One of my friends asked me recently “What it takes to be become a great boss”. I asked him in return “Do you mean a great manager?”. No he said “Great boss”. I pondered over the difference. What is about boss that influences more than just being a manager?
A manager is most of the time the boss of someone and vice versa. So what is the reason we often prefer to call our manager as “Boss”( and sometimes as Sir). I have not heard till now anyone calling their superiors as “Manager” in front of his or her face( it would sound funny as well.)
While the boss is often connoted with terms such as “Bossing around”, I would like to use it in a positive sense.
What makes the word “Boss” more popular than a manager?
I think it has got to do more with the sense of belonging. Manager is almost impersonal. So if a Human resource person asks you , “Who is your manager?”, you probably understand who is she talking about. She is not asking for your “Boss”. On the other hand , boss is used when employees admires his or her superior and out of respect call him or her as “Boss”.
Boss is used in much more informal way, when the employee wants to develop more personal connection with the manager( much better than “Sir” which indicates some kind of authority figure). If you have been called a boss ever, you should consider yourself lucky because the employee calling you the boss thinks that you have the right credentials for the job. If not you can start working towards making yourself relationship better with subordinates.
As a boss you do not have to agree with everything your subordinate says to be popular. Remember you are still the manager, you have more experience in managing people than those you are managing. You have more accountability than any other member of team. It is just about understanding what a manager should do to achieve optimum levels of understanding with the team. It also means to develop a fruitful relationship to achieve objective as a team.
Hence what does it take to become a “Great boss”? In my experience, great bosses really do things so much differently . I have worked with great bosses and also worked with bad managers. Here are some of the best practice that I learned from some of the great bosses I worked under
Great bosses motivate, motivate and motivate:
A great boss never shies away from motivation. Even a small useful deed done by an employee is rewarded either by public praise, monetary reward or any other recognition. He or she never fails to communicate to other team members about the good work done by a single employee of the team.
Great bosses never criticize in public:
Bad managers often make this mistake. They shout, get angry in public, berate employees. Remember how humiliated we felt when chided in front of the class. That effect may be still there. No one likes to be shouted in public. If your subordinate has done something wrong, take him to a room and then get angry as much as you want( constructively) but never shout at him in public. A manager should manage his or her own feelings first and be in control of them.
Great bosses listen to every suggestion however ridiculous it may be
I was once scolded in school for giving a suggestion which the school principal misunderstood. I could never get off that feeling and stopped giving suggestions. It may have been an extreme reaction but giving suggestions is a hard thing to do. People are often scared that they would be laughed at or ridiculed. Great bosses are always open to suggestions even if they don’t agree with them. They put people at ease and thus help them to contribute more with ideas and suggestions
Great bosses work hard towards learning technical things as far as possible
Employees often complain “My manager does not understand the technicalities of subject” about a manager. It is a myth that a manager can manage a team without understanding basic of technology that their team is working in. A great boss doesn’t have to be a tech wizard but he knows at least some basics of field he or she is in .
Great bosses never ever show off authority
A great boss or a great manager never shows authority because he knows that such a show puts people off . A great boss always use tact, persuasion and motivation. He or she keeps the authority as a weapon of only last resort.
Now its your turn, what is the most important thing you admired about your boss /manager? Do let all of the readers of this blog know.