Are bosses who are fair, supportive and kind gone the way of the dodo bird? If we were to listen to the media or the complaints from friends and family, you would think that this was true. Most of what we hear is negative. We hear about cut-throat bosses. Bosses who are bullies. Bosses who steal all the glory for themselves. Bosses who are perfectionists. Bosses who are only about the bottom-line. In fact, USA Today reports that 75 percent of workers say that dealing with their boss is the most stressful part of their job.
With 5% of the US workforce and 10% of the Canadian workforce in management, there really are genuinely good, fair and supportive bosses out there. We just don’t talk about them a lot. Just like we don’t often highlight the good deeds of our teens, our kid’s coaches, our police or even our politicians.
So just in case you were wondering…how does a good boss set them self a part?
According to Monster.com a supportive boss:
- Sets clear expectations
- Gives feedback
- Recognizes effort
- Is inclusive
- Gets to know employees
- Finds each person’s unique talents
- Works fearlessly
- Is open and truthful
- Is made, not necessarily born
Like it or not, your boss plays an important role in your productivity, creativity and overall health. A Swedish study found that employees who worked for bad bosses had a greater risk of heart attack and heart disease. The Journal of Business and Psychology research shows that the more negative and controlling the boss’ management style, the less happy the workers. When employees felt that their autonomy was encouraged by their boss they had a better overall sense of well-being.
However, because it is your health that is paramount, it is up to you to build the best relationship with your boss that you can, whether or not they are fair and supportive of you.
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Building Resiliency and Celebrating Boss’s Day:
- Examine how you describe your work, your boss and your company. If you find that you are using all negative language…stop. It’s undermining YOUR mental and physical health.
- Solutions not problems. Do something about what you can fix or change. Complaining isn’t addressing the issue, so take charge and have those conversations that move things forward.
- Be the type of employee YOU would want working for you if you were the boss. Sometimes, we expect the worse and act accordingly – we subconsciously force our boss to act the way we expect him to act.
- Don’t be moody and don’t let your boss’s mood impact you. You have no idea what they are dealing with, so reserve your judgements. Be the one that IS in control of their mood. Be consistent in your attitude regardless of the moods of the people around you.
- Your boss is just a person who is probably trying to do their best as well. Learn what motivates and drives them. Understand their pressures, weaknesses and blind spots. Speak their language in addressing the issues. Peter Drucker suggests that some people are “listeners” and others are “readers”. Your boss may prefer to talk about an issue first than read your summary report to understand more fully, or they may prefer to read before discussing. You need to adapt to their working style.
- Pick your battles. Confront wisely. Not everything is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Finally, if your boss is negatively impacting your health and you have tried your best to fix it and nothing seems to be working, then get out. We spend an incredible amount of time at work and it does us no favours to be shortening our lifespan unnecessarily.
Charles Erwin Wilson
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!