Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

6 Ways to Be a Better Boss

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

6 Ways to Be a Better Boss

Article excerpt

Employment lawyer and HR professional Marian Exall, a regular blogger on, relates how a friend who works as a scientist for the EPA did such a good job that he was promoted to manager. Now he complains that he "can't get anything done" because his reports "keep bothering me with questions."

Being a manager is hard, says Exall, and few receive formal training for the job. Here, in an adaptation of a recent blog, Exall offers six resolutions for managers.

1. Hire wisely. I'm going to practice my active listening skills, instead of listening to the sound of my own voice. In interviews, I'll pose open-ended questions that probe for relevant experience (e.g., "Tell me about a situation where you had to deal with an angry customer"). I'm not going to try to "sell" the bank.

2. Make feedback more than an annual event. I'll take the time to meet with my reports at least every two months to discuss what's going well--and what isn't--so at the annual evaluation, there will be no surprises. The pay raise given (or not given) will reflect an entire year's performance of all job tasks, not just a recent triumph/disaster in one area.

3. No favoritism. It's human nature to like some people better than others. However, in the workplace I will suppress my preferences and be equally accessible and even-handed to all. I wilt guard against making assumptions ("X has two pre-schoolers; she won't want the additional responsibility"). And I will not "friend" a subordinate on Facebook.

4. …

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