Blog: What not to do while bossing around

Life @ Work

What not to do while bossing around

Here are tips for a new boss to connect with and manage their teams
What not to do while bossing around

When you are a new boss and this can happen at several points in your career, a constant question that is asked is “How do you build trust in your team and have them accept you as the boss?”  The best answer to this question and the best way to do this is to trust them first.  Here is looking at a few tips on what to do when you take up a new assignment as the boss of a team.

Get help whenever required

Learn how to delegate and get work done through others.  It is perfectly okay to accept that you might not be the smartest person in the team.  Go to the most experienced and senior members of the team and learn from them.  They could become your mentors and guide you to become a better leader, though you might be the boss of the team.  

Never stop asking for help.  This is not a sign of weakness, but a commitment to lifelong learning.  When you ask for help, get recommendations and advice and act on them together with the team, those employees who guided you feel valued and respected.  They are helping in the process of making decisions and feel good about it.  

Motivate your team

Teams consist of talented people with different skills.  Hold your employees accountable, treat them with respect, trust them to excel and celebrate their small victories instead of waiting until the end results are achieved.  This would help employees get excited and feel the momentum of those celebrations.

Be empathetic towards your employees

MBWA or Managing-by-wandering-around is one of the management styles that was very successfully adapted by Hewlett-Packard.  This means that the manager or boss is not in their office all day.  They walk around the floor or office space, greeting and talking to as many employees as possible, listening to them and their day-to-day reality.  Invest your time and energy into becoming actively approachable.  Employees will trust you better and you will be able to see improved results with this approach.

Set a tone of authority, but do not become overbearing

New found power of becoming the boss can give you a very heady feeling, especially if you have to manage former peers.  This can become a very fertile ground for resentment and negativity.  Learn the ropes of management with a fine sense of balance.

The other side of the balance 

You cannot be everybody’s friend.  There is a natural tendency to want to be liked in the new role.  This cannot happen if you want to exert control and take effective corrective actions.  Earning respect is what is required rather than friendship.

Set down clear employee objectives

This could work as your best friend.  Work with your employees in setting down their objectives very clearly and without any miscommunication.  Objectives should be clear, measurable and agreed upon, both by the employee and you, as their boss.  These can act as guidelines during conflicts and uncertainties.

Becoming a good boss or manager takes a lot of time, energy and investment on your part.  Miracles or changes cannot happen overnight.  With skills, training and the right attitude, you can eventually get there.

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Topics: Life @ Work, Culture

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