When thinking of inspirational leaders and successful bosses, those such as Winston Churchill, Anna Wintour and Alan Sugar come to mind - people who’ve achieved considerable success, performed grandiose actions or obtained a considerable personal fortune.
While they may appear to be all stirring speeches, authoritative demeanour and sharp suits, what took them to great places was undoubtedly an understanding of how to engage with people and command the respect of their team - after all, the saying goes ‘a man is only a leader when a follower stands beside him’.
Finding the balance between gaining respect and trust or eliciting fear and sometimes disillusionment with employees can be a tricky one, with many people struggling to know when and how to tow the line. So, to help ensure you guide with as much gusto and positivity as possible, we sat down with Clinical Hypnotherapist and Life Coach, Jacqueline Hurst , to see what top 10 tips she could lend on how to be a brilliant and better boss.
One of my favourite quotes recently was from Karen Brady who said “never look down on a woman unless you are helping her up”. This would be my first top tip - don’t underestimate people, especially with regards to gender.
Having worked my way from being broke to an entrepreneur, I would say that it’s important to give people a chance. Just because the person working for you is more junior, doesn’t mean they don’t have great ideas. Always be open and willing to hear other people’s opinions and points of view.
Listen, listen and listen. There is a definite art to listening - never assume you know what someone is going to say. Make the time to listen to your employees. Everyone needs to be heard.
Don’t shut yourself away from others. It’s important to be part of the team and friendly. If you come across as unapproachable your business will suffer. I have worked with many clients whose main reason for not taking their business to the next level is because they have come across as inaccessible.
You get more bees with honey – this was a saying my father taught me at a very young age. In other words, you get a lot more out of people by being nice to them rather than mean.
Be eager to learn
I learn something new every day from each and every one of my clients. Just because I am considered to be the ‘professional’ or the ‘expert’ does not mean I have finished my learning. We are all teachers and we can all continue to learn from others. Be open to learning from everyone. It was John F Kennedy who once wisely said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”
We are in a world of email, iPhone and voicemail and our communication is getting lost in translation. I always advise my clients to ‘talk’ to their staff if they want to be a better boss. Make time to sit and talk to them, schedule it in, even if its 5 minutes. Do not communicate the big things on email. Ever.
Don’t be rigid in your views and opinions - allow flexibility in. You’re the boss and you’re there for good reason but it’s also important to remain flexible. Remember that the old proverb: "The wind does not break a tree that can bend."
Another great piece of advice was to always call people by their names. This sounds silly but everyone loves the sound of their own name, so try to do this as much as you can.
Be firm but fair
Everyone likes to respect their boss and the best way to achieve this is to try to be stable, dependable, courageous and strong. Be friendly but have boundaries - this is the key to super boss status.