Be a better boss

Improving certain skills can make you a better manager

The online news site Business Insider recently published a list of skills every business leader should have according to, a website dedicated to helping managers become more effective at their jobs. How many of the following skills do you have, and where is there room for improvement?

  • Be a good listener.
  • Be courteous and confident.
  • Maintain eye contact, and make sure your facial expressions match the tone of what you are saying.
  • Deliver bad news in person, and allow employees the opportunity to respond.
  • When saying “no,” practice empathy while firmly stating your position and ending on a positive note.
  • When addressing conflict, try to see a situation through the employee’s eyes and be prepared to offer several options, show you’ve heard and understand the other side, and offer to help in some way.
  • Get to know your employees. Ask them about their lives and take an interest in them as people.
  • When providing criticism, do so in private but be specific about what you want changed and ask the employee how he or she would solve the problem so the employee feels his or her input is valued.
  • If you employ friends or family, strive to treat all subordinates equally and avoid special treatment and favors.
  • Establish an open-door policy so employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with you.
  • Handle complaints with tact and fairness (perhaps establishing a rule saying no complaint can come without a possible solution) and avoid complaining yourself.
  • Don’t leave employees out of the loop. Regularly share information with them about changes, goals and company news.
  • Celebrate employees’ good work publicly, such as in meetings, so others can congratulate them.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive; rather, use it as a way to check in with yourself and your management team to help keep your company’s most valuable resource—your employees—productive and happy.

Ambika Puniani Reid is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's vice president of communications and production.


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