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'Bad bosses are the ones who get off on control'

In the corporate ecosystem, there are two species of boss: the vile nagthat lectures the workforce, and the noble being who leads it.

In the corporate ecosystem, there are two species of boss: the vile nag that lectures the workforce, and the noble being who leads it.

“The goal of every manager should be to make people feel like they want to work for you, and not like they have to,” Donna Flagg, author of Surviving Dreaded Conversations says.

Yet, asking spat-on underlings to throw their all into a degrading daily grind can feel like telling them to smile during their root canal.

With that in mind, here’s three principles executive coaches recommend when it comes to talking downtrodden labourers into loving the work they do for you.

Encourage Them to Take The Lead

“Let other people have the ideas,” Barbara Frankel, New York City-based career coach puts forward.

That could mean holding onto your opinions longer, opening meetings up for more brainstorm activity – or even sub-contracting out the art of idea-concocting altogether.

“Set up a little task force where employees get together, talk, then bring their ideas in collectively,” she suggests.

Next, whenever an underling does bring in a snappy fix, don’t dispossess them of it by dictating all the details.

“People do not like being controlled,” Flag says. “Bad bosses are the ones who get off on control.

Recognize Each Individual

“Being a boss is all about creating relations where you’re interested in them and together you’re building something bigger than the task at hand,” Flagg explains. “It’s about making them feel equal even though they’re not.”

That involves appreciating the kind of colleague they are – both at work and after it.

“Find out what’s important to them,” Frankel says. “What inspires them? What new projects do they want to be a part of? Why do they come to work?”

Give Clear Instructions

“The more people feel that they can count on you, the more they do for you,” Flag offers.

But workers can’t trust you, she warns, if they don’t understand your expectations -- and that means answering e-mails, explaining projects clearly, and taking time to stop by a boss-shy worker’s desk.

“You have to be a good communicator, and that comes from having a mindset that you’re one among them,” she stresses. “You don’t need to prove to anyone that you have power, the position itself gives that to you.”

 
 
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