23 Characteristics of a Good Boss

23 Qualities of a Good Boss

There are many different types of bosses in the workplace. Some are nice, and some can be tough. A good boss has many characteristics and can be defined in all sorts of ways. But good bosses provide employees with purpose, order, and inspiration. The purpose is the reason people come to work every day. The order is an assurance of working together, not against each other or as individuals. And inspiration is what drives employees to work well.

Many people dream of becoming a manager, but most lack the qualities that make someone a good boss and stand out from the rest.

Here are 23 characteristics of a good boss:

1. Creates a shared vision

A shared vision creates a sense of purpose for everyone in the workplace, from the front line to the very top.  It lets people understand what they’re working towards and gives everyone an idea of what’s most important.

2. Honest

A good boss is open and sincere. Being honest creates trust and transparency within the team. In turn, team members work harder to accomplish common goals.

Your honesty influences others to be quality coworkers and employees because it helps them stay focused on achieving objectives that lead to a better company culture overall.

Read also: 11 Good Examples of Showing Initiative at Work

3. Listens

One of the most valuable leadership skills is listening carefully to employees’ concerns, requests, and ideas. Every time they speak, listen with an open mind and calmly express your thoughts.

That way of communication shows that you care about what they have to say; it also demonstrates that you’re a better leader.

4. Passionate

Enthusiasm is contagious, which means that if you take the time to understand your employees and their passions, they’re more likely to be passionate about their work as well.

Understanding what your employees want to achieve, both professionally and personally, is an important aspect of self-awareness. You have to be passionate about your career, team and responsible for delivering results.

5. Perseveres

Every good boss understands that it takes more than just the right experience and positive results to achieve success.  It can be difficult to lead others through tough times. But there is no other option if you’re aiming to succeed as a leader.

6. Adapts

There’s no one way of leading that fits every business or team. But the best bosses can adapt their leadership style based on their surroundings.

You might need to take a more dominating or gentle approach in different scenarios, so this aspect should always be considered when building your leadership skills.

Read also: 12 Examples of Resilience at Work

7. Tolerant

Being tolerant is accepting different people with differing personalities. If you are rigid towards those who are different, you will have a difficult time building meaningful relationships with your employees.

Accepting others for who they are, allows them to express themselves without fear of judgment or ridicule. It leads to a productive work environment where everyone can perform to the best of their abilities.

8. Supportive

Being a supportive boss doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with your employees but to show that you care about their work and how they feel about their job.

Take an interest in what your employees like outside of work, too. It will show that you have respect for them and make it easier to build relationships with them.

9. Keeps things in perspective

No one is perfect and being a good boss is not about getting everything perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s important to remember that none of us are perfect.

Looking at your missteps through the lens of humility will help you build trust more quickly with others. Keeping things in perspective will also ensure that you don’t lose sight of the big picture.

10. Inspires others

It’s also important to remember that being a good boss is about inspiring others, not just yourself. Spend time trying to understand what your people are passionate about so you can work together on building something great.

Teamwork requires everyone to be accountable for their actions and, knowing that the boss is there to support you through challenging times will helps creating a positive workplace culture.

11. Builds trust

There are some simple ways to build trust with those around you at work. One of the best ways is to show that you’re interested in them as individuals, not just as employees.

Take an interest in how they spent their weekend, their family, and their lives. In general, it will help them feel valued as a person. Be interested in them as people first and team members second.

12. Self-accountable

Holding yourself accountable is a common trait of a good boss. When things go wrong, take responsibility instead of trying to pass the blame on to others.

It will help you regain the trust of your team members. It will also make them hold themselves accountable, which is vital in any relationship.

One of the best ways to be a good boss is to care about those around you and hold yourself responsible for what happens at work.

13. Shows empathy

A good boss is compassionate and puts themselves in others’ shoes. When making tough decisions that affect others, they do it with empathy. They put themselves in their employees’ shoes and think about how they would feel if that were happening to the boss.

14. Acknowledges effort

Recognizing how hard your employees are working can encourage them to persevere, even through difficult times.

Everyone has off days, but if you take time to see what’s going right daily, then it’s more likely that those good times will outweigh the bad.

15. Holds people accountable

Holding employees accountable is the best way to catch problems early and prevent them from spiraling out of control.

No one likes being beholden to someone, but if your staff members know what you want them to do, they can work within that framework rather than feeling like their time goes unnoticed.

16. Gives people autonomy

Even if you expect your employees to be accountable, it can be difficult for them to do so if they constantly feel micromanaged.

If you give your staff the freedom to take the initiative and make their own decisions within certain guidelines, then they’ll better recognize good opportunities and take advantage of them.

17. Supports staff’s growth

A good boss knows that learning is an ongoing process in any role, which means understanding that even when someone isn’t doing things correctly in their current position, they can still grow with training and experience.

As a boss, you should give your staff the support and training they need to succeed or progress in their careers.

18. Doesn’t flaunt or brag

A good boss doesn’t bother to show how important they are but focuses on making sure that everyone around them feels valued and appreciated. They know what matters is results, not personal accolades.

They don’t need to crow about their achievements as that only makes others feel inferior. When those around you feel good about their leader, they’re much more likely to work hard and succeed.

19. Happy to serve as an example

A good boss understands that they set the tone for her staff and make themselves available for questions or help out where necessary.

They take time to ask subordinates what they can do better and follow through on their promises.

A good boss will never be too busy to lend a hand, no matter how great their accomplishments are.

20. Values diversity

A good boss does not play favorites but treats each of her subordinates with equal respect. They realize that the workplace is a collection of many different people, all with their strengths.

So, they value diversity and use it to build high performing team, taking advantage of everyone’s unique background, talents and cultures.

21. Courteous

To be courteous means being respectful and considerate of others without sacrificing your individuality or values. You can be a team player while still maintaining your style, opinions, and preferences.

This is one of the most desired leadership skills because it adds value to all people you work with — plus, you get the opportunity to build strong relationships with people.

22. Has good people skills

A good boss gets along with the people they work with, even when they disagree about their vision for success.

An effective boss knows that not everyone will agree 100 percent of the time and may need to break ties on decisions or strategy occasionally.

Being able to remain gracious and respectful even in the face of disagreement is an essential skill for any good leader.

23. Communicates well

A good boss can communicate expectations, goals, and feedback effectively. When you lay out what you want your team members to do, they’re more likely to meet goals.

Leaders who are open and clear about expectations and feedback keep the whole team accountable and working together to support each other.

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