Do You Behave Differently When Your #Boss Is In The Room?

Team Leader's Desk

How Does Your Boss Make You Feel?

My recent post on 3 steps to a happier Christmas and a more authentic new year mentioned that some Good Girls or Nice Guys act in a way that feels false, to please their boss.

That struck a chord with a few of you, so I wanted to share some fresh thinking from academics and ask you a question about how you have managed the tricky relationship with a difficult boss.

How Authentic Are You When Your Boss Is Around?

The idea of inauthentic behaviour at work got me thinking about recent items in the Harvard Business Review, which has published a couple of great insights recently on improving the Boss – Employee relationship.

Liane Davey posted this article which is worth a read, as it suggests ways you can take action and feel more authentic when you help your boss respond more positively to you.

Charalambos Vlachoutsicos previously suggested that some people in the leader / boss role are simply don’t understand that their conduct can seriously damage employee engagement and productivity. He suggested Bosses who want to improve their leadership style need to keep a change diary

Most Bosses Are Positive About Leading Others

Thankfully most bosses (even if they have the odd bad day) are basically able to learn, change and grow. They know that they support the development of their junior colleagues by being a better version of themselves.

As a plus, the skilled, assertive and confident employee can help their boss grow by asking for support and offering options to show how engaged they are.

What Options Do You Have If Your Boss Is Negative?

Having said that, in my experience – as a team member and as a coach – I know there are a few people who are not suited to leading others. That isn’t anyone’s fault, it is just sad that their own issues adversely affect the way they treat subordinates. Their influence is toxic.

Who wants to be micro-managed, subject to sarcasm, or receive the impatient eye rolling treatment as they try to speak to their boss?

If an employee has a choice of working for someone like that they face a choice:

  • Try to tough it out, with the long-term consequences on their levels of engagement, productivity and self-esteem
  • Find another team to work in, where the leadership is supportive and they have the scope to engage, produce great results and to flourish.

How Have You Successfully Managed A Difficult Relationship With Your Boss?

Most people never have to act out their strategy for dealing with a difficult boss (or even form a strategy in the first place).

If you have taken action to help yourself what did you do? How did it work out? What did you learn?

Please use the Comment section to share your experience, or keep the conversation going on Twitter @RogerD_Said . Have your say (or just look around) On Facebook and Google+ too.

If you prefer you can use LinkedIn to View Roger Dennison’s profile

#GEW – What’s Your Secret To Confident Public Speaking?

Speakers At The 2014 Work & Family Show

What Is Your Secret To Public Speaking?

Are you getting connected with the no-cost and low-cost events in the UK during Global Entrepreneurship Week ?

Hopefully your goal is to sample some of the Networking Sessions; Webinars and Presentations scheduled from now until 23 November. You will definitely be able to hear some inspiring ideas from some talented speakers in the next few days.

Any one of those learning opportunities might be the right one to give you clarity. They will help you see past the fog of options that you might pursue and focus on your next development goal.

What’s The Secret To Confident Public Speaking?

Have you ever wondered how some speakers seem to effortlessly get their points across?

Whether you are in the UK, US, the EU, or further afield I think the speakers you listen to will have 3 points in mind as they clear their throats and start speaking. They will be mindful of the need to:

  • Focus on meeting the information needs of you, the audience member
  • Present their message in a simple and straight forward way
  • Give you a summary and a call to action before they finish speaking

How Do These 3 Strategies Help Speakers Get Their Message Across?

  • Addressing the audience on their terms means the content is relevant and accessible, rather than too academic
  • Simplicity means you are more likely to remember the key message or stat the speaker referenced
  • Summarising the content underlines its importance and signals that there is more information on the key topic than the presentation could contain

These 3 strategies also naturally lead you and the rest of the audience to read an article online, subscribe to a Newsletter, or book onto a follow-up session if that is the final point the speaker mentions.

How Will You Share The Information You Gain During #GEW ?

Feel free to comment below – or on Twitter @RogerD_Said – on the learning you have undertaken and how you will apply inside or outside work. I’ll be sharing my GEW takeaways here and across social media during the week. Why not join the conversation?

 

Goals 2014: 5 Ways To Make The Most Of Your #MidYearReview

What Makes Your Mid-Year Review A Positive Experience?

What Makes Your Mid-Year Review A Positive Experience?

If your staff report year began in April your mid ear review is due about now. You and your Supervisor / Team Leader / Manager will be preparing for a conversation which will cover: your performance against your goals; the competencies you are using and those you can develop; plus support you can tap into from coaches, mentors or formal training providers.

If you are a UK civil servant this process might raise wider issues, some of which are discussed in a feature on morale this week in the Guardian newspaper   The article is worth a read if you have an interest in staff engagement, or the delivery of public services.

