We hate to break it to you, but a boss is ultimately only as good as the team he or she runs.
If you can’t get through to your team, and the numbers don’t head in the right direction, you’re not going to be the boss for long. On the bright side, there’s a foolproof method for getting subordinates on your side and more inclined to perform the way you’d like. It requires a soft touch, and you can’t fake it, but do this one thing and you’re on your way to a better staff that works harder and won’t give you problems when it’s time to buckle down.
It’s pretty simple, actually:
That’s it, friends. Listen to your subordinates and it won’t be long before they’ll run through a brick wall for you. This strategy hinges almost entirely on Empathy, and the way having some for the people on your team allows them to open up and, eventually, focus on the work you need them to do.
- When you ask people how they’re doing, pay attention to their answers.
- Remember the names of the important people in your subordinate’s lives. Spouses, significant others, kids, etc.
- Does someone have a hobby of particular interest, or a favorite sports team they care about irrationally? Ask them about it.
- Does your staff have any complaints about their working situation? Make note of these, and try to do something to help.
- If you figure out something you can do to make your employees lives easier, do it.
It could take a weekly meeting where you let them have the floor, or you could make a daily stroll through the bullpen to see what’s going on with everybody. They have lives outside of the office, and if you find out about those, all of the sudden you’ll find you’re not the Big Bad Boss making them do stuff they don’t want to do; instead, you’ll be the totally normal boss who’s just like them, and with whom they work together for the larger goals of the company.
Now, you will have to actually take an interest. Do that, however, and your staff, and, more importantly, their productivity numbers, will respond accordingly.
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