Would you also like your boss to stand behind you more and wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could rely on him at all times? Employees formulate these and other expectations when they could wish for their dream boss and the relationship with him. But what is it really about the image of the superior who stands behind his team and whom you can always rely on? Why such expectations of bosses no longer fit into our working world today, what they can even do to employees and their managers, and what instead makes a good employee-boss relationship.
“Our executives stand behind their employees, are capable of criticism, and reliable.”
I read this saying when I look over my desk through a window on the wall of a bench that has just moved in. My first thought was: What kind of culture might prevail there if you paint something like this as a guiding principle on the new stairwell? When they have to encourage their employees to be allowed to criticize and remind them of the reliability of managers. And the boss who is behind his team is no longer a suitable image of contemporary management culture for me.
As there, expectations and attitudes are still buzzing around in many companies between management, management, and employees, which from my perspective can not only be out of date but even harmful. Here are things that employees now want their bosses to be wrong:
My boss is always behind me
Many employees want a boss who will have their backs when things get serious. Who is still behind them, even when their backs are against the wall. Who puts the guiding hand on their shoulders from behind and gives them security. Let them run forward and not get in their way.
It may be a phrase, but for me, the image of the boss behind his employees no longer fits in with a healthy management culture. I see in it a driver, a controller, a peeper over his shoulder. And employees who go ahead haphazardly. A boss who doesn’t lead just follows. Who does not see what his employees are doing, but only utilizes results – or sweeps up the broken pieces? A person who only looks in front of (behind) the heads instead of the faces of his employees. A name in the organization chart above the employee’s box.
My boss is by my side and is there for me when I need him
This is the picture I have of modern leadership. The manager is neither behind nor in front of their team, but by their side. It accompanies each employee as they need it. It gives the team a good feeling and the secure footing of being with them as a companion at all times. A boss who takes employees by the hand when they need leadership and otherwise walks alongside at a distance and eye level when they can organize themselves in the team.
The boss is a colleague and an integral part of the team. In a different role and with different skills and tasks, but at the side of his employees. A management attitude that is not defined by status and hierarchy, but rather on the achievement of common goals and the individual leadership and development of each employee.
You can always rely on my boss
Managers should be reliable. This is also what the bank writes on the flag across the street – and on the wall;) Yes, employees hate the choleric, the flag in the wind, or the non-decision-maker. Bosses should be predictable and consistent. They should stand by their word, represent opinions, make decisions and keep promises once they have been made.
But when an employee tells me “You can always rely on my boss”, then I have more of the image of the employee in mind who delegates every decision to the boss and takes on zero responsibility. Who runs to the powerful boss in the slightest conflict, reports colleagues who are peeing on his leg and asking the boss to finally do something about it.
The boss will fix it. An attitude that I perceive in many employees today and that educates them to a high degree to be conflict-averse and a lack of personal responsibility. Anyone who learns as an employee in a team that his boss will solve any problem for him if he only escalates it upwards will not only stay on the spot in his personal and professional development but will also quickly be seen by the boss as a nuisance and by the Colleagues seen as helpless, weak and traitors.
You can rely on my boss if I can’t find a solution myself
Of course, employees should be able to rely on their boss. Before doing this, employees should try to identify problems or conflicts, either independently or with the support of their colleagues, to clarify them and find suitable solutions for them. If they do not succeed or if they would have to exceed their competencies, only then should the boss come into play.
My boss just lets me do it
Almost all employees today want the freedom of action and decision-making. The days of instruction and control are gone, at least in the theory of modern leadership. When I surveyed the behavior of bosses here on the blog a few months ago, most readers confirmed that their boss gives them the freedom of action they need. Immediately afterward the statement “My boss doesn’t control me, he trusts me.”
