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LGL Labor Day: Be A Better Boss Challenge

LGL Labor Day: Be A Better Boss Challenge post image

It’s Labor Day in America, no better time for the LGL “Be A Better Boss Challenge.” Don’t worry, no ice buckets or donations necessary (although our porch was filled with buckets on Sunday).  I’m just advocating for a bit of focused effort on taking your relationship with your team (and with your boss) to the next level.

Of course, if you can’t imagine anything more fulfilling than dumping a bucket of icewater on the head of your boss, you best read on. If you think your team would love that opportunity, you better go all in and buy the book (for your team). Just saying ;-)

Strained Boss Relationships are Everywhere

A few statistics from recent research.

Just like any other relationship, the best way to improve such relationships is to open the lines of communication. Even strong manager/employee relationships can be made stronger by taking the time to connect.

Who’s in the Best Position to Start the Conversation?

I recently shared the survey from my book with a group of about 50 managers representing a variety of organizations and industries in the public and private sectors. When I encouraged them to take the survey back and share it with their boss, my request was met with a universal chorus of shaking heads, uneasy laughter, and a resounding “no way.” On the other hand, when I asked them if they would be willing to use the survey with their own teams, they were much more receptive. It makes sense. It’s much easier if the person with the power is the one who initiates the, “Let’s make our relationship the best we can” conversation.

And so this Labor Day, I leave you with this Be a Better Boss Challenge. Have your team take the  Real Boss Survey (available free with this link) and then meet with them one-on-one to discuss how you can take your relationship to the next level.

Or, if you don’t like that game, use this week to do something specific to improve the relationship with at least one or two people on your team.

And of course, I encourage you to take the challenge to the next level and do something specific to enhance your relationship with your own boss as well.

For now, please share your stories and ideas of other specific ways you’ve worked to identify and improve your relationship with your team or with your boss in the comments below. Our community needs your insights.

Game on.

Another tool that can help is 8 Questions You Should Ask Your Boss.

Your turn. What exercises would you add to the Be a Better Boss Challenge? What would you recommend to folks looking to encourage communication with their team?
Filed Under:   Career & Learning, Communication
 
 
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was recently named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers, AMA's 50 Leaders to Watch in 2015, & Top Thought Leader in Trust by Trust Across America. She’s the author of 2 books: Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss.
 

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What People Are Saying

Terri Klass   |   01 September 2014   |   Reply

Perfect post for Labor Day, Karin! Fascinating survey and one I would love to try out with some of my clients!

I think the key to stronger boss relationships is developing a trust level where both the employee and the boss know what to expect from one another and showing gratitude for each other’s contributions. Also, it is so important for an employee to know that their boss is their best advocate and will support their actions.

Thanks as always!

Karin Hurt   |   01 September 2014   |   Reply

Terri, I so agree. Expectations and gratitude are vital. Excellent add.

Steve Borek   |   01 September 2014   |   Reply

I think you meant to say 65% would choose a better boss over a raise.

If they’re not willing to share the results with their boss, what’s that say about the boss?

Karin Hurt   |   01 September 2014   |   Reply

Good catch. Fixed it. Thanks. Steve, EXACTLY! That’s what is so disturbing and exactly why I’m raising the challenge.

Alli Polin   |   02 September 2014   |   Reply

Fantastic, Karin! It’s a challenge for Labor Day and every day!

Years ago, I sat down with my boss with whom I had strained relations and told him that i think we missed the mark with each other and needed a fresh start. One of the things we did was when one of us was doing “that thing” that pushed the other person’s buttons, we came up with a code that only the two of us knew to ask the other to back down and make another choice. Sounds silly but it meant we were on the same side and working towards shared success.

Karin Hurt   |   02 September 2014   |   Reply

Alli, Terrific story. Thanks so much for sharing. Love the idea of a code word. Great example of how taking the initiative can help to improve the relationship.

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