Of All the Complaints I’ve Heard about Bosses, I’ve Never Heard this One
Top Complaints about bosses:
- My boss takes credit for my work.
- My boss doesn’t trust me. She seems to assume that I’m going to fail.
- My boss doesn’t care that I’m overworked. I work late. He leaves on time.
Of all the complaints I’ve heard:
Of all the complaints I’ve heard about leaders, I’ve never heard anyone complain…
“I wish my boss would stop encouraging me. I get too much encouragement.”
It’s easy to miss the mark when you call people to face new challenges.
Good intentions backfire. Unexpected resistance knocks you for a loop. Perhaps you misread your team’s readiness to take on new challenges.
Encouragement – while facing challenges – never misses the mark.
“Only three in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree that in the last seven days they have received recognition or praise for doing good work.” Gallup
Occasionally I send a short text or email to leaders I know. It might simply read, “I was just thinking of you. I know you’re facing big challenges. You matter.”
The reply often reads, “Thanks, I really needed that today.”
It’s always the right time to say a good word to someone who’s facing challenges.
- I notice you have been …
- When I think of you, I think about …
- When I see you at your best, I see you …
- I notice how comfortable you are when you …
- You’re so good at … (Name a result or skill.)
- I’m thankful for you.
- Thank you for rising to this challenge.
The context of encouragement is challenge. All encouragement and no challenge dilutes the value and power of a good word.
Big challenges multiply the value of small encouragements.
“The best managers reinforce how and why each person’s contribution is fundamental to the team’s success.” Gallup
What are some complaints you hear about bosses?
How might bosses encourage team members?
A great post today.. often when reading your blog I pause mentally in gratitude for the great bosses I’ve had, they saw more in me than I saw in myself and worked to bring it forward. It made my career so rewarding on levels far beyond financial compensation.
I remain in touch — even with the Hobby Shop owner who was my first in 1967
Your text suggestions are valuable, nudging my mind to step up and encourage others, regularly. and intentionally.
Thanks Ken. “they saw more in me than I saw in myself.” What a gift. Rather than focusing on what’s wrong focus on potential.
Good Morning, Yes and Yes. The only comment I have is, Is the complement sincere? I notice so often that Thank you seems to be used as a fill in. I have a very tight group which I am so thankful for. I try to thank them daily as we work hard however I find that when I take the time to actually look at the work they are doing and make comment at those particular times it seems more rewarding not only to my team but I feel it brings my team closer and I see a lot more interaction and problem solving.
Great point, Don. We smell insincerity a mile away. Insincerity makes matters worse.
Dan, I’m with “Ken” today, fortunately along my journey “others saw more in me than myself’, and I’m ever so thankful. I trusted them when they said” come with me and I’ll teach you what I know”, or you can stay here and find your own way. What a blessing it was, and took were I am today. Opportunities present themselves we just have to make the choices. He was my Boss at the time, I was 19 and full of energy and needed a place to journey, he gave me a choice! Bosses can be misjudged, don’t let the cover deceive you! Everyone has good in them, sometimes takes others to bring it out.
Thanks Tim. It occurs to me that a leader who sees what we could becomes a person we appreciate and respect. If we hope to be respected, see more in others than they see in themselves.
I think encouragement goes hand in hand with constructive criticism. Its not always about just praising a worker for the job they did but looking to improve the job over time. Encouragement makes an employee think about what they did correctly and they can take pride in that work. Constructive criticism helps the employee continue to work to their peak ability. Putting both together effectively would make any leader capable of accomplishing great things with their team.
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An interesting thoughtful post!
You have to be lucky to have such good bosses who appreciate your good efforts and never misses any opportunity to boost the mprale of you & the team. I distinctly recall having two good bosses in my professional career at the corporate level.
The first one had the habit of calling the marketing team members in a conference room and in front of all he used to applaud the achiever or the team on completion of any project presentation to the top management. As a good professional, he used to sit even late till I/we completed our meeting preparations and check on the progress. He reprimanded marketing team members individually in his cabin with toughness for any lapse or time delay.
The other one had a habit of boosting the morale by complimenting with small e-mails from H.Q. very promptly. His common opening was ‘Bravo’ and then appreciation for the happy news as conveyed for some achievements at our end. A unique courteous written style!
thanks for joining in today, Dr. Asher. It seems that leaders who show appreciation and give recognition are memorable.
I notice the timely aspect of the emails you mention. Act quickly.
My direct supervisor is such a joy to work with and for, and I don’t think I have complimented him enough. This post made me stop and think about that! The only shortfall to compliments (as a staff member) is sincerity. People can always tell when you don’t mean it! Thanks for giving me something to think about!
Thanks Sara. Yes, insincere action causes distrust and devalues the people we’re interacting with.
Being a football fan, I often think about the way coaches carry themselves during times of adversity. What other boss or Leader is put in front of a national audience during crunch time for the world to see how they react, encourage and generally handle the pressure? When the team is down and things aren’t going well, most coach yell, get in players faces, blame the refs, etc. If you have a chance, watch Nick Saban sometime coach the Alabama Crimson Tide. Although he may not be a fan favorite (certainly not mine), it’s incredible how he carries himself in a way that is the opposite of most; something can be learned here about encouragement and redirecting stress. When Nick’s team is winning, even when they’re up big, he’s fired-up. Mad as could be about the little mistakes, red faced and yelling at players who didn’t execute perfectly. When the team is down, he’s stoic. High fiving, clapping, encouraging, and a calm as could be. It’s the complete opposite of the typical coaching reaction. Very interesting that he is considered one of, if not the best to ever do it and takes a totally opposite approach to motivating the team and being a sense of calm and collected in times of adversity!
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