Monday, November 2, 2020

Yes, Your Boss is a Person, Too

During this pandemic, we've all been doing a lot of self-care, and caring for our family and friends any way we can.

How about your boss?

What have you done lately to take care of your boss?

You may resent such a question. After all, you take care of the boss by doing your job every day and doing what he/she requests of you.

But what else? Do you do anything on a regular basis that makes the boss feel seen as a person, or cared about as someone who is trying to do a good job?

I've had bosses -- both new managers and seasoned veterans -- tell me that one of the hardest things about their jobs is the loneliness they often feel. They understand when the team goes out to lunch or hangs out on the weekends and don't invite him or her. They know their team might feel awkward with the boss around.

But, that still doesn't make it fun to be excluded from the everyday things we do to show others that we care about them. Do you ever ask the boss about his weekend? About how he's coping with working from home or trying to juggle kids and a career? Do you ever say to your boss, "Hey, we're starting a virtual book club and we'd love for you to join us"?

Do you ever offer a genuine compliment or "thank you?" to the boss? (I'm not talking being a brownnoser and delivering sappy, overly contrived messages.) Do you take the time to offer a smile and a genuine "How are you?" before launching into your latest problems?

Or, do you instead provide a little "snark" in your emails, a little passive-aggressive behavior when interacting with him or her? Do you fail to acknowledge when he or she is obviously stressed?

Be assured that the good bosses out there are feeling a lot of stress these days over making sure that everyone on their team is OK. They are trying to take extra work off of them, putting in long hours every day and on the weekends.

If you've got one of these managers, congratulations. Now it's your turn to make sure the boss is doing OK. Do this daily or at least, weekly. Let him or her know that caring isn't a one-way street.


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