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Building a better boss

The New York Times reported on Google’s efforts to improve the way their managers lead. Quantitative research by Google identified the top eight good behaviors of a good boss:

• Be a good communicator and listen to your team
• Be a good coach
• Empower your team and don’t micromanage
• Express interest in team members’ success and personal well-being
• Be productive and results-oriented
• Help your employees with team development
• Have a clear vision and strategy for the team
• Have key technical skills to help advise the team

None of these are a surprise. But, of interest from the Organization Development perspective, Google has demonstrated that effective, executive coaching can improve individual manager’s abilities in each of the eight areas. Read the entire article here.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jon, excellent synopsis. I would be interested in how this might be applied to a workplace that is not quite dyfunctional, but doesn’t work together as well as it should. Any direction that you can give?

    March 14, 2011
  2. Kathleen:

    It’s interesting that the technical know-how required to get to the top, isn’t the skill set needed to be successful in those roles. Often the training workshop approach is a good way to share practical knowledge and applications for new skills. However, my experience is that trying to assist someone with transitioning years of habits, routines, perceptions, and behaviors is better served with one-on-one coaching. As we move to the workplace of the future, the skill sets outlined in The New York Times is a developmental formula for all managers, as well as organizations looking to improve productivity, along with engagment and retention.

    Thanks for the nice post and attention to the research.

    With a smile,

    March 14, 2011
    • friesengroup #

      Hi Debbie,
      Thank you for your comment. I often get the statement from clients, “Don’t they (managers) need to be the best technical people we have?” Yet the research from every direction show that those who possess these skills – from communication to supporting development – are the ones who are the best leaders. I agree that one-on-one coaching is the most effective process for supporting individual growth.

      March 14, 2011

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