Becoming the boss is a major milestone in any woman’s career, but it does come with its own set of challenges. From learning how to negotiate with your employees to brainstorming new ideas and turning a profit, there definitely can be a steep learning curve for first-time managers and bosses. Luckily, we got a little advice from some of the best and brightest #girlbosses out there, from the CEO of Birchbox to the co-founder of 1 Atelier. Get ready to learn how to be a better boss from the ladies who know best, and earn your very own “World’s Best Boss” mug in the process.
1. Collaborate with everyone you can. It may sound cheesy, but your best resources are the brilliant brains all around you. “Don’t just arrive at a decision and tell your team what to do and how to do it; bring them along for the journey,” advises Guissu Baier, Instacart’s vice president of human resources. “Be transparent about the process, regularly ask for their input and involve them in the decision-making process.”
2. Seek new experiences. Make a point to try new things — and advise your employees to do the same. “Encourage your team to take classes in new fields,” says Blythe Harris, cocreator of Stella & Dot. Mixing up your routine can be incredibly inspiring and rewarding. “When you disrupt your thinking like that, it actually slows down time, and you start to be able to take in all your creative inputs differently,” Harris says.
3. Be optimistic. It can be ridiculously easy to veer on the side of negativity when a project goes awry, but Birchbox CEO and cofounder Katia Beauchamp says it’s key to always stay positive, no matter what. “It is important that a team knows they can solve any problem,” she says. “They should see an obstacle and know they can overcome it. In other words, your team needs to believe that nothing can stop them.”
4. Remember that your employees are human. “In the heat of the fire, it is critical to remember that each member of the team is a person who is fulfilling her own dreams and goals and who has a whole other part of their life you don’t know about,” says Stephanie Sarka, cofounder of 1 Atelier. “Amidst the metrics and priorities, keep the relationship personal.”
5. Be honest with your feedback. Giving feedback to your employees can be tricky, especially if you’re an introvert. “Provide open and honest feedback in real time and make it actionable, clear and direct,” advises Marcy Axelrad, Wayfair’s global senior director of talent management and employee development. “For example, if your employee could have performed better in a meeting, point to specific examples of what they could have done differently that would have led to a better outcome.”
How do you inspire your employees on the daily? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)