Erica A Morin

I guess I’ll weigh in with my take as both a boss and a staffer. You can find a list a mile long of the skills you need to have as a boss. You can read books, take classes, find a mentor/coach and memorize the list. However, until you apply what you learn in a practical manner, it is just words. Below are my top 5 “skills” that helped me as a new boss (and I didn’t learn them all when I was “new”).

1. Sense of humor – if you take yourself so seriously that you forget how to laugh at your own mistakes or others, then your employees and bosses will always be on pins & needles around you.
2. Focus on the speaker – one of my staffers told me once that I totally won his support and loyalty when the first time he came into my office with an issue, I turned my chair to face him and when the phone rang I never looked at it.
3. Let your staffers know you will go to the mat for them even as you sort out any issue; however, let them know that if it turns out unfavorably for them, you will not hold back the consequences.
4. Treat others as you want to be treated – oldie but goodie – but don’t be naive or a doormat. Staffers, coworkers and bosses all have their own agendas and turf. Understand them and remain flexible and open to ways other than your own.
5. Admit when you don’t know the answer and ask for input.

Bottomline – be true to yourself and be the boss you always wanted to have.