Want to be a more likable boss? Here's the secret. Instead of pointing out what everyone is doing wrong constantly, try pointing out what everyone is doing right. Affirm your staff by letting them know you are happy they chose to work for you and the company. Tap into their potential as a way to encourage them and promote their talents.
This constant positive feedback loop, coupled with occasional but infrequent corrections, turns you into the type of leader that other people want to be around, even if your office and your desk is a little bigger and has a better view. (That's fixable, too.)
Here are the phrases that can help you become more likable in the office. Be careful that you don't just read them off of a card or as an item to check off your list. Make them part of your DNA as a boss, to the point where you can recite them in your sleep.
1. "I'm happy you're on my team..."
I've seen firsthand how words of encouragement can have a dramatic impact on a team. I don't have to look too far. The best "teamwork" I've experienced is with my wife. We've been married almost 30 years. Recently, we worked on my taxes together, and she had prepared a list of expenses after scouring our bank account. It was awesome, and I let her know. We tend to affirm each other a lot. We all need that encouragement, because every person you work with is a mirror that either glows brightly or reflects a negative image.
2. "You have great potential..."
As a leader, one of your key roles is to help employees tap into their full potential. It's exciting, right? You're as much an observer as a commander in chief. You can guide every employee into a place of high productivity and workplace enjoyment, and that means discovering their potential...together. What's cool about this phrase is that it makes the workplace a happier environment, one that encourages growth and development. The alternative is creating a negative environment. And guess what? Everyone likes a boss who encourages everyone to discover their latent talents and promotes them.
3. "Let's figure out what you're the best at..."
People want to be do a job where they can shine the brightest. Being pigeon-holed into a dead-end job, or being tasked with assignments that are confusing and out of reach just makes an employee unhappy and unproductive. The secret? Become a partner with your employees in identifying what they can do better than anyone else. This coach mentality will help them see you are there to benefit them and not point out flaws.
4. "The company is better with you here..."
Does an employee feel like he or she could be replaced? That's a dangerous predicament, partly because that sense or expendability usually leads to employees finding a different place to work, but it also means they won't like you very much as a boss. We all want to be valued and appreciated, but we also want to know we're indispensable as well.
5. "You're awesome..."
One last phrase to add to your repertoire as a leader. A simple statement in person or by email can encourage an employee, and it is not fancy at all. Letting an employee know he or she is awesome is a simple gesture, but in two words you are saying you are thankful for that person, you appreciate their work, and you want them to stick around.