I bite on a lot of blogs LinkedIn pushes out on its home page. Bloggers have definitely mastered the art of intriguing headlines. Unfortunately, they rarely deliver the goods. A guy named Jeff Haden recently wrote a thang titled “8 Things Employees Wish They Could Tell Their Bosses.” Jeff must know something—he’s listed as a ghostwriter, speaker, and Inc. columnist. And he has, count ’em, 39,138 followers. But then a stuffed bear named Ted has well over a million, so go figure.
I don’t know if Jeff has ever been The Big Bossman, which would eminently qualify him for writing this particular blog. As most of us know, bosses aren’t conceived as such in their mother’s womb. In most cases they inadvertently grow up to be the boss and report to a boss long before they become one themselves. Not knowing if Jeff Haden has run that gauntlet, I have some thoughts on his “8 Things.”
1. “Give me an important task and I know you respect me.”
I don’t disagree that assigning a critical task is a sign of respect, but there aren’t enough to go around to show everyone you respect them. Too, a good boss doesn’t assign out of respect, he/she assigns out of a belief that the task will be completed and the employee has the appropriate skillsets.
2. “Give me an important task and let me figure out how to do it, and I know you trust me.”
Again, this isn’t about trust, per se; it’s about a trust in skillsets and ability to execute.
3. “Actually, I would like to work here for a long time.”
That’s nice. How about asking, “What would be required for me to be one of your best assets? I’ll do whatever it takes to get there.”
4. “I appreciate that you stopped to talk, but can’t you see I’m falling behind?”
Perhaps that’s why I stopped?! If you don’t have time to say hello to the boss, something is screwy.
5. “I don’t really care about your personal life.”
Good to know! In the end, that says a lot about you.
6. . . . “and I can tell you don’t really care about my personal life.”
So, why do you want to work here “for a long time”? Fact is, I do care. Perhaps too much.
7. “An occasional thanks makes a huge difference.”
Tell me something I don’t already know.
Here are six things I would hope you would WANT to say to the boss.
1. If you ask me to do something, I'll do everything I can to knock it out of the park.
2. How can I help?
3. I want to be better. What should I do, what should I read? Is there training available to make me more of an asset?
4. Where are we going as a company, as an industry?
5. How did you get started in the business?
6. I appreciate what you’re doing to make this business stronger and more successful.
I’d say, if you’re relating more to the top set of “Things You’d like to Say to Your Boss,” versus the bottom set, you probably need to find another company, and boss, to work for.