Bosses are often the primary reason for people either loving or leaving their jobs. A boss, as Joan Lloyd writes, is the umbilical cord that connects employees to an organization, and if that cord is damaged, the employees will eventually leave. If you are one of the lucky employees who has a great boss, don’t take that relationship for granted.
Here’s what makes a boss great:
1. Sets clear expectations
A great boss sits down with a new employee right from the beginning and identifies priorities. She discusses the performance review, and how she defines “excellent performance.” She holds discussions regularly in regards to expectations from that point on.
An effective boss doesn’t tell her employees how to get the work done. She talks about outcomes and results with them, and the employees are entrusted to execute the details and the process in the way they see fit.
Expectations are set in different ways -- sometimes in a formal planning session, other times in an informal conversation about a specific issue.
A great boss views her position as both a leader and a coach, someone who educates and encourages her players, who leads her team by example.
An effective boss does not assume her employees know what to do and how to do it. Like a good coach, she calls in the plays from the sidelines. Often a boss might be tempted to run in the game and play it herself, while her employees don’t learn a thing. A great boss recognizes that success in coaching is found in the balance of control – that fine line between being over-controlling and under-controlling - to be enough of a presence as a source of help, but not so much as to overshadow her players.
3. Gives feedback
Some bosses wait until the formal performance review to relay negative feedback to their employees. When this happens, employees are left thinking – Why didn’t my boss tell me sooner? I could have tried to change or do things differently. Giving employees feedback along the way establishes a coach-player relationship. There’s a sense of conversation, of leadership, and of cooperation. Waiting until the performance review for feedback, however, has more of a prosecutor-prosecuted/trial-verdict feel, and negative feedback rings like punishment.
4. Recognizes efforts
Employees need to feel appreciated. Research shows that human beings thrive on recognition. They just never get tired of it. Nothing works like positive reinforcement, and a great boss is very aware of this. She mentions the things she likes that her employees are doing; it’s no surprise that she gets more of those things.
Common sense, really. If someone wears a new pair of blue pants one day, and gets a lot of compliments about them, that person will certainly wear the pants again. In this way, human behaviour is certainly not complicated.
5. Is inclusive
It’s essential for employees to feel like equals and equal contributing members to the team.
A great boss creates an environment based on integrity, trust, respect -- and one that encourages feedback, innovation, and creativity. Employees in such an atmosphere flourish.
6. Gets to know employees
A great boss stops by and says hello. She makes herself available. No matter what she’s doing, when employees speak to her, she will stop and give them her full attention.
An effective boss takes a personal interest in her employees’ lives. She doesn’t pry. She tries to get a better appreciation for the entire person inside the employee. An employer who understands her employees’ lives is more likely to be sympathetic and, for example, consent to flex time when required. Employees who feel that their boss is caring and interested in who they are will be more committed to their work.
7. Finds each person’s unique talents
A great boss observes her employees to find out what they do best. She talks to them about what aspects of their job they enjoy the most. A great boss taps into and leverages the instincts and skills her employees have. This creates a win-win as she is able to reap the rewards of employee satisfaction, and employees grow increasingly inspired and confident about their work, skills, and talents. Moreover, they feel appreciated, that someone has their best interests in mind.
An effective boss makes a personal investment in her employees’ success. She takes the time to sit down and discuss their goals with them and she does what she can to help them achieve such ambitions.
8. Works fearlessly
An effective boss encourages her employees not to be scared of making mistakes along the way. The mentality a great boss puts forward is one that encourages learning – not one that instills fear of making a mistake. It’s about opportunity, trying something new and different, and pushing personal limits. Fear only inhibits growth. Instead, a great boss uses mistakes as tools.
9. Is open and truthful
A great boss is direct, but sensitive. She realizes that communication is essential. If she sees performance slipping, she won’t wait very long to talk about it. She never dodges the truth, nor does she hang onto or hoard company information that could help her employees. She is not threatened by her employees’ knowledge; rather, she encourages it.
