August 2018
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Six Steps to Becoming a Great Boss

 

Six Steps to Becoming a Great Boss

Do you think of yourself as a good boss? Do your staff agree? What makes a good boss? Is it leadership style, personality, an ability to delegate and empower people? Can you remember good bosses and bad bosses from your past? In many ways the answers to all these questions is subjective. Someone who is perceived as a good boss by one person might be viewed very differently by someone else.

So, is it possible to nail down a set of standards, skills, strategies that will give you an edge when it comes to your ability to lead and at the same time be respected and liked? That's a tall order but the following six steps will certainly bring you closer to the status of great leader and great boss.

1. Have a Clear Vision

Having and sharing a vision creates buy-in. Understand that people are not only motivated by money they are also inspired by clear goals and the pride that comes with accomplishing them together as a team. Clearly show each member of your team how they are contributing to the future success of your company. Integral to your vision should be an understanding as to what your employees value and need. Delivering on this will impact positively on their performance, create loyalty and increase productivity.

2. Make Yourself Approachable and Inclusive

First, tell your employees about your vision and your strategic plan for the business. Involve them. Listen to their feedback. Make them feel comfortable enough to share their ideas with you. Use their ideas whenever you can and thank them for their contribution. Trust the judgement of your team, you don't always need to be right. Give people room to grow.

3. Be growth-oriented.

Good bosses are always learning new stuff - they are constantly taking courses and improving their skills both technical and management. They also encourage and support their employees in both personal and professional development. Great bosses help financially and offer days off for employees to take relevant courses and programs.

4. Adopt the Role of Coach

Times have changed and today good leaders, good bosses lead more than they manage. Coaching your employees means trying to get the best performance out of them just as you would if you were a hockey, or soccer team coach. A terrific boss knows his or her employee's strengths and weaknesses and how to maximize the former and minimize the latter. He or she knows what inspires them to give their all and play a unique part in the team. Sure, you still have to manage your business, just do it with the mentality of a coach.

5. Be Aware of your Employees Life Beyond Work

This works especially well with smaller businesses where you know all your employees by name and know them, at least a little, beyond the parameters of work. Notice their personal achievements such as getting a diploma or running a marathon, personal issues such as family health problems. Ask about their children, or elderly parents perhaps - these small things show them you see them as people not just productivity units. This is one of the biggest motivators of all.

6. Recognize that Becoming a Great Boss is a Process

Sure, some people are born leaders; it comes naturally. For most people however it is something to be learned over a period of time on the front line. There are hundreds of books, blogs, YouTube videos and courses on leadership - check a few out and become familiar with what great bosses and great leaders have in common, what traits they exhibit. Observe leaders you admire and see how they manage to motivate people to follow them.


Once the people who work for you start to admire and respect you, to be motivated by you, magic can happen. There is a cohesiveness that occurs when a company is led by a great boss; it's when a single entity becomes greater than the sum of its parts. That's powerful.

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Six Steps to Becoming a Great Boss

 

It Takes Courage to Sell Stuff

Making a sale can be exhilarating, but what goes before that magical moment can make or break a salesperson. The bottom line is, it takes a lot of courage to sell. That first moment when you pick up the phone, or arrive at a sales appointment, or even worse do an in-person cold call, is scary stuff.

Courage is part of the deal, and if you don't have it, you won't be very successful at making sales. Here are some thoughts on understanding the role of courage in your selling process, and some ideas on how to pave the foundation upon which your courage can be built.

The Courage to Know

Knowledge is power - the more you know about what you are selling and who you are selling it to, the braver you will feel. The fear of saying something wrong or giving incorrect information can be paralyzing, and impacts the ability to sell with confidence. The fear of being asked a question you won't be able to answer is worse. If you are managing a sales team, don't stint on training them well.

The Courage to Begin

That 'cold' call, that first appointment, the first time selling a particular product or service can be terrifying. Get a few no's and the fear escalates exponentially. Good calls boost confidence, bad calls screw with your mind. One of the secrets to building courage is to realize that getting a no is not personal - no one, even the best salespeople don't get yes's every time. No's stem from many things including opposition to change, resistance to things that may add to their workload, and a general mistrust of salespeople. Think of selling as driving along a street - there will be red lights, green lights and some amber. Recognize that no's are a fact of life and that each one gets you closer to a yes. Sales is just a numbers game - there's nothing to fear but fear itself.

The Courage to Ask

Another point of fear, another point when bravery is required is when you've made your presentation and it's time to ask for the order. The big mistake salespeople make is to subconsciously avoid asking, so they won't hear that dreaded no. The problem however, actually occurs earlier in the presentation when the salesperson is not brave enough to ask questions.

The fact is, it's easier to ask for the order when you already know you're likely to get a yes. How do you do that? By asking a lot of questions about the suitability of what you are selling. Does it meet the buyer's needs? Do they see any downsides? Often salespeople have a fear of hearing negatives - they should really have a fear of not hearing them. An unvoiced concern, or objection, will kill a sale every time. Ask questions, lots of them. Make a list of objections you might face and come up with sound answers. Once you've overcome all the objections asking for the order becomes a walk in the park.


Selling is far less scary when you understand the dynamic between salesperson and buyer. Know your stuff. Treat no's as just steps to yes's. Don't be afraid of objections, in fact invite them to the party and ask lots of questions especially, when the time is right, "Do we have a deal?"

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Six Steps to Becoming a Great Boss

 

Coach's Corner - What's Holding You Back?

Often we have ways of self-sabotaging ourselves or holding back. Let's look at four ways that may be seen as inhibitors.

Procrastination.

One of the primary examples of slowing our progress or not getting ahead fast enough, is simply procrastination. Too often we keep putting off what we know we need to be doing. Our thoughts may be that the task is too arduous, time-consuming or boring. We simply do not feel like it and come up with a myriad of excuses to delay doing it.

What one thing can we do right now? Often just by starting, we end up doing it. Thus the Nike motto of "Just Do It!" is very appropriate.

"My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time." Charles Dickens

Avoidance.

Being aware that we are avoiding, and not simply procrastinating, is an important distinction in overcoming both. What are we avoiding by not doing something? What will happen if we continue to avoid? How will we succeed if we persist in avoiding? These are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves in finding out the reasons for and the consequences of avoidance.

"A day can really slip by when you're deliberately avoiding what you're supposed to do." Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbes

Perfectionism

Being a perfectionist can truly inhibit us from reaching our goals and attaining success. It's not about accepting mediocre it's more about finishing, even if it's not necessarily perfect. As a perfectionist we prolong the finished product by being afraid that it is not perfect. What does perfect look like? Is it really attainable and worth the extra time? When do we need to stop the tweaking and finish up?

"Don't aim for perfection. Aim for 'better than yesterday'." Izey Victoria Odiase, Web Designer

Indecision

Too many facts, too much information or feeling we don't have all the facts or that there is more to consider, can hold us back. These are the fundamental causes of indecision. When we understand that we won't ever have all the facts, we need to accept there comes a point where a decision needs to be made. What is one decision you can make that can get things moving forward? What is the best choice for you right now?

"Indecision and delays are the parents of failure." George Canning, English Statesman

These are just four of many ways that we can self-sabotage ourselves into not making progress or at the least inhibiting our progress. When we recognize one or more of these traits in ourselves, we can start to overcome them and move towards success.

Paul Abra, Certified Executive Coach, Motivated Coaching and Development

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Trenval Business Development Corporation
Small Business Centre
284B Wallbridge-Loyalist Rd.
Belleville, Ontario, K8N 5B3
info@trenval.on.ca
www.trenval.on.ca
www.smallbusinessctr.com

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