Give Yourself a Gift

By: Linda LaPointe

Are you the position or the person?

Bosses can lose their own identity sometimes. It’s easy. It happens a lot. The results are devastating to both the workers and to the supervisor.

When we are the boss, there are many dangers in becoming you the ‘position’ instead of you the ‘person’. There are many reasons why supervisors morph into being the serious, alienated, distracted, unapproachable boss. One is that we want so badly to do a good job, and we think one way to do that is to take the job very seriously.

But other reasons are that we don’t know how to be a good supervisor and we don’t know what this job is that we have been promoted into. The reason is that we don’t know how to spend our time, what to concentrate on and what or how to delegate. So we take it all so seriously because we really don’t know what we are supposed to do as a supervisor. This creates stress, distress, anxiety and toxicity. This is not only true for new supervisors. It remains true for many veteran bosses for whom people do not like to work.

So supervisors must concentrate on three things, and only three.

When they know what these three things are, a lot of the pressure that turns them into the position will be lifted. Then, they can lighten up and be the person they know they are again, as they will know what to do with their time as a supervisor. And, you won’t be surprised to learn that these three things are the antidote for staff turnover!

Let’s start at the beginning. The top three reasons people leave their jobs:

1st reason, they leave because their supervisor as a jerk;

2nd, because they don’t feel acknowledged, recognized or appreciated;

3rd, they have no say in their work

The solution is to prepare and develop self-managed staff who are loyal, stable productive and, for the most part, happy in their jobs.

How do you do that? Let’s break it down to the basics, to the ABC’s.

We need first, to act (A) upon basic positive beliefs (B) about people. This means we treat them with respect, dignity and make them and their needs our priority. And, second, we need to be clear and specific in our coaching (C) of people to help them do the right job, the right way. This includes teaching them, and listening to them, so they become more responsible, therefore have more say into their work and the products they create.

You’ll notice that supervisors are being told to concentrate on the people who work for them and not the job or the final product. If supervisors spend their time attending to these needs of the workers, the products will be superior. Happy workers produce excellent products. And you will be a boss who will eliminate the three reasons above why people leave their jobs.

‘Well’, you say, ‘I can’t spend all my time doing that. My bosses have expectations of me, too!’ And you are right! Those are the second and third things you do. So here are the three things you spend your time on to remain you as a person, not become you as the position:

  1. Act, Believe and Coach with the staff, making them your priority.

  2. Any administrative work expected by our bosses, i.e. reports, budgets, meetings.

  3. Any tasks that only you can do and that are required by any special credential, education or experience you hold.

See! Simple as ABC!

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