5 Ways To Get The Best Out Of Your Mid-Year Review

Whether you are working in the private, or public sector your review is your chance to share the evidence of your good work so far this year with your Supervisor.

If you are a Supervisor chairing the session it is your chance to have an empathic conversation, which uses evidence to highlight the good work your junior colleague has produced. You can propose any development areas that need attention and leave the session on a positive note overall.

The Review is also the spring board to the second part of the year. You can create momentum from this session. Enough momentum to carry you toward whatever achievements you want under your belt by next Spring.

Here are your 5 pointers to make the most of your mid-year review

  • Bring your evidence (customer feedback; stats showing what you have accomplished; learning log highlights).
  • Listen intently to what is being said, so you can note down positive and interesting feedback.
  • Check you understand any adverse feedback and ask for evidence where necessary.
  • Clarify next steps and timings at, or shortly after, the review (especially if you have to follow a timetable to record your difference of opinion over something which has been said).
  • Create a development goal, in line with your values, which you can work on this month. Make sure it also moves you forward towards a personal goal. This will give you an immediate lift, should you need one and give you confidence you can use at work too.

What are your favourite strategies to make sure you conduct effective reviews with your staff? What factors tell you that your Supervisor has made your review a positive experience? Share your thoughts in the Comment section below, or send me a tweet @RogerD_Said

Feel Free To Share This Post

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Goals 2014: How To Keep From Being A Victim Of A #BadBoss

Can You Spot The Bad Boss? Picture credit seemann at Morguefile

Can You Spot The Bad Boss? Picture credit seemann at Morguefile

Is your leadership making your colleagues sick? Probably not, if you are reading a web post about how to improve your performance. That means concepts like ‘authenticity’ and ‘values’ ring bells with you. Your goals are based in empathy. Your colleagues will be grateful for that.

Having an authentic set of core values means you communicate in a consistent way with your team and clients. You don’t fake it. Your actions show you treat others as you would be treated yourself. Maybe you can influence a Bad Boss you know to help raise productivity, by treating his / her colleagues better?

What Does It Feel Like To Have A Bad Boss?

Years back I experienced BBS (Bad Boss Syndrome) courtesy of a supervisor who used sarcasm, blame shifting and setting team members against one another as a management strategy.

Working for that colleague made Friday evenings a time to celebrate. It also made Sunday evenings a time for regret. I wasn’t the only team member whose job-satisfaction and productivity dropped. Morale wasn’t a metric that interested the Boss. Luckily I was able to move to another job when a reorganisation took place. Some people, sadly, get stuck in situations like this.

How Do You Keep From Being A Victim Of Bad Bosses?

Stay rested; Stay connected to your network; stay optimistic. A good night’s sleep helps maintain your energy levels. Your professional network helps you maintain perspective about your situation. Optimism reminds you that you are located in a situation caused by your Boss, not by you.

I just read about some workplace research in the Washington Post that describes the symptoms caused by the bad boss. I also found an item posted on LinkedIn outlining possible ways to manage the feelings caused by BBS. Good to know that if your boss could be making you sick there is light at the end of the tunnel, since you can learn How successful people handle toxic people . Both articles are worth a few minutes of your time.

Which Questions Help You Start To Combat BBS?

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself if the symptoms of BBS are starting to ring bells with you:

  • How do you wish to be treated by your supervisor in the workplace (if you are a supervisor how do colleagues rate your style)?
  • What is the effect on your productivity of the treatment you receive right now?
  • What action will you take this week to improve the treatment you receive and to become more productive?

Want To Share Your Story With Others?

I’d be very interested to know what actions people have taken, in the past, to improve their situation where their supervisor was harming their productivity. Feel free to share your stories in the comment section, or on Twitter @RogerD_Said

Goals 2014: 3 Ideas To Help You Stand Out In Your #JobSearch

It is that time of year.  Your goals set last January have been accomplished.  Your summer break is a fading memory and you are back into the familiar rhythm of the working week.  Hopefully you are ready to take decisive action, rather than staring out of the window at the leaves changing colour.

Your Top 3 Job Search Suggestions

If you are looking to change of your job role, or place of work you might find you need to polish up your CV / Resume and covering letter.  The information in the Tweeted link helps you do just that.

Basically the Guardian’s Job Goddess suggests that jobseekers should remember to:

  • Start their letter by talking about the fit between their experience, their skills and the role for which they are applying
  • Specify how much impact they have had in similar roles (How many customers did they have? How much revenue did they generate?)
  • Demonstrate their continuous learning strategy by mentioning what recent qualifications or experience they have gained.

Who Will You Share These Suggestions With?

