5 Rules of Good Management

5 timeless rules for becoming a great boss

Yes, great bosses are individuals with unique visions, arriving in all shapes and sizes.

If you dig deep enough, however, you will also find many shared qualities that help them effectively lead and motivate their teams.

If you are seeking to improve your abilities as a manager, the following list of five rules to becoming a great boss is a smart place to start.

Rule 1: Find people who are strong where you are weak

When hiring, managers are often tempted to employ someone like themselves. A boss who prides themselves on their technical knowledge might, for example, hire other tech-minded people. Yet, while it is natural to be drawn to people similar to ourselves, a great boss should be self-reflective, examining his or her own weaknesses—and hiring people who can fill those gaps.

So, try making a list of areas you struggle in and incorporating that into your hiring interviews. In the end you’ll have a more well-rounded, more effective team.

It also means you can focus on honing your current skills rather than spending all your time trying to improve on your weaknesses.

Rule 2: Keep your employee’s personal goals in mind

When running a business, it can be easy to forget that your employee’s goals are not the same as the goals you have for yourself or your business. Holding regular development meetings can help you learn about your staff’s personal and professional goals. Acknowledge and reward not only professional growth, but also personal growth. Set up benchmarks for your employees that make clear you appreciate them in a holistic way.

This is incredibly important because employees who feel you are helping them grow will work harder, be more invested in the business, and be less likely to leave for other opportunities.

Rule 3: Set clear expectations and work with people to meet them

Confusion is a guaranteed productivity killer. Employees who do not know what they are expected to do often feel like they can’t do anything at all.

Provide each employee clear direction. You should also make sure you are regularly available to help them should they have any issues.

Once someone understands what they need to do to be great at their job, they will be empowered to rise to the occasion—and actually require less guidance from you.

Rule 4: Provide good feedback

This is pretty simple: When someone completes a task, tell them what they did well and where they can improve. Be generous with praise. If they struggle, avoid excessive blame. It’s counterproductive and will only lead to resentment and employees trying to hide rather than fix mistakes. Instead, be constructive. You’ll have more loyal, better motivated employees who aren’t afraid to do the work to grow their skillsets because they know they won’t be unduly punished for the inevitable mistakes along the way.

Rule 5: Encourage and reward employee feedback

Constructive criticism should be a two-way street. Employee feedback can include ideas for the business, critique of a process, or just feedback on your leadership.

Workplaces that encourage constructive feedback are able to nurture new ideas and adapt to changing environments more quickly. They are also happier places to work because people feel they are being truly seen and heard. That means less time spent handling internal issues and more time running your company.

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