Winter is coming is a phrase that keeps being repeated to me. It’s definitely tough out there at the moment and as a boss our team are looking to us for direction and energy. One of things I have been pondering myself lately is am I a good boss? In this blog I share my self relfection on being a good boss.
Our Own Boss
When we own the Company, we are our own boss. Are we any good at it? We always talk in management training that you can’t organise anyone else until you are personally organised, well the same can be said for being the boss, are you doing a good job as your own boss. Do you give yourself a hard time unnecessarily? Are you kind to yourself? Do you recognise when you need to rest and recharge or do you power through and wonder why you are exhausted and snappy?
When I reflect on those questions I often don’t rate myself highly as a boss. I do give myself a hard time, I am not good at being kind to myself and when I ignore the signs I need to rest and recharge, sometimes I don’t like myself very much.
Being the Boss of Others
So on the basis we may not being a great job being our own boss, are we doing any better managing others? For some of us, there will be times when we have sacrificed our own needs to ensure our staff are happy. Do you recognise any of the following?:
Not having a difficult conversation, for fear of upseting someone.
Taking work from someone and doing it yourself rather than help them to do the job well.
Allowing someone to speak badly to you as they are probably having a bad day without establishing the facts.
When we self reflect we are all probably capable of being a boss that is subsmissive to its team. Giving the team what they need at the expense as to what you need/the business needs. In fact it can also be deterimental to someone’s development. Let’s take the example of taking work off someone, if they don’t learn to do it well, they will remain dependent on you doing that for them, leading them to feel demoralised over time.
So where is the balance?
So the first thing is that a balance is needed. Being a good boss does mean looking after yourself and others. Like the old addage, the flight attendant will always say “in the event of an emergency place the oxygen mask over your own face, before helping others to secure theirs”.
The same is true in management if you haven’t taken care of your physical and mental wellbeing you will not be a good boss. If you have ignored the signs that you need to rest and recharge, you will not be a good boss. When I know I need to clear my head I go out for a bit. Maybe a walk, maybe a change in environment. Not necessarily very long, but enough to reset. If I don’t I become snappy, irritable and less able to make good decisions.
The second part of that balance is to be a good boss we have to ‘do the do’. We have to make the tough calls, put in the leg work, communicate like we mean it, have a clear vision for where we are going and take action to get there.
Where can you find out how you are doing as a boss?
Well this one is easy to say and sometimes difficult to do. Ask your team. Don’t be afraid of being told some hometruths. Remember it will be nothing you haven’t already told yourself when you self reflecting on your own performance as your own boss.
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