- Many bosses find it difficult to admit when they don’t know something because they fear that it will be interpreted as a weakness.
- That is why one of the greatest challenges for them is to pause, be quiet and listen, writes executive coach Thomas Koulopoulos in an article for the business magazine “Inc”.
- Nobody expects intellectual superiority or perfect solutions on command from the boss. Instead, they should get different perspectives and come to the best possible solution through communication. The most important keyword: empathy.
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Whether a conversation with the boss is pleasant and helpful often depends on the manager. Everyone has probably come out of a meeting at some point and vowed inwardly that one day, if you should become a manager yourself, you would do it differently.
But what are the skills that such superiors lack? According to Thomas Koulopoulos, an executive coach, the most important quality of a good boss is empathy: “The hardest thing about my coaching work with founders and managing directors is getting them to stop talking, be quiet and listen”, he wrote in the US business magazine “Inc”. In addition, bosses not only have to listen, but also learn to understand what their employees say, explains Koulopoulos.
If you are already a boss or would like to become one, we have listed the four qualities that a good manager must have according to Koulopoulos.
1. It practices empathy instead of egoism
“We often think that empathy is something that someone simply has by nature,” writes the coach. But being empathic is something you can learn and improve.
Practice by really trying to understand your co-workers. For example, you can get in the habit of repeating the employee’s complaints in summarized form – Koulopoulos calls this tactic “active listening”. Firstly, you are forced to listen carefully, secondly you avoid misunderstandings and thirdly you give the employee the feeling of being really understood.
2. She accepts that she doesn’t know some things better
Just because you are on the executive floor doesn’t mean you have to be omniscient. In fact, there will be many employees who know the company better than you or who have expert knowledge in certain subject areas.
As a boss, according to Koulopoulos, you don’t have to demonstrate any intellectual superiority in order to be respected by your employees – on the contrary. Even if you have a different opinion on a topic, you should first give your employees approval. This will take away his fear that you might feel attacked in your authority and promote the trust of the employee. Your communication will then relax and you can take a closer look at the respective problem together. In this way, you also benefit directly from the expertise of your employee.
3. She is patient with herself
Nobody becomes a different person overnight. “If you want to learn empathy, you must also learn to sit still when others ask for advice and lead them to the answers instead of feeling responsible for giving them an answer right away.”
Take time to deal with problems. Your employees would certainly prefer you to provide them with thoughtful solutions rather than quick ones.
Get different perspectives to get to the bottom of a problem. You are not an oracle who has to read perfect solutions from coffee grounds. Instead, you can use the voices and knowledge of your employees to come up with the best possible solution.
4. She enables her employees to have new perspectives and approaches
Once you’ve learned to listen and understand, it only takes one small step to become a leader that everyone will enjoy meeting with. Try to show your employees new perspectives on how they can solve problems and master tasks. You are demonstrating how well you have understood the employee’s problem and at the same time you are helping them by expanding their horizons and enabling them to develop their own solutions that best suit them.
If you take all of this to heart, your employees will accept you not only because you are the boss, but also for your leadership qualities, which make everyday life in the office easier, writes Koulopoulos. Not only will they respect you, they will stand behind you with full conviction.