What Makes a Good Boss?

If you are just entering the world of work it can be tricky to know what to expect from a boss. Most people will try to make a connection between other ‘authority figures’ such as teachers, or maybe even their parents, but of course a boss is something different entirely. Of course, bosses come in a number of variations, from good to bad, with some wanting to control everything and others happier to let their staff get on with things independently. Some workplaces will also require different approaches to management, dependent on the job and the staff, so is it really possible to define what makes a good boss? Fortunately, there seem to be a few accepted traits that make a good boss, so perhaps you’d like to see how your boss measures up, or even see if you have the makings of a great boss?

A good boss needs to be able to lead and direct others, which takes a level of charisma. It is no good if your boss is unapproachable or unable to motivate their staff. This may mean leading by example while allowing others a level of responsibility and freedom. A good boss should also work for the good of the business and staff, rather than just looking for personal progression and gain.

Here are a few traits that make a good boss:

  • Helping Others Achieve

Rather than having to control everything, a good boss needs to be able to let others work independently to achieve workplace goals. A level of trust is required here, so a good boss needs to also know who they can trust to work independently, and who may need some extra support.

  • They Support Their Staff

Most bosses will have to work closely with other senior staff members, but a good boss will always support their staff. To do any less undermines the employees’ trust in their leader, and also possibly their self-confidence. A good boss will know that their own credibility is tied to the performance of their staff, so will stand up for them and not look for praise for doing so. It is just part of the job.

  • They Welcome Feedback

Sadly this is not something that many bosses find easy to do, as they seem to feel feedback undermines their authority. But being able to accept ideas from staff members is important for any successful business. While a boss should maintain an overview, staff may have a closer working knowledge, which could provide an important insight.

  • They Accept Occasional Mistakes

A good boss will accept that mistakes may happen from time to time, but rather than blaming a person for an error, they will seek to work with them to rectify any problems. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding or a need for some extra training? Looking past the actual mistake is a sign of a good boss.

  • They Work to Improve their Staff

A bad boss will seek to keep their staff down, so that there is no chance of feeling threatened by capable employees. A bad boss will also keep things secret, guarding information and knowledge so that their staff don’t know everything. While some situations will certainly call for discretion, a good boss will also recognise the need to improve and develop their staff. Better employees create better results for the team and the business as a whole, while on the other hand, keeping employees in the dark and not providing any progression will just lead to a disgruntled workforce and the loss of the brightest and best as they look for new jobs elsewhere.

Each company has a different type of working culture, which may give you an insight into the type of bosses they employ and promote. Looking into this can be useful when you are looking for work, allowing you to find a job that suits you rather than simply looking for the salary. A good boss can be a real blessing in the workplace, while a bad boss can make your job a working nightmare!

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