No matter where you serve in an organization or who your clients are, your work is not the most important thing going on unless you’re the boss. Staff people, such as PR pros like me, often fall into the trap of only considering their world when advising the boss. Bosses and clients want experts in their craft. They want results and to see passion. What they don’t want is narrow thinking. Here are 3 ways you may be failing your boss.
1. By not asking them what they want to accomplish. So many PR pros fall into the trap of only thinking about communications. If you’ve ever said, “Communications is always the most important thing,” you’re not serving your boss well. Find out their goals and what they consider to be the most crucial parts of the operation. Those will become your top goals and focus areas.
2. Openly bashing a decision in front of your team. We’ve all had bosses who have made bad calls, at least from where we were sitting. I’m sure you’ve made bad calls, too. The worst thing you can do in this situation is bash the boss’ decision in front of your team, no matter if the decision was counter to what you may have recommended. Nothing will deteriorate a team and deteriorate an organization faster than this type of behavior. When you do this, you’re not only being disloyal to the boss, but to your team as well. You’re their leader. They watch you. They mimic your behavior. And they feed off your attitude. When you bash, they think it’s okay to bash. When you’re negative, they’ll be negative. Stop it because you’re being destructive.
3. You jump the chain. Bosses want well-thought out ideas and perspectives that move the organization forward. The best ideas are usually those that have been chewed on by lots of smart people. Have you ever presented an idea to a boss or client only to have them ask you if you’ve talked with anyone else about it? It’s not that they didn’t like your idea (okay maybe they didn’t because it was stupid), they simply wanted to know other smart people they trust have weighed in on it to ensure it’s the best idea possible. Staff people usually can’t see the entire playing field, so before taking big ideas to the boss, bounce them off others, especially those with equities.
What other behavior doesn’t serve the boss well?