Working for a bad boss is terrible. However, working for a great boss, is awesome. I have had the privilege of working for bosses from different cultures, genders, life styles, beliefs, and education and leadership styles. From each of them, I have learned many lessons. In reflecting about these, I recall the moments I felt great because of their actions. They taught me how a supervisor impacts others positively.
A former boss was excellent at listening to everyone in a meeting. When a peer would try to dominate the meeting to force the acceptance of his idea, my boss would say “John, that is a good idea. Let’s listen to others points of view, and from their functional perspective.” He went around the table and asked all members to provide input on the matter discussed. I thought it was spectacular the way he handled it. He would never take sides or accepted the idea of a team member without listening to all members of the team first. He was acting inclusive.
I had a project in mind, which was a different approach. Actually, it was a combination of ideas from different books that I believed it would produce the right results for the company. In this company, relationships were important to advance ideas. As I was new, I didn’t had enough bridges built to propose and implement “different” or innovative ideas. My boss selected to support the idea, and helped me present the project to those “bridges” I still didn’t know. I remember my commitment elevated to the top of my priorities. I happily worked long days so that the project was executed with excellence. At the end, the project achieved the results beyond expected.
During times of multiple projects and demanding results, I was working too many hours. My supervisor at that time said to me “You are working too much. Go to a spa, take some time off.” I thought it was a joke, so I laughed. My boss reacted, “I am not joking. You are responsible. Take a break.” I took the break. While at the relaxing spa appointment, I reflected on what happened. I felt my boss cared about me. In particular, that I balance my life. Work is important, but not all. I learned to consciously separate time for my wellbeing. Not to wait when I had times of lots of work and demanding hours.
I remember when I had few disagreements with a peer. We reached to a point that we could not have a rational discussion. Our supervisor requested us to a meeting. We were explained that productive relationships were the only right way to lead the company. We were given 15 minutes to discuss whatever disagreement we had. In other words, we needed to fix it. We didn’t need the 15 minutes. We both expressed that we were going to make a better effort to have a positive relationship, and we did. Our supervisor did not take sides, confronted the situation and let us solve the issue.
One of the most wonderful feelings I have felt during a recognition have been from the words expressed by my supervisor. It has not been because of the award, although I have appreciated the reward. But the impact in me has been about what the work meant for my supervisor. In particular, the positive impact to the organization and to the members of the teams. That has been the moment of impact to my self-value. To every individual, recognition is different. The difference can be from who is coming, how is delivered and who knows about it. It takes a good boss to know what type of recognition impacts better each member of his or her team.
Think about it. Which acts from your supervisor have made you feel awesome? On the other hand, which acts have you demonstrated as supervisor that have made others feel awesome?