The American Management Association posts articles, white papers, and various other training materials for business professionals on its website. I came across this piece about a year ago (although it was originally posted in April 2007), that ties in quite nicely with Dr. Robert Sutton’s newly released book, “Good Boss, Bad Boss.” You can read my review of “Good Boss, Bad Boss” in my August 2010 post.
Below (in its entirety) are Seven Ways to Avoid Becoming the Boss from Hell:
- Treat employees with respect and dignity
- Discuss personal and sensitive issues in private rather than publicly.
- Get to know your employees as people rather than mere workers.
- Involve employees in decisions
- Let employees know that their ideas are welcome.
- Thank employees for their suggestions and use them.
- Empower employees
- Delegate whenever possible.
- Allow employees to have more of a say in how they do their work.
- Clearly communicate assignments
- Communicate goals and expectations both individually and in writing.
- Ask employees to restate the goals and assignments in their own words.
- Listen, listen, listen
- Practice active listening techniques such as asking open-ended questions.
- Learn how to probe for information, ideas, and feelings when speaking with employees.
- Recognize that your job includes solving “people problems”
- Be prepared to address employee issues such as ineffective performance, health problems, family crises, substance abuse, and harassment from coworkers.
- When necessary, seek counsel and involvement from professionals in the human resource department.
- Provide personal recognition
- Catch employees in the act of performing well and provide them with recognition immediately, rather than waiting for the next performance review discussion.
- Just like the best gifts to receive are those when there is no occasion, periodically thank employees individually for their hard work.
American Management Association. (2007). Are you the “Boss from Hell?” Retrieved from http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/Are-You-the-Boss-from-Hell.aspx