28 Sep 2021, 11:22 — 5 min read
How to boss around or not to? Sounds confusing? Bossing around connotates a negative meaning in the usual sense. But this article of mine is not about how to throw one’s weight over unsuspecting subordinates.
It is all about ‘how to be a good boss’ to the team.
It is common knowledge that when two colleagues have coffee, the discussion will quicky move to a discussion about their respective bosses. A boss rarely gets invited to a subordinate’s house or gets introduced to their families. When a person is about to quit, the boss is the last to know, while the grapevine would have been active for weeks.
Often, the boss is a lonely person as he is caught between his subordinates and his bosses.
At the end of the day, it is common knowledge that 'team work’ or in other words close cooperation and understanding between the boss and the subordinate team members is a very important factor in determining success or failure.
So how to be a good boss and get the work done?
I have put together some tips that I have tried practicing all through my career.
A clear mission enhances employee motivation and focus. It also infuses a sense of importance in their jobs. While money is an important factor in life, it is not the only factor. If this belief sets in, success is not far behind.
Treat every subordinate equal. Trust them to do well. Encourage feedback and participation. Create an environment of trust, integrity and respect. Do not give in to gossip mills. Support them and make them learn from their mistakes so that these do not get repeated. This will make the employees feel involved in the work they are doing, whether it is big or small, simple or complex and will motivate them to give their best.
The boss must infuse a sense of constant learning, amongst the teammates. Encourage out-of-the-box thinking. Do not discourage any inputs even if those may not work or sound outlandish. Lead from the front and discuss new ideas and thoughts openly with all.
It is not just about asking for progress reports from the team. Be aware of failure points and train the team to handle them. Usually, when a team hits a roadblock, they stop and look up to the boss. Guide them to solve their problems themselves first. Remember it is their careers too. A boss should be a mentor to enable the subordinates to prosper in their respective careers.
In the team some may be submissive, some assertive and some aggressive. Create a balance amongst the team. A good boss quickly learns to deal with different kinds of behaviour patterns and according to the situation.
So, when does a boss become a leader or a mentor?
If the boss is aware of his own responsibilities towards his team and carries them out, he/she is bound to become a good leader and a mentor. To a certain degree, everyone has the innate traits that make one a good boss. What is needed, is to work towards developing these traits.
I run a small Software company and try to follow the tips mentioned in this article. Each of my team members, start their day’s work only after uttering the three sentences given below.
‘Without customers, we do not exist.’
‘I shall follow all procedures to have a peaceful day.’
“I am good at my job, and I keep getting better at it’.
I believe, in this work-from-home scenario, these give them the motivation and confidence in their work and life.
Also read: Are you a boss or a leader?
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Posted bySridhar Narayanaswamy
Managing partner of Innovatus Systems, founded by him on January 1, 2013. Sridhar is a result oriented professional with over four decades in the Information Technology &...