Throughout my professional career, I’ve had many bosses with a wide range of management styles. Some oozed patience and kindness while others kept their distance and were hard to read. While bosses are as varied as places of employment, the more extreme personalities set the tone around the office and definitely affect employee performance.
As a small business owner, your management style not only defines you as a boss but, because the company’s atmosphere reflects management’s lead, the morale of the operation as a whole.
Now is the perfect time to take to take stock in your company’s overall mood and examine how you and your company are perceived.
- Consider the kind of boss you project. Do you lead by example or react to situations as they unfold? Are you more task-oriented in your daily and weekly obligations or take a paternal (or maternal) approach in your leadership? Revisit recent situations at work and consider how you responded and what seemed to work positively.
- Examine the results of your management style. How are your employees and customers responding to your leadership? Are you inspiring them to work harder, greet others cheerfully, and stay on task? Or do employees seem turned off by your behavior? If you’re too close to the operations, enlist a trusted friend or colleague to provide a more objective opinion. Also, check your web site or your suggestion box for comments.
- Research your options. If you are not getting the results you wish, consider turning to the experts for advice. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce for seminars on management. Read your business publications and journals, which are sure to touch on this topic. There are also personal coaches available to guide you further.
- Stay objective. Perhaps the hardest part of examining one’s own behavior is to look for ways to improve (and there are always ways to improve). Think beyond your feelings and realize what is best for the business overall.
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