Recently when asked about my success as a “boss,” I traced it back to a very simple concept: great communication. Managing multiple personality types in a work environment is a challenge that must be mastered in order to create a productive atmosphere. Personality clashes, differing opinions (everybody has one) and power struggles regularly combine to make what can often become a recipe for chaos.
Years ago when I was a new manager, I figured out quickly that in order to exceed my boss’ and customers’ expectations, I had to groom my staff into a motivated, loyal team. While my strategy consisted of several elements such as hiring good people and learning from successes and failures, good communication was by far the secret to my success.
The effective infusion of soft skills can be the difference between a good boss and a bad boss. Soft skills are skills such as: communication, motivation, interpersonal relations, etc. Listed below are some tips I give to management trainees. Each tip involves an element of communication strategy.
Tips to Being an Awesome Boss
Communicate Often. Clear and frequent communication is my no-fail strategy to being an effective and respected boss. The clear communication of ground rules, expectations and goals is the essential ingredient of my success as a people manager.
Empower. I personally detest being assigned a project and then being micromanaged throughout the process. As a result, my management strategy does not include this tactic. Once goals and expectations are clear and I am sure my employees have the tools they need to be successful, I leave them alone to do their jobs, only holding them accountable for the end result.
No Excuses. My mentor long ago set me straight on this. His well (and often!) communicated mantra was, “No excuses, just results.” Along these same lines, I only accept complaints if the employee also brings several possible solutions to the table. This is a great way to deter complainers and a productive way to get them to think things through.
Accountability. It is my experience that employees want to know how they are performing. If they are not regularly held accountable for their outcomes, the message they receive is that no one is watching or cares. I enjoy calling them into my office informally and discussing their challenges. They leave feeling motivated and empowered to deliver the expected results.
Listen. I take a personal interest in each of my employees. This makes me more relatable and allows my employees to be open in their communications. My best decisions are made and my best advice given when I listen with an open mind.