Actually, a nice result that so many employees have attested to their managers. But when I talk to employees in coaching about the scope for decision-making they actually have and how exactly their relationship with their bosses looks like, then the real truth behind the great freedom often becomes apparent:
A boss who doesn’t keep an eye on his employees and doesn’t have time for them, because he is only fixated on doing his own tasks and meeting the expectations from above. Employees who cannot coordinate with their manager on crucial issues or who wait days for reactions by email. Hard-working bees who feel left alone at the front and have long since lost their bearings in which direction they are heading as a team. Employees are left out in the rain so much that they can no longer recognize the technical background of their tasks and thus the meaning of the work.
My boss leads me and gives me the freedom that is good for me
I rarely see employees and managers who actively shape the scope for action and decision-making. Rather, these are often the result of inadequate or completely lacking leadership. Because if leadership no longer takes place, then employees and teams have maximum freedom of action and (must) do what they think is right. Perceived freedom, which, however, stresses most employees.
As an employee, you should self-critically question whether your freedoms in your job result from a lack of or as a result of good leadership by your boss and whether they are good for you or what you would want differently instead.
My boss always has an open ear for me
“We have an open-door policy,” some managers tell me. And employees praise that their boss is available to them at all times. Poor boss, I think right now. Concentrated work? – No chance! Some managers explain to me that they complete demanding tasks when the employees have finished work – or on the weekend.
The result: I rarely see team or division leaders in middle management who deal intensively with conceptual and strategic issues, such as where they want their division and team to develop. The team development workshop is prepared the evening before, the presentation for the appearance in front of the board at 6 in the morning before breakfast. Day-to-day operations dominate and many can no longer find their way out.
I can discuss everything with my boss in due course
Managers who give their employees the secure feeling of being available at all times to make themselves the sole problem solver and therefore do not encourage solution thinking in the team. Why think for myself when I can just drop by to see the bossб and he’ll solve my problem or approve a decision? – an attitude that makes it very easy for employees to give up responsibility and let bosses become girls for everything.
Instead, employees should accept and also keep an eye out for the fact that their bosses may not have time. In my work with executives, I recommend that you agree a clear sign with the employees of your team and with the other colleagues when you want to work undisturbed.
My boss and I get on really well
My boss, the best buddy – How nice? Especially in young teams or in corporate cultures that are very much on you and you and eye level, this image sometimes comes to my mind. Employees who are super fat with their buddy bosses and also go for a beer with them privately.
Buddy bosses on a cuddle course with their employees is a management style that I always notice when the boss has been a member of the team for many years or when he is overwhelmed with leadership and the cuddle course is the most pleasant solution.
On the other hand, many employees believe that they just have to please their boss to earn recognition. They always do their utmost to ensure that there is always a good mood and simply smile away at every problem and the slightest hint of conflict. Only good things and successes are communicated to the boss. They prefer to take worries, fears, and doubts home with them.
The relationship between my boss and me is good, so we can communicate clearly and openly
For me, a good relationship between boss and employee is primarily characterized by responsibility, trust, and clarity. If the (professional) relationship level is right, it can withstand honest criticism and admitting mistakes or failures much better. If, on the other hand, the relationship level is only based on acting and having to please, this makes communication more difficult in the event of a conflict.
As an employee, ask yourself whether you get on really well with your boss, literally, or whether you too can contribute something to achieve a more professional boss-employee relationship level with him, on which you can be clear and clear To speak objectively about everything that concerns you and is important to you.
What is your current picture of leading and being led?
Perhaps it seems like quibbling to you, but it makes a difference whether you, as an employee or boss, visit your workplace every morning and see the image of the good manager who stands behind the employees, who always has an open ear and That you can always rely on, or whether you see them as a companion and partner who is there for employees when they need them and who makes decisions when they get stuck alone or in a team.
Both sides can consciously work on a different picture and thus also a changed attitude for better cooperation between managers and employees. There is no need for management guidelines that have been adopted by the board and imposed on everyone, or colorful wall tattoos.
Regardless of whether you are reading this post as an employee or as a manager, each of you can check your individual image of leading and being led at this moment in your own head, update it if necessary and work step by step to adapt it to today’s world of work as well as to your individual working environment with the people who work there together.