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11 Ways To Become Everyone’s Favorite Boss (While Still Being a Leader)

No employee likes a rude boss or one who doesn’t care. Your team would be attracted to you if you show a little kindness. Like Glen Campbell said,

“you’ve got to try a little kindness, shine your light for everyone to see.”

But how do you do it? What should you try? Look at these tips:

1. Don’t Force It

Everyone hates forced friendships because most of them don’t just work out. Yes, you should be kind to your employees but if it doesn’t flow naturally, it’ll be rebuffed.

Being professional and exhibiting leadership should be your stance in the early days of this relationship building. Remember it’s not your job to be the cool boss but a good relationship with your staff rubs off on your company.

2. Take Criticism

You may not be right all the time, it’s possible that while handling management and other responsibilities in your work you may miss it at some point. So you should welcome criticism.

And give them a format to present any criticism they may have of your decisions. Some employees don’t criticize even when you encourage them to because they believe that most employers don’t expect them to actually do as they say.

Don’t take it personally, handle it with these tips- thank them for providing feedback, ask questions to get their point clearly if it’s vague and provide a response or an action plan on how you’ll handle the subject.

3. Listen

You’re the leader, you’re supposed to be in control but you can’t if you don’t let everything sink in to be processed for some time. Encourage your team to ask questions and try to spend time clarifying any grey areas.

Understand why they’re asking a particular question so you can provide an appropriate response, it’ll help show that you care.

3. Give Something

Everyone loves a freebie. But don’t just give anything. Give something that’ll add value to their lives, one they’d remember for some time.

How do you find that prefer gift? Start by doing a little research. Look out for the topics your employees are interested in and things they need help with. Even problems that relate to career development would be okay.

When you’re done with your little research, look for the problem that you can most comfortably solve. Then create or get the freebie and include your brand colors in there, then deliver the freebie, if it’s a digital product you can send it through mail.

You don’t have to spend lots of money on the gift but it should solve a problem. Snacks at lunch break deal with hunger, so something like that.

4. Ask For A Favor

It’s not all about the money these days, people actually feel bad if they’re not contributing anything at work. So make your workers feel like a big piece of the puzzle. Just like you used your strengths when giving a freebie, try to ask for favors you know they’d be comfortable handling but not something so bland they’ll think you’re trying to force a connection.

It’s not really part of their job description so you should let them know they don’t need to spend a lot of time on it.

5. Keep Them In The Know

This part builds on the former and strengthens that attachment. Employees who are aware of the company’s goals would work ahead to ensure they’re achieved.

Give updates on ongoing projects and try to let in a little praise here or there for those who’ve contributed to key aspects of the project.

6. Encourage Learning

Make it clear that you understand that very few people get it right on their first day or week or month and that you’re ready to work with them so they can improve.

Try to avoid fatal mistakes by delegating key tasks to proven employees but also get others going for the low hanging fruits so they can build on their confidence.

7. Don’t Put Them On The Spot

Try to avoid public criticism as much as you can. Work with employees that are not taking the right decisions, help them improve delivery at work. Putting any of your employees on the spot can force them into trying to prove you wrong. And sometimes they try too hard and make more mistakes.

8. Spot Talent And Make Them Shine At It

Many people are bored with work. That’s because many companies make it about the results and not how those results are produced. So efficiency keeps falling over time.

How many times do you get bored with [insert favorite fun activity]? Never, right? That’s because we all like to play and have fun, work is the direct opposite. Look out for your employees’ strengths and try to delegate jobs that require that ability to them.

9. Promote Workplace Friendships

If you’re that boss that’s improving relationships in the office, people would love you. But workplace friendships can get toxic without control, so you shouldn’t get it wrong at the beginning.

Pair people with overlapping skills. So if you need work done on your website, don’t pair two people with huge egos. Treat every member of your team equally, so these partnerships should be a way to help those lacking in specific skills.

And again don’t force it, if it’s not working, try reshuffling, it’s okay to tweak things until you get it right.

10. Be Honest

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Employees may have different views on the path they think the company should do but it’s up to you to ensure you don’t raise their hopes unnecessarily.

If there are answers you need to think about before giving, do that, you should be in a very composed state when chatting with your team.

11. Lead

Yep. Everything rises and falls on leadership so if you’re going to create that atmosphere of kindness in your company, your acts of kindness should be seen and not just heard.

Try to avoid jokes you know people would get sensitive to, jokes about things like gender, religion and politics would offend a section of the team, you don’t want to burn your bridges before you’re even midway.


Originally published at Jon Lee Clark.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 343,876+ people.

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