As a manager, you try to be fair, clear and helpful to your employees. Yet what's your real reputation as a boss? You might not have a clue as to how your employees truly see you.

What's more, you may be making key mistakes that hamper their connection to the person you really are, making you less effective as a supervisor than you ultimately can be.

Use these research-driven tips to accurately convey your real personality to your staff — and improve the way you relate to them so they can work better with you.

Don't dumb yourself down.

Researchers from Princeton University found that many managers hide aspects of their competence so they appear to have more in common with their subordinates, and have their workers like them more. This can set up the possibility of misunderstandings over how much knowledge you have, though, and could make your employees avoid seeking advanced guidance when they need it.

Clearly establish yourself as a knowledgeable boss who's in charge to avoid this. Also, encourage your employees not to hide their intelligence or knowledge, either; you want them to always bring their A-game to the table.

Don't yell.

A study from Michigan State University found that managers who verbally berate their staff members often feel guilty later.

This can positively motivate you to be nicer in the long run, but can also cause a confusing whipsaw for your employees, who never know what to expect in terms of your mood. Stay calm, rational and consistent at all times and your employees will respect you, not fear or distrust you.

Never indulge a suck-up.

Research published in the Journal of Management Studies found that employees who successfully curry favor with their managers suffer less job stress than employees who just focus on their work without trying to ingratiate themselves.

What's more, employees who aren't savvy at excess flattery can find themselves ostracized, because they are often not as cunning as those who are calculating to win over the manager. You want all of your employees to avoid stress as much as possible, so establish a reputation as a manager who doesn't fall for flattery.

Be a communicator.

Don't hold in your worries, frustrations or desire for change when it's warranted. State what you need so there's any guesswork as to how your employees view your instructional style.

Also, be consistent: do what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it, and you'll inspire your staff to do the same.

Be yourself.

Don't put on a "professional" voice, tell jokes, or do anything that doesn't feel authentic in order to project an image to your staff. Relax and just be you.

The more natural you are, the more comfortable your employees will be showing you their true selves, too. Then everyone will be freed up to do their best work!