Tips for Better Business Leadership: Five Things Your Subordinates Won’t Tell You

the boss
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This article is contributed by  Aileen Galsim.

As “The Boss”, you set the tone for everything that goes on at your place of business.  Socially, culturally, productivity-wise, it all comes down to you. The level of success your business achieves is directly related to the atmosphere you create.

As you command your team, your employees are either huddling in a dark corner and cursing your name or hanging from the rafters and singing your praises. Unfortunately, it’s often the former, so here are five things your subordinates won’t tell you that will make for a happier and more productive office environment.


When a task filters down through the food chain, assign the work to the best person for the job… and get out of the way! Employees resent a boss who hangs over their shoulders, ogling tasks that are not yet complete. People have different ways of approaching their work and, while a given employee’s process may not be the way you might carry out a task, the end result might be exactly what you’re looking for.

If you have concerns once a completed job has been presented to you, draw up some constructive notes and send your worker back to finish it. Trust your people and do not micromanage.


When it comes to motivating your staff, a word of kindness or appreciation goes a long way. If an employee has come up with a good idea or done an outstanding job, don’t spare the praise!

For example, when a worker is giving a presentation, offer him or her your full attention and resist the urge to check in on your handheld device no matter how important the message you’re expecting. When the presentation is over and you have an objection, offer it with an “and” instead of a “but”. Keeping things positive will invariably yield positive results.


Without being intrusive, walk around the office and check in on your employees periodically, asking if they need or want anything. A supportive boss is a person who will be respected and admired, not feared. Maintain an open door policy, letting your people know they can come to you with their concerns.

With people of a younger generation, do not try to relate to them as one of their peers. They will easily see what you’re trying to do and will resent this. You can still be “The Boss” and be friendly.


Nobody likes a boss who sequesters him or herself away for long periods of time. This can lead to an air of mistrust and doubt. Make sure you’re always available and largely present.

If your company is downsizing or you have to fire someone, don’t disappear. Sincerely wish the vanquished well and encourage those who are still under your employ.

Don’t Berate!

The very worst thing you can do is to shame an employee in front of others. You will lose the respect not only of the person you’re belittling, but also of those who witness it. If you need to discipline a worker, always do so in private and in a controlled and rational fashion.

People want to be respected. They want to be encouraged and to feel appreciated. As a boss, you are in a unique position to offer all these things. Be kind and aware, and your business will only benefit.

Contributor Bio: Aileen Galsim is part of the team behind Open Colleges. When not working, she usually spends her free time baking delicious cupcakes and playing with her painting brushes.

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