Five Signs You’re a Great Boss

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Last week I wrote about five reasons your employees may hate you. Now I am not normally a negative

A great boss deserves a round of applause!

A great boss deserves a round of applause!

person so while I did receive some feedback from readers on how fun it was to read and chuckle, I felt compelled to be more positive in this week’s post.  So, it’s five signs you’re a great boss.

It’s not an easy thing to be a great boss. You have to have a lot of emotional maturity and have the patience to deal with all kinds of personalities. You have to help people stay motivated and keep the focus on work. That’s a lot of balls to juggle at one time. So here are five signs you’re doing it right.

  1. You’re Inspiring: You don’t just go to employees to tell them what’s wrong, you make sure to point out what they’re doing right. You make an effort to notice if they’ve pitched a great idea, gone the extra mile on a project or helped another employee grow. You’re a mentor and a coach who, when you do have to point out an employee’s failing, you also have ideas about how that employee can turn the problem around. Or if an employee is doing well, you help him or her move to the next step of accomplishment.
  2. You’re Not Afraid of the Tough Conversations:  You are comfortable having the uncomfortable conversations with employees. You offer criticism in a positive way. You communicate information constructively, honestly, and directly, not in a way devised to shame the employee or create negative emotions. But you also know that as long as you’re communicating the information well, you’re not responsible for how the employee chooses to respond.
  3. You Listen: You solicit input from your employees. So many of the great ideas that come through a company, those Thomas Edison moments, come from employee dealing with the situation themselves. They can save the company money, lead to a new revenue stream, find a way to work better with a difficult client. You welcome their ideas and appreciate that they’re helping the company solve the problem.
  4. You’re Fair:  You treat all your employees fairly and equally. You don’t show favoritism. That doesn’t mean that all your employees are the same. You recognize that each person is an individual with different concerns and issues and you spend time understanding how to modify your management style to make sure you’re motivating employees as individuals.  For example, one person might love having a win brought up in public. That person might want it mentioned at the meeting or to have a staff lunch to celebrate his or her accomplishment. That same treatment might feel uncomfortable and embarrassing to another employee. So for the more private employee, you might give him or her a private accolade and a gift certificate to a restaurant.
  5.  You Get Out of the Way: You’re an effective delegator. You assign the work and trust employees to get it done. That doesn’t mean you just dump it on them and walk away. You set up the situation to help the employee succeed. You communicate effectively what your goals are and check back after the employee has had time to make progress, to see if you can clear up any questions or need to offer any additional help.

If you’re a great boss, pat yourself on the back for learning how to do this stuff and executing on it well. And if you have a great boss, tell him or her thank you. Bosses need pats on the back, too!

We work with companies on a project basis or on retainer, providing a custom level of HR help designed for your business, with offices in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Contact me at Caroline@valentinehr.com or call (512) 420-8267.