Being the boss is hard work. You enjoy leading the team, but the job also comes with a myriad of pressures you never experienced as an individual contributor.
In this position, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s going on with your team. Sure, you were once in their shoes, but now that you see things from a manager’s perspective, it can be hard to relate to them.
Use Your Experiences To Lead Your Team
The thing is, the best leaders are empathetic to the needs of their staff. If you don’t treat people with kindness, they won’t enjoy their jobs — and this will be obvious in the quality of their work. Here’s some advice to help you become a more compassionate leader.
Ask Questions — and Really Listen
Think back to your past experience. Chances are, you’ve had bosses who showed a genuine interest in you and those who barely knew your name. As a kind and caring person, you know you want to be like the former.
You can’t fully know what’s going on with your team unless you ask. Use staff meetings and one-on-one chats to learn what’s going well with employees and what isn’t. This will show people you really care and want to help them thrive.
No doubt, you’ve had at least one boss you barely knew. This person spent most of their time in their office with the door closed, barely ever coming around to see what you and your colleagues were up to.
It’s hard to relate to your team if you’re never around. Sitting in your corner office all day might be peaceful, but it won’t help you bond with employees and earn their trust. Make a point to stop by your employees’ desks at least once per day to make small talk, see how they’re doing, and offer your support.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Serving in a managerial role is a lot of pressure. The responsibility of leading people and ensuring the team meets certain targets can become all-consuming. This can cause you to exhibit behaviors you wouldn’t appreciate if you were your own employee — i.e., mandatory overtime for an entire month.
When interacting with your team, take a step back and try to see yourself through their eyes. If you wouldn’t want to have yourself as a boss, it’s time to adjust your behavior.
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