8 Qualities Of A Truly Great Boss

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There’s nothing worse than working for a bad boss. No matter how great everything else is in your world, if you have a manager who’s incompetent, mean or any number of other negative adjectives, it can really ruin your quality of life. If you’ve had one of these lemons, you definitely know you don’t want to be one. Here, how to avoid this fate and become a favorite instead.


Great Bosses Do These Things

This one is obvious, but there are caveats—recognition is best when it happens right away. The longer a manager waits to applaud his or her employees for an accomplishment, the less it matters. Additionally, it's important that employees be recognized in an authentic way. Rather than a monthly award, for example, a good manager recognizes achievements in a specific way that feels genuine.

Sensitivity may have gotten a bad rap in the workplace, but a manager who treats you like a machine as opposed to a human is just plain awful. Well-liked managers understand their employees have complicated lives. In turn, they are attuned to their employees' moods, so they can sense when there's a dip in morale or when someone is unhappy with a particular scenario in which they've been placed.

Passive-aggressive individuals or outright non-communicators are not ideal to work for, as decoding the thoughts and feelings of the person responsible for paying your salary can be incredibly stressful. The best managers are honest and open, and don't let tension build in the workplace. Open communication can be tough in professional settings, so those who excel at this skill really set themselves apart.

At one point or another, we all have bosses who throw us under the bus when things go wrong. Good managers don't do this—instead, they assume the blame and then work with those who report to them to correct the issue.

We're not saying a good manager has to be a martyr, but hand in hand with assuming blame comes deflecting credit. The best boss is one who constantly bolsters his or her employees' efforts without drawing attention to his or her role in the team's achievements.

Insecure leaders want to be the smartest people in the room. Secure leaders have no qualms about hiring people who know things they don't—after all, it'll only make them look good via greater odds at success.

We can all agree being micromanaged is the worst. A good boss trusts his or her team to do their work without needing to be privy to every step in the process or weigh in on minutiae.

There's nothing worse than a manager who focuses solely on his or her employees' failures or shortcomings. A good manager is both positive and optimistic—at least outwardly—as emotions are contagious. Once a workplace becomes infected with bad vibes, they spread like wildfire—and it often starts from the top.