Be a Boss Your Employees Like

April 29, 2015

Would you rather be liked or respected? Yes, one of those gotcha interview questions is where we’ll start. It’s annoying because it suggests nuance isn’t possible; that you can’t have both. You can, and a good leader understands this.

One of the biggest mistakes bosses make is they think they won’t be liked if they have to reduce the team or provide negative feedback, but the reality is most people understand these things happen in a healthy company. That doesn’t mean it’s easy and it might not always seem all that fair. A piece of business could be lost through no fault, and that sometimes needs to be addressed by cutting staff. And then there’s the overcompensating old-school bosses who seem to relish in the idea that they can handle being the bad guy; that you have to be tough in the survival of the fittest. Darwin never wanted his theory to be read in this way. It isn’t brute strength; it’s adaptability that has the best chance of survival. And if you want to thrive as a boss in today’s climate, it’s important to be liked.

What do people expect from their boss?

– Clear communication around strategy
– Competent managers who connect that strategy to the work they do
– A positive emotional connection on some level

Maybe like has taken on new meaning in the age of Facebook, and this points to a slight shift in awareness. Networks are more important than ever, and it’s much harder to make a wider network if you’re not likeable. And this affects everyone, especially the boss. For most leaders it’s not hard to be likeable, and when it comes to grooming your staff keep in mind that people will be more receptive and work harder for you when they like you.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

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