How Does Your Boss Like To Be Managed?

In General on March 19, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Do you think you could answer that question, how does your boss like to be managed? Not just by his or her boss, but by you and the rest of your team that report to her? I read this interesting article from the Wall Street Journal. It’s only two pages so take the time to read it as I think it is worthwhile if you’re going to look to teach your boss how to manage you.

What we see from the article was that the CEO was looking for a new Vice President, and he was clearly experienced enough to know that recruiting is laborious and dangerous work. Laborious because you can almost always find something unsuitable about the candidate, even if it’s not to do with their skill-set, it may just be your intuition that tells you they just won’t fit in with the team or won’t gel well with you. Dangerous, because if you rush this process, rush your decision, then there’s a great risk that the person you put into the position will turn out to be a bad choice, and in many developed countries it’s very difficult to just get rid of someone.

So as you can see in this article, the boss decided to think deeply about how he works and created an instruction manual for his direct reports. It shows them what they can anticipate and expect from him and suggests some actions they may take when they see certain behaviors in their boss. This CEO created this and gave it to all the candidates, I think that’s a great idea and I think it would help the candidate decide if they could work with this boss but also gives the boss an opportunity to see how they react to it.

What we’re really talking about here is excellent two way communication between employee and boss, at all levels. This is not easy to do because personalities get involved, you know, those people that becomes a team leader for the first time and the power goes to their head and they are a nightmare and people start leaving.

So, if you’ve done the exercise in the previous post and feel you have a good insight into how you like to be managed, now you need to think about how your boss likes to be managed, by her boss and by her team. Write it down, maybe discuss it with one of your colleagues that you’re really sure you can trust, maybe point them to this site so they can go on this exercise with you. After all, if most or all of your team decide they’d like to do this exercise, your boss is going to be more inclined to participate too. And when you approach your boss about giving them an instruction sheet on how you’d like to be managed, you could discuss the idea of them giving you the same sort of thing?

  1. I personally like to work with a team of people who work together for a common purpose. Too often organisations find that they are lagging behind in the market because internal resources spend their time fighting one another rather than focussing on their customers and delivering a better service. Creating a harmonious workplace is about ensuring the people that work with you understand the big picture and feel like their contributions matter. Personally I don’t like to be micro managed but like the support of my boss as and when issues crop up. I also like receiving feedback both positive and also areas that need more attention and work. It is a continuous process. Feeling like I am a valuable member of the team is very important to me. Looking forward to your next post ! Charlie

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