How not to be an extraordinary boss

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Here are eight things that can keep a good or great boss from being an Extraordinary one. Fortunately, all of these traits are easily fixable by changing our own behaviors and actions.

1. You need everyone to love you. While you need everyone on your team to respect you, and it is easier to lead people if they like you, if you need your team to love you, you will never be an Extraordinary boss. Your need to be loved will keep you from setting expectations too high or delivering difficult feedback. Be proud that you have a cohesive team that likes working with you. Leave the love for family, friends, your dog or your cat.

2. You don’t walk your own talk. I once worked for a manager who told us we couldn’t have friends visit us at work but he his friends would be in the store for hours at a time. This cost him both credibility and his team. Walk your talk and the team will follow.

3. You mitigate your praise. A lot of good bosses don’t even realize they do this. Here’s a common example of mitigating praise. “Great sale, Danny, but you missed the chance to show the customer the new products.” Notice how the feedback on not showing the new products diminished the praise? A better way to say it is, “Great sale Danny, and next time you want to be sure show the customer the new products.” I like to remind managers to keep their “but” out of their feedback.

4. You work in your office during peak times. Every owner and manager has a lot of office work that needs to get done, but the Extraordinary bosses are almost always available during peak periods. They also tell their staff that when they get busy to ask for help. Unless you give the staff permission to interrupt your work most of them won’t.

5. You have off-the-record conversations. There are no off-the-record conversations with your staff. The minute a boss says, “Just between us. . .” you’re no longer an Extraordinary boss.

6. You don’t give balanced feedback. Some bosses only praise their staff and some bosses only tell people what they did wrong. Extraordinary bosses make sure they’re giving all their employees a good balance of praise and instructional feedback.

7. You show favoritism. There are people we like and there are people we like less. As much as we’d like to think this doesn’t happen, it does. The key is to keep those feelings to yourself. When I was a manager I thought I was pretty good at hiding my feelings until my assistant pointed out that I gave away my opinions with who I let hang out in the office off the floor. Ouch.

8. You don’t have regular developmental conversations with employees. One trait of an Extraordinary boss is his/her relentless focus on helping employees grow and develop. That doesn’t happen through osmosis. It requires regular conversations with employees about their strengths and areas of development.

So let me ask, is there anything holding you back from being an Extraordinary boss?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.

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