Your company is only as good as your people, and that starts with the top brass. Bosses have their brand’s future and their employee’s happiness in their hands. This can seem like a big feat to tackle, to say the least.
However, cultivating respect in the workplace isn’t accomplished all at once. Instead, it’s about a series of daily habits that mesh together to create leadership that engages people and instills trust in them too.
Here are some things the best bosses do on a daily basis that make them wildly successful leaders. Sprinkle these into your daily routine, and you’ll be sure to have a happy workplace:
1. They stay far away from micromanaging
Take it from actress and producer Tina Fey, who wrote in her memoir Bossypants, “In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” If you’re constantly trying to control every inch, you’ll detract from the work quality of everything, while quickly dissolving trust in your team.
Instead, be an amazing boss by taking comfort in the fact that you hired your employees for their talents and qualifications. Trust them to handle the finer day to day details, while you worry about the big picture, and you’ll both be saner and more successful.
2. They make the time to reinforce good work
During a busy workday, many bosses only make the time to speak to their team when something “needs” correcting. Amazing bosses, on the other hand, know that a little bit of praise goes a long way, and that pointing out good work leads to further successes.
This is not to say you shouldn’t call out poor performance - but Harvard studies have found the ratio of positive to negative reinforcement should ideally sway more towards the former. So if you notice an employee staying late to get a jump start on a project, make sure to verbally let them know you see and appreciate what they’re doing.
If you boost morale, you boost productivity and profitability in the workplace and maintain the well-being of your team.
3. They actually listen
We’ve all had bad bosses, and nine times out of ten poor communication is at the heart of the issue. Instead of dolling out orders constantly, amazing bosses practice active listening-a tool that many point to as the make-or-break factor for communication.
Studies have even found that active listening accounts for 40% of leadership success. By actively listening, you’re not only understanding the information, but you’re letting the person speaking to you know that as well.
Some easy ways to start doing this are to say “tell me more”, to show that you’re listening, or to provide feedback.
4. They stay mentally and physically fit
Besides the obvious health dangers, you simply can’t be a good boss if you’re running on three hours of sleep every day. Being a successful and well-respected leader starts with having the physical and mental stamina to keep up with the job.
Even hard working, busy bosses like Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey find time to exercise, read, and rest on a daily basis. Penciling “me time” in daily ensures you stay sharp and on top of your game before you even set foot in the office.
5. They evaluate themselves
I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but there’s no such thing as the perfect boss. And amazing bosses know that better than anyone, so they welcome personal feedback with open arms.
Don’t be afraid to ask HR or your staff what your strengths are and what you could stand to improve on. Taking constructive feedback in stride is one of the most powerful ways we can grow as leaders. As a day-to-day routine, try checking in with yourself at the end of every work day - this will ultimately make you a more receptive and self-aware leader.
6. They understand the ins and outs of every job
There’s nothing more irritating than a boss who orders deadlines and deliverables on something he or she has zero knowledge about.
Chinese billionaire and founder of Lens Technology, Zhou Qunfei, is an example of what amazing leaders do instead. She’s famous for being a hands-on boss, who can operate all the machinery in her factories.
In a profile feature about Qunfei, writer David Barboza notes, “When she passes a grinding machine, she is apt to ask technicians to step aside so she can take their place for a while.” Granted, you don’t need to know how every printer works, but you do need to take the time to understand specific positions and the challenges that go along with them.
7. They encourage constructive arguments
There’s nothing people hate more than meetings that waste time and kill productivity, so make yours count by encouraging your staff to speak their minds.
Shonda Rhimes, a titan television producer of shows like Grey’s Anatomy, finds that innovation and creativity springs from constructive dissent. “Don’t come and pitch me a problem. You have to pitch me a solution,” she says. “If you’re going to be in a room, you have to talk … If you’re going to talk, don’t just agree with me; I love nothing more than people who are willing to argue. If you’re not willing to argue, you shouldn’t be in that room.”