British entrepreneur Lara Morgan admits she doesn’t always get it right, but says she’s always striving to be the perfect boss.
Without my hard-working team and personal assistant (PA) I am toast. I need them around me much of every working day. We entrepreneurial types are many things, such as opinionated, disorganised, and only focussed on the big picture. We pay much less attention to administration and logistics, and I am more than happy to accept this analysis from anyone.
We say what we think, which may or may not make sense to anyone else. The problem is that we have so many things running around in our heads, including ideas, or that day’s schedule, while always searching for the next big thing. We never deliberately attempt to aggravate our staff or associates or colleagues, and we do genuinely forget things from time to time. Sometimes we need to take a breath and regroup.
We write how we think, which certainly isn’t always clear to other folk. I am definitely guilty of this and it’s quite a frequent occurrence. Such utterings and words make perfect sense to me, but it may appear a little vague to others. Therefore, I often need time to get my message straight. We entrepreneurial types may also seem a little hard-faced, while forgetting to appreciate the team which surrounds us.
However, I like to think that I do make the effort ‘ eventually ‘ to catch up with those work colleagues closest to me. I am not always right, but I am always searching for methods which will help us all work a little better. So here are my thoughts about how best we can understand each other’s needs. We are all different: some require a firm approach, while others will operate better with a softer guiding hand behind them.
First of all, it pays to learn the nuances and habits of others. This is invaluable. Staff members shouldn’t be scared to ask their bosses to slow down or repeat what has already been said. Do not assume you have made perfect sense first time of asking. All good bosses should understand and accept genuine feedback and, remember, feedback works both ways. Build a relationship that works for you. Sometimes you may need to speak loudly to catch everyone’s attention.
In my experience, my PA and wider team are loyal, beyond the call of duty. They are available at the drop of a hat, and sometimes during unsociable hours. This group of loyal warriors are my first port of call. They are sometimes my confidant and, from time to time, they offer a shoulder to cry on. They may even be considered a ‘Jack of all trades,’ juggling both their professional and personal lives
My colleagues are confident and strong, and they shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for themselves, especially if bosses are pushing the boundaries of politeness. I am not a mind-reader, so if something is not working for you, then tell me about it. It is so important to be honest and open.
Don’t worry about having an opinion. There are never any silly questions or ideas in my world. One small comment could pave the way to a brighter better world, product or service. And ultimately may improve working relationships or increase profit. Bosses should be open to change. Just because you have always done something one way, it doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon.
And don’t forget to edge outside of your comfort zone from time to time. It’s one way to learn and develop. What doesn’t break us makes us stronger. Frustration and anger are normal human traits. There will be times when you feel you’re losing the plot. But take a breath, sit back and re-evaluate. What is the worst that can happen? Everyone, from bosses to staff members, should remember this.
Nothing is perfect in a work environment and there are times everyone has to bite their tongue, especially when in pursuit of the bigger picture. Yet I make certain, within my team, there is always someone to rant to ‘ far better out than in.
Being a better boss:
- Think ahead
- Build relationships
- Think clearly on your feet
- May need to second guess
- Add value
- Don’t be a shrinking violet
- Have a thick skin
- Do not take things personally
- Learn lessons
Dealing with others:
- How is someone else’s day going?
- How is someone else’s life going?
- Share your thoughts and life experiences with others, and vice-versa.
- Be humble. My life is not the same as others.
- Consider the tone and tenure of your speech. Most of the time it’s not what you say, but the manner in which you say it.
- Be absolutely clear, even if something needs repeating, as this will save time in the long run.
- Always reward good performance. Even a ‘thank-you’ is sometimes enough.
- Enjoy it because, if you don’t, it’s certainly not the job for you.
- Salute those around you. Make certain they know they are appreciated.