10. Is made, not necessarily born
It is true that some bosses have a natural flair for leadership, and motivating and inspiring others. That said, much of what it takes to be an effective leader is learned behaviour. A lot of people have innate traits that could make them great bosses; it’s a matter of developing those capabilities. A great boss rarely stays great without working at her craft. Greatness can be maintained by attending management classes and seminars, reading books, and doing a lot of self-assessment.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 50 - What are some important qualities of a good supervisor
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IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
What are some important qualities of a good supervisor?
Use specific details and examples to explain why these qualities are important.
You should write at least 250 words.
Use your own knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.
Model Answer 1:
It is a fact that a good supervisor should have some competencies and skills. The following essay will discuss the qualities that a supervisor should have in details.
Firstly, a good supervisor should lead by examples. As a leader, his way and style of working will be viewed by his staff, therefore he should lead his team by giving good examples. For instance, when a supervisor wants his team to have good absence records, he should never come late as well. He should become the role model for his teams by coming on time and work with discipline attitude. This example will motivate his team to come early in the morning.
Secondly, a good supervisor should have the capability in managing his team. As a supervisor, he should not be objective in judging his staffs, but he should treat his team professionally. For examples, when a supervisor needs to prepare an absence schedule, he should make the timeline fairly for all his teams. He should not make any time schedule which is unfair and would only be beneficial for certain people.
Thirdly, a good leader will also pay attention to his team. He will help and assist his staffs who face difficulties at work. For example, some staffs may be facing difficulties with their new computer programs, and it is the supervisor's task to give some training and coaching to them until they understand the new system.
In conclusion, a good supervisor should have some important qualifications in his work, such as lead by example, have a good management skill and would assist his team.
[ Written by - Darwin Lesmana ]
Model Answer 2:
The job of a supervisor requires a lot of preparation and the strong attitude in caring about the quality of work. The most relevant qualities of a supervisor will be analysed in the following paragraphs, supported by specific details and examples.
Firstly, one of the most important characteristics of a supervisor is the perfect comprehension of the nature and dynamics of the work he has to manage with. Furthermore, the supervisor is a manager who leads the work of a group of people, so he has to be comprehensive on errors and at the same time, he has not to lose the control over his subordinates, letting them do unrepairable mistakes. That's a really challenging task that I'm experiencing this current year like responsible of a group of research which represents the University of Padova in a European competition called Solar Decathlon.
Another fundamental quality that makes a good supervisor is the capacity of judging equally all the subordinates' works, instead of being preferential towards the ones which respect more his ideas. The quality also includes his/her focus to the deadline and attaining excellence in the team. Supervising a group of people with a strict rule is not always possible and more leadership qualities, in this case, are essential. Being able to keep balance in the team and observing the progress while learning from the past mistakes three other qualities each good supervisor should have.
In conclusion, a supervisor has to be perfectly acknowledged on the tasks he's working with and he has to be a leader strict but right at the eyes of his subordinates.
[ by - Luca]
Model Answer 3:
Many people have to work under somebody's supervision. In most of the cases, an employee does not choose his or her boss, unless a supervisor is elected. In the following paragraphs, I will list the most important qualities of my "ideal boss".
First of all, he must be impartial. I believe that it is very important to make a technical decision, think about somebody's promotion, etc. impartially. For instance, my friend is a supervisor on a dairy farm. It is his family's business so a lot of his relatives work there. But he never promotes someone because he or she is his family. I think it is a good quality for a boss.
Second, my "ideal boss" must be honest, patient and attentive. He should pay attention to people's feelings, encourage them by increasing their salary, listen to their suggestions about improving labour conditions and productivity. For instance, if he is not satisfied with the result, he should understand the origin of the problem and should explain to people how to fix it. In addition, he must know how to solve conflicts that can arise between employees. Another important quality of a boss is the ability to choose the right decisions and to learn from somebody's mistakes.
Finally, I think a good boss must value his or her employees because the profit directly depends on the people who work there. Only a selfish superior would value his/her own opinion and won’t value about what others are thinking. A good supervisor will listen to other workers and would encourage to work hard for the betterment of the organisation.
In conclusion, I think a good boss should be able to make his people enjoy the work they are doing and encourage their diligence.
(This model answer has been prepared by the site developer. However, please note that this is just one example out of many possible answers.)