When You’re The Boss

by Ron Haynes

boss You’ve gotten that promotion and does it ever feel GREAT! You are now the boss. You’re in charge and from here on out, things are going to be different. Your department WILL come in under budget, make their deadlines and, under your leadership, they WILL get things done. Right?

Many new bosses take the position that their only goal is to meet deadlines, drive “continuous improvement,” and just get things done (whatever that means). These bosses regularly treat their employees like cogs in a machine – replaceable parts that have little value.

Though these tactics may work in the short term, in the long term they plant the seeds of low morale and productivity, and they grow to produce employees that do ONLY what they have to do to keep their job. A far more effective policy is to develop methods to gain the loyalty and admiration of those working under you by showing them respect. Here are some specific ways to do that:

  • Ask rather than tell: Instead of issuing orders, present assignments to employees as requests. That doesn’t mean you should be wishy-washy or passive-aggressive. Just issue a clear, direct, and concise request.
  • Be clear when giving instructions: Make sure your employees understand their responsibilities and your expectations.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit a mistake: If you take responsibility, employees will follow suit, taking responsibility for their actions, and your workplace will be both more pleasant and productive.
  • Encourage disagreement: Employees who disagree (and can back it up) and those with questions can help you uncover flaws in your thinking and processes. Listening to employees also makes them feel valued and respected.
  • Give regular feedback: Make sure employees have a strong sense of their performance level, including areas in which they could improve. Give praise and compliments when they’re deserved.
  • Always be polite: Never belittle your employees. Criticize when it’s warranted, but never in public or in front of other employees. If you make people feel dumb or ashamed even once, they won’t work hard for you.
  • Set a good example: Abide by the rules you set for employees. If you don’t, you’ll look like BE a hypocrite.
  • Never make it personal: Always focus on work performance. Don’t comment on appearance, dress, or anything that might offend.

It all boils down to treating employees the way you want to be treated. And that’s the best way to develop a cohesive, winning team that produces desired results.

Photo by Wespionage

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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Great tips, I’m working on becoming the boss at my new job right now. These will come in handy.


great tips. can you send this to my boss?!?!?!

“being clear when giving instructions” is the key part of it all. if you aren’t clear what your boss wants you to do, you WILL do it wrong. okay, you probably would’ve done it wrong anyway, but more wrong without those clear instructions! :)

Credit Girl

Great tips! I believe that if you give your employees a good work environment and help them out as much as possible, you’ll get good feedback and results that will reflect how well you managed your company. And ultimately, that’ll also result in good numbers for your company.

Andrew @ Financial Services

I’m a fan of the power of collaboration. A boss is a boss but he should be willing to collaborate to the goals of our organization. It makes a team or an organization to be much bigger than the total sum of it’s members. :)

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