How to be a good boss


1. Trust your employees

The number-one complaint that employees have about their bosses is micromanaging and that stems from a lack of trust. Good bosses, on the other hand, trust that their employees are smart, capable adults. They focus on results instead of wasting time worrying that things are done exactly how they would do them. 

2. Check your ego and do the work

You’ve likely heard the adage about not asking someone to do work you wouldn’t or haven’t done yourself. Good bosses aren’t dictators who give orders; they understand what’s a reasonable workload and don’t view themselves as above any job. In fact, pitching in to help when needed is a good refresher for managers who find themselves removed from the day-to-day duties, and it shows that you really are part of a team. 

3. Celebrate progress and give constructive feedback

These are different sides of the same coin and equally important. You may have the best boss in the world, but if your work is never acknowledged, you’ll eventually feel like there’s no point in working hard. And if you make mistakes or have gaps in your skills or knowledge, a “nice” boss who never helps you improve isn’t doing you any favors in your career development.

4. View employees as people first

Work is not your family; good bosses know this and respect that their employees have families, personal obligations, and interests that will sometimes need to take priority. Good bosses get to know who their employees are as people and give them the grace and flexibility when needed.  

5. Communicate and be honest

You can’t expect employees to feel motivated if they don’t understand what they are working for. The job of a good boss—especially a middle manager—is to clearly communicate what they know with their employees. Ambiguity leads to speculation, worry, and confusion, especially during challenging times. Good bosses tell as much as they can and admit when there are things they don’t know.

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