5 Ways to Be a Better Boss

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Coaching Tips from Linda Dulye, President/Founder Dulye & Co.

Fundamentally it gets down to building meaningful relationships. These five things will build bridges between you and team members:

Linda Dulye1. Get feedback. The sound of silence is not music for your ears. Assess the dividend of feedback that you receive during a typical five-minute conversation. If a tell-only delivery mode has you settling for little more than head-nodding, realize that you are information starved. Similar to how you turn on the radio to hear what’s happening nationally and locally, turn on the feedback of your organization to gain new and valuable perspectives about the business, team, customers and more.

2. Ask questions. Discover what’s going on with your team members? Inquiry is essential for improving performance—yours and others. Ask questions to learn from and about employees. Make them open ended so you hear more than a yes or no response. Keep them fresh and frequent.

3. Mind the clock. Don’t keep others waiting. With time in such short supply for just about everyone, wasting it sends a message of disrespect. Become more aware of how you spend others’ time. For example, evaluate how you conduct team meetings. Experience and research show that most crumble from stale and time-consuming routines—such as starting late and operating without an agenda. Begin and end on time by appointing a meeting timekeeper, and create agendas with topics, outcomes and time stamps.

4. Show that you care. If you don’t, you’ll be branded the lone ranger with no posse. Convey gratitude in visual ways for others to see. Turn a whiteboard into a recognition zone you can post handwritten notes of appreciation when you catch team members doing something right in the moment. Recognize the little things that become collective big successes. Encourage others to add their thoughts to your initial expression.

5. Bring fun into the workplace. Carve fifteen minutes of fun-time into Friday mornings. Solicit help by asking: “Who’s got a wild and crazy idea of how we can have fun.” From wearing 60s’ retro round sunglasses to sharing photos of team members with their favorite sports mascots, introduce small practices that can trigger smiles and laughter. When you have fun together, people are more likely open up and step up in good and tough times.

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