As a boss, are you more Captain Kirk or Miranda Priestly? Meryl Streep’s character in the Devil Wears Prada perfectly is dismissive, demanding, mercurial and extremely rude. So are you a Miranda? Answer ‘no’ to 7 or more and chances are you may well be due for an overhaul of your management techniques.
1. Have you recently implemented ideas that came from the team? A team works best when each member is invited to provide input into strategic and tactical direction, building confidence and strengthening the team overall. Whilst not every idea will work, the important thing is that the manager is willing to listen, providing credit to employees for ideas that are actioned.
2. Have you recently put a team member as the lead on a project? Terrible bosses tend to be self-orientated, egotistical and reluctant to put others forward as they think that no-one can deliver results as well as them. Everyone has to learn and be given the opportunity to develop skills.
3. Has a team member ever came to you with a work related problem? Problems exist in teams whether you are aware of them or not, but if you are aware of them at least you have a chance of sorting them out. Good bosses have open communication and interact well with team members. Bad bosses don’t.
4. Have you ever changed direction when a work project or strategy hasn’t gone to plan? A bad boss will cling stubbornly to a set direction whilst a good boss is flexible and open to change.
5. Have you implemented a consistent training programme for your staff? A good boss is interested in helping team members develop their skills, consistently and long term.
6. Have you recently put pressure on a team member to do something? Influence is one thing but overt coercion, even if it achieves its aim, leads to negativity and unhappiness.
7. Are your staff performance reviews up to date? Reviews are all about feedback and recognition. We can thank staff on a day to day basis for the work that they do but performance reviews offer a more formalised way to provide appreciation and also direction for the future.
8. Can you recall a time that you and your team had a good laugh together? A dash of humour in a busy working day is a welcome boost for morale, as is after work team drinks or a social event.
9. In the last 6 months, have you clearly set out team goals? Bad bosses are notorious for being secretive and keeping things to themselves, leaving staff unsure about what they’re doing. Clearly communicating the plan and how it will be achieved lessens workplace stress and focuses energies.
10. Are you generally pleasant and easy to get on with? A manager who is erratic in mood can be extremely difficult for staff to deal with, leading to fear or anxiety. Maintaining a consistent, pleasant demeanour is key for a harmonious working environment.