Whether you're in charge of an office or running a startup, being in charge is no easy task. Are you looking for a way to better lead your team? Follow these 15 tips to becoming a better boss.
1. Take a Couple of Communications Classes
While you’ve never been afraid to be the center of attention or speak in front of a crowd, taking a couple of communication classes can help you become a stronger and more efficient and effective speaker. You'll learn techniques like rehearsing a speech before a big meeting, and many communication classes have you record yourself to see what you sound and look like during your speech.
On Fast Company, Brendon Schenecker suggests bosses should take classes that cover all communication formats - from public speaking to email - as well as courses focused on body languages and foreign languages.
2. Think Like a Football Coach
I love this suggestion from G.L. Hoffman on US News. He suggests bosses should think more like football coaches. Why? Because coaches know the best positions for their players. As a boss, you need to place employees in a position where they can succeed. Furthermore, coaches also realize their business' success is determined by the team. The coach, (boss) is able to make adjustments, take the blame, knows how to develop players, and can motivate individuals and the team as a whole.
3. Spend Time With Employees
Don’t be invisible. Make sure you spend time with your employees. According to research conducted by leadership and training firm Leadership IQ, employees should spend approximately 6 hours a week with their boss if they want to be more inspired, motivated, engaged and innovative.
4. Treat Each Employee as a Colleague
John Saaty, CEO of Decision Lens, says in Entrepreneur that you should “Treat every employee as a colleague, and turn the management structure upside-down.” He also adds that “If you are hiring well, then the management of the company is there to support the talent and aspirations of your employees, and not the reverse.”
5. Catch Employees Doing Something Great
Randy Conley, Vice President of Client Services and Trust Practice Leader for 'The Ken Blanchard Companies,' recommends instead of focusing on mistakes, leaders should “notice, encourage, and celebrate the good things that are happening” to boost workplace morale. Conley even goes further by suggesting meetings begin with the agenda, “praisings and celebrations.”
6. Have Reasonable Objectives
Limit the frustration, confusion, and overall chaos in the company by establishing reasonable objectives. On Inc.com, Kevin Daum suggests you should “Assess your team and mete out the workload that is manageable. Establish a reasonable number of specifically articulated goals and drive the team to complete them so they can obtain victory and confidence.”
7. Lighten Up
There’s no doubt the workplace can be a stressful environment - especially when deadlines are looming. So why not balance that stress by letting your team have some fun? That’s exactly what companies like Google have been doing for years. Between the free food, transportation to work, extended free time, and being allowed to bring their dogs to the office, it’s no wonder that people love working at Google.
If you want your employees to be happy and more productive at work, lighten up the workplace.
8. Realize Employees Have a Life Outside of Work
While you definitely want - and deserve - to have the full attention of your team members, you must also realize they have a life outside of the company. And you want them to! Happier employees are more committed and result in lower turnover rates. If a previously stellar employee begins to struggle, take the time to ask them what is going on. You may find out they are facing an issue at home which is effecting their work.
9. Identify Your Own Weaknesses
A successful leader must know how to identify their own shortcomings. For example, if you aren’t a great public speaker, then how can you clearly articulate what you want from employees or keep them informed with the latest happenings within the business? Identify your weaknesses and make the effort improve if you want your team to succeed.
10. Switch to Lombardi Time
For those uninitiated, 'Lombardi Time,' refers to the fact that Hall of Fame coach of the Green Bay Packers expected all of his players and personnel to be 15 minutes early for meetings or practice. That may sound harsh, but those in the business world who have implemented Lombardi Time claim it decreases stress, because you’re not rushing. Jack Carroll, founder of "Mentor Associates, Inc." and, "SalesLinks Inc.," has used Lombardi as a way to “catch your breath, collect your thoughts and pre-plan what you want to accomplish in the meeting and how you'll go about it.”
11. Don’t Unleash Your Anger on Employees
We all have those frustrating days where nothing goes as planned. When that happens, it’s incredibly easy to lose your temper. Take a deep breath, take a walk - what ever you do, don't take that anger out on your employees. Screaming, being condescending, or even hurtful will only make your employees be fearful of you or resent you - and that is no way to build a team. As Geoffrey James states on, Inc.com, “Your employees are emphatically NOT your punching bags.”
12. Realize You Don’t Have to Solve Every Problem
As the boss, it’s up to you to be a problem solver. Here’s the thing though- you don’t have to solve every problem. If you know an employee or team member that can handle a situation, then by all means accept their assistance. It will make your company better and stronger in the long run.
13. Don’t Talk, Listen
Your team has a lot talent - that’s why you hired them in the first place. So, don’t be so quick to dismiss their ideas. Even though you are the boss and have much advice to share, give team members the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas. It helps build team work, and you just might be impressed by their fresh point of view.
14. Be Authentic
While you want to spend time with your employees, don't try t be someone you are not. Employees can tell when you’re being insincere. They’ll have more respect for you and will buy into the culture you’re building, and they will help you build your company, if you continue to just be yourself.
15. Hire the Best
Lauren Dixon, CEO, Dixon Schwabl said this best in Entrepreneur:
“Hire people smarter than you. This is the best advice my father gave me when I was starting my business, and I believe it holds true today. In today's competitive environment, your time at work will be easier and more pleasant if you are surrounded by smart people--those who share your values, mission, and vision, and who like to have FUN! Talented employees will help your business to grow, and create a great place to work. Customers value knowledgeable employees -- the smarter your new hires are, the better off your business will be in the end.”