There are plenty of skills and traits you need to be a great boss – communication, consistency, accountability, to name but a few. But one of the most overlooked characteristics of great bosses is being able to ask for help.
Bosses often fall into the trap of feeling like their status depends on working alone, on knowing all of the answers and affirming to employees that they’re the one in charge. Good bosses get by on these principles. You didn’t get to where you are now without demonstrating your initiative and your nose for a good decision.
But to be a truly great boss, you need to make use of the resources all around you. That includes your team of employees. Those who are properly secure in their role as a boss are able to reach out, ask for help, and remember that two heads are always better than one.
Here are five reasons why great bosses aren’t afraid to ask for help:
We’ve all been in a situation where, no matter how hard or long we think about a problem, we’re not making any headway. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut, thinking along the same old unproductive lines. Other times, we don’t have enough day to day experience of a problem to know what solutions will prove effective. This is where asking your team can be really helpful. Getting their input and their perspectives on the problem or decision you’re faced with will encourage you to consider things from a different angle. Your team might set you off on a new train of thought that leads you to a solution or comes up with a stellar option themselves.
As a boss your time is valuable and you should be maximizing every second. This means delegating. It also means not getting bogged down in a particular issue and spending days or weeks dealing with it. Reaching out and asking for help from your team can speed up the time it takes to bring the issue to a resolution. This then frees up your time for other pressing assignments.
Engaged teams work more productively. They take less time off work and enjoy their time in the office. One of the ways you can help to boost morale and encourage team engagement is through involving employees in decision making. This gives them ownership and a sense of responsibility that can improve their work ethic and, as a result, the productivity of the whole company. As well as getting support with the problem you’re working on, you’re promoting a transparent management style that has been shown to reap longer term rewards.
Any time you’re thinking of outsourcing a project, consult with your team first to see if, between them, they have the resources and skill sets to do it themselves. Unless you know your team inside out, there’s a good chance there are many hidden talents ready to be put to good use. This benefits your employees as they’re adding more strings to their bow. It also benefits you and your company.
If a boss feels vulnerable in their position, they’re unlikely to reach out and ask for help. They feel this makes them look terribly insecure in their role and their bosses might start to question their leadership skills. The opposite is true. Asking for help shows total security in your role as a boss. You have the final say and you have the level of expertise necessary to make a final decision. But information gathering and considering different perspectives with the help of your employees is the mark of a strong, logical and forward thinking boss.
To be a great boss you need to be secure enough in your role to reach out and ask for help. This will further cement your leadership status. You’ll have more time, solve problems more effectively and have an engaged team of employees around you to help out next time a big decision comes along.
Heidi Finigan is an online security expert and an experienced business blogger at VPN Compass. As a blogger, Heidi sees her purpose in providing her readers with up-to-date info pertaining to different aspects of creating a successful business, be it marketing, security or leadership. Apart from work, she might often be found traveling and reading food blogs.