Managing The Boss & Employee Relationship | A Linking Mess

Each week in “A Linking Mess” our copywriting team offers their thoughts on links and articles around the internet that have caught their attention.

10 Things Bosses Never Tell Employess — But Should – LinkedIn Pulse

Paul Johnson, Sr. Copywriter: This is an appropriate article to discuss as I am Shela “Mad Dog” Ward’s boss. I’m not comfortable with the term “boss,” by the way, but there’s not much way around it. “Supervisor” sounds too informal and “kingpin” is probably too much. “Manager,” isn’t bad, though. I’m Mad Dog’s manager.

Shela Ward, Copywriter: I’m not sure how I feel about the word “manager.” It kind of makes me sound like an actor or something. “All appearances should be scheduled through Mad Dog’s manager.” Ok, I guess I don’t mind it.

Paul: This goofy article lists 10 things that bosses should never tell employees, but should. Right out of the gate, it became ripe for ridicule: number one is “I really do care whether you like me.” Maybe the author is more insecure than me, or maybe my situation of being kingpin over just one Mad Dog lends itself to a less formal (see professional) relationship, but I don’t worry whether or not Shela likes me or not. I know she does.

Shela: I agree completely that this is a ridiculous article. If Paul ever said anything remotely similar to “I really do care whether you like me,” I would never stop laughing. But, I guess some people don’t have such a friendly manager/underling relationship, so I can see where validation might be nice. While I agree that being liked by one’s direct reports is important, I still think it would be weird to vocalize it. It sounds needy.

Paul: Number two: “I don’t think I know everything.” I think Shela already knows that I don’t know everything, but I do know most things, such as the fact that Zimbabwe used to be called Rhodesia and Hack Wilson holds the Major League Baseball record for most RBIs in a season (191 in 1930). I also know a lot about hyphens. I know things that Shela doesn’t know because I’m much older than her, a fact she reminds me of almost daily. But Shela knows a lot of things I don’t, like the names of Beyonce albums and “Full House” episodes.

Shela: The fun thing about knowing things is that everyone’s knowledge base is different. Sure, I don’t know much about Zimbabwe or baseball, but I DO know that September 4th was Beyoncé’s birthday and that Uncle Jesse’s band on “Full House” was called Jesse and the Rippers.

That’s why Paul’s encyclopedic world geography and sports statistics knowledge, combined with my pop culture knowledge and mad word puzzle skillz, made us a tour de force in the local barroom trivia scene in late-2013/early-2014.

Paul: Number four: “I really would like to pay you more.” Yeah, that’s true. I would also like someone to pay me more.

Shela: I don’t think this is true of a lot of bosses, at least not of the bosses I’ve worked for (present company excluded).

Paul: Number five: “I hope you work here forever.” What? Well, I certainly value Shela’s stellar work, but forever seems like a long time to work in one place.

Shela: I wonder where the author of this article got their information, because I don’t think many bosses think this way. Sure, they don’t want to have to go through the trouble of finding new employees, so they’d like you to stay for a while, but I think they understand when people need to move on.

Paul: Number ten: “I worry – about everything.” Not at all, though I’m a little anxious about my fantasy football team. One thing I don’t worry about at all is Shela job performance, which is exemplary.

Shela: I worry about everything, absolutely everything, all the time (my job security, my health, what that car in front of me is doing, what’s going to happen on the next season of Game of Thrones, etc.). I don’t need to hear about my boss’ worries on top of that – that’s just added stress. I think bosses would be a lot more effective if they didn’t pile their anxiety onto their subordinates. We’ve got enough going on. Lucky for me, my boss doesn’t seem to ever worry about anything. Must be nice.