Monthly Archives: June 2015

How to Receive Bad News as the Boss

I’ve heard employees say many times how they fear giving the boss bad news. The good boss encourages the staff to keep him in the loop on what may not be going according to plan. The first step to fixing the problem is knowing there is a problem in need of being fixed. When a boss leads by intimidation or fear, the unreported problems fester, incubate, and turn into disasters over time. Eventually, the intimidating boss looks for whom to blame and states, “Heads are going to roll.” This is the fastest way for a boss to cut off communications.

The good boss realizes that hearing about bad news, mistakes, or misinterpretations when they happen should be viewed as important pieces of information. The sooner the good boss is informed, the quicker a solution can be reached. This is the difference between a course correction and disaster. For a good boss the course correction is an expected part of daily business because nothing goes exactly as planned. With the pace of business today, reaction and adjustment on the fly are to be expected.

Intimidation or fear are disruptive to the process of achieving success. The good boss knows the reaction to bad news is to focus on the solution, and then diagnose what went wrong in order to prevent it from happening again.  The messenger of the bad news should never feel wrath, regardless how bad the news is.

How do you handle receiving bad news?

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Build Employee Careers

When your reputation within the company is being great to work for, you will have people waiting to join your team. Internal job postings are hotly contested and top talent
employees are eager to be under your direction. It’s not the pay of the position, or the perceived easy work that have people desiring to be here. It’s the culture a good boss creates.

A good boss encourages others to be leaders and build successful careers. Good bosses don’t hold top talent in place for fear of the gap they will have to fill if this person leaves. In fact, a good boss will help employees build a career even if it means that promotion happens outside of the company. By encouraging employees to grow their careers, the good boss creates a legacy of talent development. As each person moves up to the next level in their career path, those with top talent desiring to follow the same path will fill in right behind them, successfully filling that gap with more talent.

Think about how a top college basketball coach develops freshmen for the NBA after one season in college. Sure he hates to lose such great talent after one year, but once word gets out this is the best path to the NBA for the best talent, the coach’s legacy does his recruiting for him. The same approach works for the good boss.

How are you building the careers of your employees who desire to get ahead?

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