2012 is quickly coming to an end, and with January right around the corner, it’s time to start planning those annual New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions typically focus on change and improvement within our personal lives, but the concept should be applied to our professional lives as well.

Managers, kick off 2013 by adopting a professional resolution: to be a better boss. Being a better boss will not only advance your career, it will help your team achieve more and exceed goals.

To help you get started, we’ve put together this list of 5 things you can do to be a better boss in 2013.

  1. Shift the Focus to the Bigger Picture: Help your team stay focused on the goals while still accounting for the details. It’s easy for managers and leaders to take-on the mindset that direct reports shouldn’t worry about the big picture, but this only leads to trouble. Every employee should have the larger picture in mind because it develops understanding of company goals and increases sense of involvement.
  2. Communicate: The best communicators often make the best leaders. Keep your team and colleagues informed by ensuring that communication flows in both directions. Solicit feedbackand listen to it. 360 degree feedback is a valuable method for identifying the strengths and weaknesses in your management style. If your company doesn’t already include 360 feedback in performance management, find an alternate method for direct reports to share their honest and open feedback with you.
  3. Be a Teacher and a Student: Search for ways to help your employees grow and develop. Find out which areas of the job interest them and get involved. Encourage education and training, and then set the example by dedicating time to your own development.  Be open to learning new concepts, and it will help others do the same.
  4. Challenge Your Team: Some managers believe that asking less of direct reports will make them happy, but the opposite is usually true. Employees will be happier and more productive when work is challenging and the opportunity to grow exists. Success in accomplishing a difficult goal will increase job satisfaction.
  5. Resolve Conflict, Encourage Teamwork: You’ll get more from your team if you encourage them to work together rather than compete. A unified team means employees will share ideas and lend a hand when needed. Employees who feel they are part of a strong team with a dedicated leader will be more driven to achieve goals and do what is best for the company.

Incorporate these concepts into your management style, and you’ll make significant progress towards being a better boss. Find out more about being a better manager: Download our free white paper Great Management Guidelines for proven tips developing your management style.

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