It may not seem like it if you’re the boss, but the more your workers like you, the better work they’re going to do. Of course there are some exceptions to this. Maybe the worker just isn’t qualified for the work they’re supposed to be doing, or maybe you’re too friendly with your workers and they just take advantage of you. Finding a balance between being a figure of authority and being empathetic to those who work under you can transform the culture of the workplace to be more productive and even more fun.
- Being fair doesn’t always mean being equal
There is a fine line when it comes to being fair and being equal with the workers under you. Being fair means that you reward them when they doing something well, not rewarding everyone in the office just because one person was praised. If you were to treat everyone equally, there would be nothing to work for. Making that distinction is important because you can’t pick favorites, but you can treat people differently as long as the way you’re treating them is fair.
- You can’t be everybody’s friend
It’s no big deal if you’re a little closer with some employees in the office than others, but being everyone’s friend leaves you vulnerable in the work place. When you’re close with people that work for you outside of work, they may feel like they have a leg up on other employees and those other employees might think the same about your relationship. If you can balance your work-friend relationship, it’s okay, but that’s entering into a very gray area. It’s better to keep your figure of authority consistent in the workplace so that people like and respect you. That way they can take you seriously.
- Realize that you’re not all-knowing
Even the boss can make mistakes sometimes and that’s not something you should be ashamed of. You should feel comfortable asking your employees for feedback on how you’re running your department, what you could do better, and to help pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. Employees might notice that you do something in a backwards kind of way, but are too scared to correct you because you’re their boss. You should make your employees feel comfortable enough that they can talk to you in a way where the business’ success is always the end goal.
- Run productive meetings
No matter what industry you’re in, you’re going to have to call a meeting at some point if you’re the boss. There’s no easier way to communicate with everyone than to have them sitting right in front of you with no choice but to listen. Before calling a meeting however, know what you want to say. If you talk out of order or forget something and email it later, you’re going to confuse everyone. Be concise with your words, talk in an organized manner, and prepare!
- Don’t be afraid to say no
When an employee comes to you with a request or idea, you should always hear them out. Even if it sounds outlandish when they first start the conversation, they deserve respect from you, so just listen. With that, you can’t be afraid to turn down ideas or requests. If someone wants a raise but hasn’t been performing optimally, why would you give them more money? If you’re too scared to let people down, you’ll never be a great leader.
Some people are born with great leadership skill sets and others need to learn supervisory skills. Becoming a manager can take some getting used to especially if you haven’t been in that type of a leadership role before. Time and experience is one of the best ways in which you can strengthen your skills, but there are books to read, workshops to attend, and people to talk to that can always help as well.