Advice on Being a Boss from I Hate My Boss
Lately I’ve been listening to the new podcast called I Hate My Boss. At first I thought it was going to be one of those shows in which people are recorded, live on-stage, re-telling their worst workplace stories. I was totally wrong.
I Hate My Boss is a work-related advice show. The goal of the show is to help managers to be better bosses, and to aid employees who are dealing with problems related to their managers. The podcast explores real-life workplace drama and actionable management tips to help resolve the drama.
The format of the show includes call-ins and letters from listeners, and first-hand stories and lessons from the hosts, who are really personable and easy to listen to. They also interview CEOs and HR Directors, and throw in comedy sketches about a fictitious workplace with characters who might sound all-too-familiar to you.
Here is a snippet of the I Hate My Boss trailer – click the Play button below.
Even if you’re not currently in charge of a department at work (or even one other person), the advice from this podcast can help you become a better employee. At the very least, it will help you understand your boss a little better.
Enough chit-chat. Here are the 7 management tips that I’ve learned (so far) from I Hate My Boss.
7 Management Tips From the I Hate My Boss Podcast
1. Keep emotions out of decision-making. Don’t let emotional reactions get in the way of changing the course of your career. Remember your priorities and make decisions or take actions that coordinate with your priorities.
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Many managers think that “communication” means that they should be doing all the talking. But communication in the workplace means opening up avenues of communication by asking questions, checking in, and “taking temperatures”. Give your employees an opportunity to express themselves.
3. Respect your employees’ personal boundaries. It’s important to get to know your employees, but there are limits. Your involvement or opinions about an employee’s personal life or problems should only be expressed when they are affecting their work.
4. Remind your team about the goal. It’s easy for politics and rumors to take over the company culture. Don’t let your team forget about the reasons they’re working on a project. Help them tap into the core values of the company, the client’s business, or the project at hand.
5. Encourage work/life balance. Even if you stay late at the office every night and have a terrible work/life balance, don’t expect your team to be that way. “Work/life balance” is more than a buzzword. It’s a real thing that keeps employees happy and productive. Don’t judge team members for leaving on time or taking lunch breaks. Encourage this behavior!
6. Don’t take credit for your employees’ ideas or work. Also known as “stealing credit”. Because it is stealing, and nothing is more demeaning, demoralizing, or demotivating than having your boss steal your idea. If you’re stealing ideas, expect your employees to stop trying to come up with new ones.
7. Don’t make your team your sounding board. Sharing work-related ideas and experiences is one thing. Taking advantage of being in charge and making yourself the center of attention is another. Your team isn’t your audience. That’s what your friends and family are for. Don’t monopolize the conversation just because you have the title of Manager.
|Related audiobook recommendation:
You’re In Charge, Now What?: The 8 Point Plan
Bonus Workplace Tip
On a recent episode of Happier In Hollywood (a podcast that I reviewed a few weeks ago; click here to read more about it), the hosts talk about one of their own workplace skills/mantras: Let go of the banana.
It has to do with monkeys who can’t let go of a banana even though they’re trapped if they hold onto it. Which is what a lot of us do when something is bugging us. We “hold onto the banana”, and get trapped in the emotions and drama of a problem or situation.
Their advice: deal with the problem and move on. If it requires having a confrontation, have it. If it requires making a sacrifice, make it. Be done with it, and stop stewing over it. Get unstuck and put your energy towards the more important stuff.
Did you enjoy this post? Please leave me a comment and let me know! You might also like my post about productivity podcasts.