Lots of career blogs are written from the perspective of the individual/employee… “How do I get noticed at work?” “How should I deal with co-workers?” “How do I get a raise or a promotion?” “How do I get myself ready to find a new job?”
And, companies deliver lots of management training… “How do I give performance feedback?” “How do I deal with problems at work?” “How do I mesh the different personalities and work styles on my team?” “How do I manage the ‘up and coming’ superstar?”
What I’d like to do this week is give you a clear list of principles to follow to be a good boss. I’m NOT saying the list is exhaustive, or that the principles are easy. I AM saying that if you use this list as a guidepost, and strive to manage by these principles, you’ll be a better boss, your team will be happier and they, you and your company will benefit.
1. Be direct. When you have something to say to a team member, say it to him or her. Never communicate through someone else. The only exception to this is if you’re telling someone something about his/her direct report, in which case offer to be available to explain your point to the person him/herself.
2.Be clear. Describe the issue, give enough context for it to make sense and provide examples. Check, by asking if your team member understands what you’re saying.
3. Ask if you can help. Is there anything you can do more of/less of/differently to help get the job done correctly. This can include anything from additional training to running interference for your team member with another department.
4. Defend your team members to others… not blindly because sometimes your team will make mistakes. But, if this is the case, don’t belittle your team member to others. Admit the problem, take ownership of it and commit to fixing it in a respectful way.
5. Show that you want your people to do well. Don’t look for “gotchas” – ways to trip someone up. Be invested in your team member’s success.
We’ll revisit this list in a few weeks and see if there are more principles… you know there are, of course!