HR Management & Compliance

Tips to Do ‘Boss’ Better than the Rest

90% of staff leave due to their boss. Is there something they’re doing, or something in their approach that chases off talent?

As a former in house-translator who has moved on to being a self-employed interpreter, communicator, and coach, I would like to invite you to consider a slightly different take on this matter and see whether it could benefit you and your staff.

True Communication

Communication, team building, mission statements, etc., are buzz-words when it comes to dealing with staff, but truly, how often does it really make people feel included and give them the sense that they matter?

What I have seen as an employee is that all those well-meant measures and advice such as, “Don’t look at how much overtime your colleagues do; it doesn’t have to influence you,” don’t really catch on because in actuality people do compare themselves to each other. They compare the hours spent at work, meetings where everyone is on their guard and no real discussion takes place—this all tends to be treated like yet another occasion where you have to appear a certain way. All the more reason why a dialogue about this is important.

So what I would suggest to people in leading positions is to eliminate those barriers where everyone just tries to prove they are right, or at least not wrong, including the boss. What do I mean by that?

How often do we understand communication as getting our point across, preferably convincing the other party, or at least coming to a compromise of actually irreconcilable positions?

What if we stopped trying to come to a mutual understanding and instead went beyond words directly to the energy—which could eventually invite everyone involved to a true change of course?

Now I know the word energy has an esoteric ring to it, but I would like to suggest seeing it as that which is behind any words—as a translator, I would refer to this as the “intention behind the words.”

If you think of speakers or public figures who you find captivating—is it their oratory skills that makes you listen, or something else? If you think of how people who beg on the street exactly know who to ask, despite the grumpy faces passersby might be wearing; if you think of Michael Jackson who would stand for almost an hour in front of a cheering crowd, saying “I love you,” at the most, and yet nobody wanted to leave.

When it comes to counting words, analyzing rhetorical devices—would you consider them skilled speakers? Certainly not. But what these people have in common is the willingness to go directly at the energy and establish a communication that can eventually foster true exchange.

How can this be applied to a working environment?

There are four types of attitudes which, when you know how to deal with them, can melt any barriers your counterpart may have—given, however, you lower your own barriers!

  • Attitude No. 1: If you have somebody who has the attitude of “Prove it to me” you should pull energy from them.
  • Attitude No. 2: If your discussion partner is energetically in a neutral position, like sitting back and seeing where things are going—flow energy to them.
  • Attitude No. 3: If somebody is sucking your attention fill them up with energy.
  • Attitude No. 4: If somebody is pushing energy at you (like a used car salesman)—pull energy from them so they lose balance as they are used to having to break barriers.

So how do you do that and how do you know when to apply which? It is easier than it sounds as we naturally do this “energy flow” thing all the time. We are pulling energy when we want to be noticed, by a waiter, a love interest, somebody who has something we urgently want. We are flowing energy when we have a lot of sympathy for someone, like a puppy or a kid.

That’s about all we need to know.

Now using all the energy pulls required to make anybody hear you—without a lengthy analysis of which attitude that person is currently having—is as easy as asking for it—and you will automatically be it. What if you just tried it out?

Once you have eliminated the barriers, start to truly listen and see your counterpart as a valuable product, although or even exactly because they have something else to bring to the table than what you know and consider most important.

Now that the lines of communication are open you can see who is sitting in front of you and how to best motivate them and have them be part of your company so they won’t leave at the first better offer.

Different Kinds of People—Different Ways of Motivation

Look at who you are talking to.

Are you dealing with somebody who thrives on money, routine, and predictability? What if you gave that person more of that, speaking exactly to what would make these coworkers happy?

Or are you dealing with a highly creative person? Will they like routine and predictability, rules and accountability? I dare say not. I am talking about those people who love doing what they are doing, to whom one of the biggest gifts is being given space for creativity and change, not being micromanaged, and, most importantly, being acknowledged for the great work they are doing.

What if you asked them how they would like to contribute to the company? What would be their way of doing things if they could carve out their own area of employment? Pick their heads and ask them real questions—it doesn’t mean you have to implement all of their suggestions, but this way, a real conversation has started from which you can draw on everybody’s resources in the best way possible.

What if, instead of being a boss, you started being a strong leader? This would include the oversight and wisdom to give people leeway to bring in themselves. If you were willing to have them fail as well—how much more space could that open up for true commitment? Because when they have realized something they could do different they have changed their paradigm of behavior and will be all the more motivated to get a different result next time.

Being a strong leader is also willing for his coworkers to be better than himself. What if instead of being a boss you chose to be a strong leader who is sincere, clear and approachable—and opened true dialogue by taking down your barriers first?

Corinna Kaebel is a professional interpreter, communicator and mentor. She is a languages teacher and interpreter with fluency in English, German and Russian. She travels the globe extensively teaching as a Right Voice for You facilitator. a specialty program of Access Consciousness.