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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results
HR MATTERS Vol 8, Issue 10 - October 2011

No one sets out to become a bad boss. Well at least I don't think they do. But somehow people everyday are winding up on, "The Worst Boss I Ever Had" list. You may be thinking, "I have a few leaders who I know are on this list. So what?" Companies loose qualified employees due to incompetent and bad management. In short, it means that bad managers cost corporations money. Still think this isn't a big deal?

This month's feature article delves into what leaders can do to avoid making this list. I encourage you to share this with those who you think would benefit most from reading this. Who knows. Perhaps some will take the hint and begin working towards improving their status.

Suddenly in Charge goes Global!

We are thrilled to announce that Suddenly in Charge is now available in Portuguese! The book has also been translated into Simplified Chinese, Complex Chinese and Dutch. We are excited to have the opportunity to create exceptional workplaces that lead to extraordinary results on a global basis. Our passport is in order and we are ready to go at a moment's notice, so give us a call. Click here for a list of our most popular keynotes.

How to Avoid Winding Up on the "Hit List"

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson

In some industries, like film and music, ending up on the "hit list" is a good thing. Fame and fortune are bound to follow. Unfortunately, winding up on the "hit list" as a manager is an entirely different story.

In the newly released movie, "Horrible Bosses" three friends devise a plan to rid themselves of their bosses. This idea seems to resonate with many, as the film has had a strong opening at the box office. Here's why.

Bad bosses are all around, which means there is a shortage of role models for those interested in becoming a boss that others admire. Don't despair. There are ways to make it into the Good Boss Hall of Fame on your own. Follow these steps and you'll be well on your way.

Get a life
Bosses who have nothing better to do than work assume that everyone around them is in the same position. If you take the time to get to know your people, you will see that most have a life (or at least they are trying to have a life) outside of work. Good bosses assign work with realistic deadlines. They then get out of the way and allow employees to manage their time.

Hold people accountable
Despite what you may think, the best bosses aren't the ones who let people get away with murder. They are the ones who hold everyone to the same standard. Good bosses provide ongoing positive feedback. They also provide immediate guidance when workers appear to be going off track.

Be consistent
Bad bosses get their reputation for being psycho because of erratic behavior. One day they are the kind to those around them and the next day their evil twin takes over. Employees who work for inconsistent bosses, waste time and energy coming up with contingency plans in case the evil twin wins out that day. A good boss is even tempered. His people have a pretty good idea of which personality will be showing up on any given day.

Establish a harassment free environment
It should be a no brainer that the boss doesn't hit on an employee, but sadly this is not a lesson that everyone has learned. Sexual harassment isn't about sex. It's about power. Leaders who inspire others to follow are more powerful than those who manage through fear. Set the example. Now matter how tempted you might be, don't mix business with pleasure.

Control your anger
Being a boss in these tumultuous economic times is stressful. But that doesn't give you the right to run around the office screaming at everyone. Learn to manage your stress. You can do this on your own or if need be, seek professional help. Good bosses are known to keep their cool, especially when the heat rises in the organization.

Be generous
Good bosses are generous with their time and do their best to reward those who have proven they are worthy of more. Budgets may be tight, but that doesn't mean you can't find non-monetary ways to show your gratitude. You can do this by accommodating scheduling requests, allowing valued employees to home office several days a week or by acknowledging employees in front of valued customers for a job well done.

Be empathetic
Good bosses recognize that even their best employees may go through troubling times, which will impact their work. Look for signs that may indicate that something may have changed for your employee. Perhaps your most reliable employee is now showing up late for work. Or your happy-go-lucky employee no longer smiles. Acknowledge this shift and share resources, like the phone number to your Employee Assistance Plan, to demonstrate that you are genuinely concerned about their well-being.

No one ever said playing the lead role of boss would ever be easy. But with practice, and some coaching along the way, it won't be long before you are thanking the academy for your nomination into the Good Boss Hall of Fame.

© 2011 Human Resource Solutions. All rights reserved.

Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions (www.yourhrexperts.com) and author of the highly acclaimed book Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around, Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta's monthly newsletter, HR Matters.

Upcoming Events

When: November 3, 2011
About: Keynote speaker for PMI Mass Bay Chapter
Be one of the first 150 people to sign up and receive a free copy of Suddenly in Charge! Click Here

When: November 4, 2011
About: PMI Mass Bay Chapter - Half Day Session
Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around: Secrets Every Project Manager Needs to Know to Optimize Team Performance. Earn 4 PDU's by attending this session. This session is perfect for anyone who manages a team or works in a matrix organization. Click Here to register.

When: November 16, 2011
About: Keynote speaker at Business Connect 2011 - Click Here to learn more

Private client engagements for November include: American Press Institute - Leadership Conference


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About Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies and small to medium-size businesses create exceptional workplaces leading to extraordinary results. As a seasoned consultant, Roberta is considered a leading authority on leadership and the skills and strategies required to earn employee commitment and client loyalty.

She is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around and is a highly sought after speaker, consultant and executive coach.

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