Last month I discussed working with your boss and how sometimes good bosses do some not so good things and how “bad” bosses might really do some very good things. Then I started a list of what a “good” boss might be like. I continue that list this month.
What I think a Good Boss Should Do:
They should tell me why
When the boss passes on a task or initiative to me, it would be great if they could fill in the big picture and the why. Why are we moving in this direction? Why do we need to complete this task? When I know why I am doing something and how it fits in the overall progress of the firm, it motivates me to action more than just being told what to do.
They should give me the tools I need to get my job done.
Good bosses know that without the right tools, the best staffer might be hampered in getting tasks completed. A supportive boss will check to see if you have the software/hardware and other items you may need to complete your assigned tasks. This means that they will ask you about it from time to time. They will also listen to you when you ask for additional items needed to progress forward. They will then turn that listening into action.
They should listen to me
Speaking of listening, a good boss would listen to me when I brought up questions or clarifications. They would take the time to get my input or to listen to what my concerns and objections may be. They would not only listen, but also ponder and not dismiss my out of hand. They may not change their minds or agree with my point of view, but at least I would know that they heard what I said and took it into consideration.
They should do not hoard information that I need.
When it comes to information, they share. And they share it all. And they share it up front. And they share it before you ask. No one can oversee an initiative or effort with gaps in the information they are provided. When you are missing some data, they help you get it. When you need some input, they provide it. When you are approaching a decision, they give you all the info they have to assist you in making the right choice.
They should support/defend me when I am not around
The nest bosses support their staff – even if they are not around. More specifically, when the staff is not there to defend themselves, the boss will step forward. The boss may know why something was done a certain way or what the roadblocks might have been. They should know the track record of the employees and be able to address some anomaly in behavior or output that does not seem right. If they did not know why something was not addressed or came in late or was wrong, they deflect until they can find out why. They do not throw the staffer under the bus. They defend and protect.
You may have some additional items you would add to the list…email me and let's get them out there. Everyone has the opportunity to be a good boss or co-worker. Are you striving for that?