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Be a great boss when you’re swamped

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

When you are overwhelmed with work, you may unknowingly take your stress out on your employees. You become more demanding, curt or rude. However, no matter how stressed out, frazzled or overwhelmingly busy you are, you still have to be a great boss. Follow these tips to do just that:

•  Schedule time to talk with staff. Specifically when it comes to ad­­dressing performance or behavioral issues, meet with employees with­­in 48 hours. If you wait too long, your feedback won’t be meaningful.

Additionally, block off time in your schedule to walk around and connect with employees. First thing in the morning is ideal. You can discuss any concerns and answer any questions, ensuring that everyone is more productive throughout the day.

• Respond to emails quickly and thoughtfully. Employees may be choosing email to communicate because they sense you don’t want

to be disturbed in person. Read their messages carefully, and follow up as soon as possible. Don’t respond with gruff one-word answers either. Instead, answer all of their questions carefully to avoid another round of emails.

•  Apologize for your behavior. Everyone becomes stressed out—and turns into a jerk—from time to time. When you catch yourself raising your voice, acting impatiently or demanding more than is fair, say: “I’m sorry for being so scattered/tense/busy/absent this week. It’s been incredibly hectic, but things will be back to normal very soon.”

However, don’t make a habit of apologizing every week for your bad behavior. If you are constantly overwhelmed, you may need to assess your time-management skills and make some changes.

— Adapted from “5 Simple Ways to Be a Good Boss No Matter How Busy You Are,” Fast Company, Monique Tatum, www.fastcompany.com.

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