If this isn’t the right time for you to be moving on who do you know who would benefit from this information?  How will you share it with them?  When are you going to do it?  I’m sure they will be grateful that you passed these ideas on.

Tweet your feedback to me @RogerD_Said or use the Comment section here.   I would love to know how these ideas help in practice.

Goals 2014: What Can You Do To Improve Your Sense Of #WellBeing ?

Robin Williams

How Are You Taking Care Of Your Own & Others’ Well-Being?

I first came across Robin Williams’ work on the 1970s US tv show Mork & Mindy.  I remember liking the cartoon energy in his performance.  He was larger than life, well my life in the UK anyway.  I was young though, so the subtle side of his work went over my head.  I grew to appreciate the breadth of his talent over the intervening years.

Robin Williams’ death, at 63 years of age, made me cry.  It was shocking.  Shocking in part because he was relatively young, much loved and hugely talented.  Shocking mostly because of the link to mental health.

What Is Your Well-Being Strategy?

You can never tell what mental health challenges someone might be facing.  According to the Mental Health Foundation  1 in 4 of us in the UK will have a problem this year.  These challenges cut across age, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other barriers.  Men in particular can end up stoically suffering in silence.  Men’s Health magazine offers a unisex slideshow on actions that result in feeling happier  What is your strategy?

Well-Being Goals For Leaders And Managers

The ordinary pressures of life can have a very hard impact on some people who are already feeling vulnerable.  The concepts of austerity and more-for-less are permanent features of the employment landscape now.  What impact do they have on your sense of well-being?

As the Men’s Health slideshow suggests being mindful of our own mental-health needs and taking action is important within the workplace and outside of it.

Leaders and managers also have an important role to play in contributing to healthier workplace outcomes.  They can create an authentic workplace culture which supports staff engagement; a sub-set of which is well-being.

As a large UK employer the Civil Service outlines their engagement strategy here for their 463,000 plus members of staff and millions of customers.

Staff in any sized organisation are more confident if they know that their bosses support their well-being as they are seen as people, not just workers.  There is a relationship between confidence, resilience and productivity.  Confident leaders make it possible for colleagues to have conversations about managing workplace pressures more effectively.  What are your leaders doing to facilitate those conversations?

How Do You Help Others Through Their Day?

Finally, I like the idea of positively influencing others.  One of my goals is to treat others as I wish to be treated myself.  Being thoughtful towards others feels good.  Plus, it might lighten the strain on anyone who is having a tough day.  How do you help the important people in your life manage the pressures in their life?

Here are 10 quotes courtesy of Mashable  related to Mr Williams.  I hope you find them inspiring.  Feel free to share this post, comment below and keep the discussion going @RogerD_Said

Rest in Peace Robin.

Goals 2014: 3 Questions To Inspire Your #PersonalDevelopment Actions

You Can Act Without Perfect Preparation

You Can Act Without Perfect Preparation

I’ve had this Arthur Ashe quote in my head since I heard it in the acceptance speech  the US football player Michael Sam gave recently, when receiving an award for courage.  The quote suggests you can take action right now, if you believe you can.

How can you use the relationship between confidence and action when achieving authenticity?

When is your right time to confidently take the action to experience your life more authentically?

I think authenticity, confidence / courage and action inter-relate.  This inter-relationship even came up when friends and I were speaking over Sunday lunch recently about pursuing professional or personal goals.

The view around the lunch table was that confident people take steps to move forward, so that there is more of a smooth flow to their professional and personal lives.   We recognised that at times in the past we hadn’t necessarily taken action for a number of reasons, including:

  • Competing pressures on our time
  • Needing to feel more confident or courageous before we could succeed
  • Surrendering to external resistance keeping us from changing

Do any of those factors ring bells with you?  The questions below may be helpful if so.  This is territory I started to explore in a post I wrote in June 2012.  There I was asking about the results you would get if you asked for what you wanted.

Bottom line.  You have to feel confident to ask for what you want.  In the same way you need confidence to know that you will succeed before you take meaningful action.  The outcome of your action – the reward for your courage – is greater authenticity.

3 Questions to inspire you to take personal development action

Here are the 3 questions you might want to work on and use as inspiration tomorrow, when you take action:

  • How much better will your life be in 12 months’ time if you start to take action to address your main personal improvement goal tomorrow?
  • How much easier will your actions seem if you have the on-going support of your spouse / boss / best friend?
  • What will you feel like in 12 months’ time if you have done nothing to tackle the goal you know in your heart is your number 1 priority?

Over to you

By all means have a conversation with family / colleagues / friends about the actions you will take to get what you want.  I’d love to hear what you have planned.  You can let me know how you get on via the Contact form, or you can find me on Twitter @RogerD_said

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile and learn more there.