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9 Things Great Bosses Say on a Regular Basis

Posted by: Karen Booher on January 12th, 2021

One of the things that makes a boss a great boss is excellent communication with their employees.

Kevin Sheridan, an internationally recognized keynote speaker and New York Times best-selling author, surveyed over 250,000 CHROs and management executives and found that these 9 questions were asked regularly by the best bosses. Simply stated, it’s referred to as good employee engagement!

1. “Thank You.”  Recognition is a top driver of employee engagement. Furthermore, Millennials crave feedback and recognition. Recognition efforts need to be both consistent and meaningful.

2. “Regarding your career development, where do you want to be in six months and how can I help you get there”?  This shows your direct reports that you care about their career development and want to help them advance.

3. “Here’s what I’d like us to accomplish…”  Employees want to know what their bosses expect of them and how their daily, weekly, and monthly work fits into the organization’s strategic mission. Exceptional bosses clearly communicate their expectations.

4. “I want to utilize your strengths and what you do best…”  People want a job that utilizes their best skills and abilities. If one employee is great at working in Excel, and another has excellent writing skills, assign work that enables them to use the skillsets that they both enjoy and do best.

5. “I have confidence in you.”  By making the statement above, you are not only instilling confidence in your employees but also giving them the freedom to succeed on their own which gives them a sense of accomplishment. Always make sure your team knows that they can come to you for help if needed but do your best not to micro-manage.

6. “What more can I do to support you in your job?”  The best bosses regularly offer support to their employees. You can also ask for more specifics with the question, “What 3 things could I do differently in order to support you in your job?”

7. “I’d like your opinion on something.”  Exceptional bosses regularly ask for feedback and opinions from all team members, either individually or collectively. And, even more importantly, they act on the feedback.

8. “What are your passions and interests outside of work?”  Great bosses take the time to get to know their employees on a personal level. Ask about their spouse or children, or what they like to do outside of work. Don’t be a stranger!

9. What can we do better going forward, or differently next time?”  Everything is not going to go as planned and people make mistakes. When they do, great bosses treat them as learning opportunities. Failure is a teacher and, therefore, an integral part of future success.

Even if you’ve been a manager for decades, it’s never too late to work on improving your “boss skill set”. Your employees will appreciate it, and you should notice a difference over time in their performance, commitment, and dedication.


Jan. 1, 2021, HR News Library. “The Best Bosses Say These 9 Things”, by Kevin Sheridan, www.kevinsheridanllc.com.


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