, you should avoid unnecessary conflict. Don’t vent your frustrations on your employees when they are doing their jobs.
As you can see, being a good boss is no easy task. But it is certainly well worth the effort. Create a personalized plan and implement it day by day. Don't be hard on yourself when you stray from the path, and always go back to your plan. These six tips will make you a better boss every day you keep them in mind. Good luck!
Our guest author Tanya Mayer is blogger from Brisbane, Australia. She is interested in writing on various topics and contributes to many blogs and websites, with a focus on small business and marketing.