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We’re Human Too (and 8 Other Things Your Boss Won’t Tell You)


Whether they’re new or a veteran manager, any boss can lose perspective of what it’s like for their employees. They’re exposed to new information and their priority becomes the greater good of the company. Whether your boss is a nightmare or dream, understanding their perspective can immensely help your relationship.


If you’re thinking “mind reader” wasn’t in your job description, we’ve put together eight things your boss is thinking but won’t tell you.


In your boss’s words:


Attitude is everything. As much as your work ethic affects your performance, your attitude towards the work and me matters. Even if the assignment is something mundane, a little enthusiasm will go a long way to show me you are willing to do the grunt work. In the future, I will be more open to giving you more difficult and exciting projects. This is the foundation of trust between us and your commitment to the company.


I’m reading over your shoulder for a reason. If you think I’m watching every detail of your work, it’s because I am. It takes a lot to build trust in your personal relationships, don’t expect lower standards for your professional ones. If your intuition tells you that you’re being watched, it’s not for nothing.  If you don’t like being micromanaged, think about why it’s happening and how you can fix it.


I can’t remember everything. I have enough on my own schedule, please don’t expect me to remember everything you are doing as well. I know this sounds so awful and I gave you 99% of your assignments, but that’s why I hired you. Take this as the next step in our relationship, I’m giving you a metaphorical key. I trust you enough to get it done.


If you don’t know something, ASK! Instead of guessing, just ask. You might be an inconvenience at the time and I might not be the nicest person, but you know what’s worse? If the assignment isn’t done correctly and you have to go back and fix it. Bad for productivity.


We have bad days too. We have personal lives and we have days we hate our managers too. Things go wrong and they’re out of our control. We are entitled just as much as you to have a bad day every now and again. But as managers, we must make every effort to remain professional at all times. Sometimes that may come off as bitchy, and we are very sorry. Use your best judgment on our moods. If we are having a bad day, approach us the same way you would want to be. But no hugging, please.


Take notes. Mentally or physically, I don’t care, but take notes on everything! Not only will this help you be really good at your job, but it will show me you care enough about your job to do better than average. Later, when you can do something without having to ask me how, it will show initiative and can earn major brownie points.


We know when you’re faking sick. Especially when you take a Monday or Friday off. I’m not stupid or naive. Just be honest with me. We’ve all been there. Who doesn’t want a long weekend once in a while? I don’t want to create (lack of) trust issues, or want you to get in the habit of lying. If it does become a habit, I will start to question your work and commitment to the job.

Feedback is a two-way street. As hard as some of my feedback might be to take, I offer it as a constructive learning tool, not to be spiteful. I don’t just enjoy hearing the sound of my own voice, so when I tell you something (good or bad), I expect you to listen and learn. Show me that you herd me. Remember that I am human too and everyone can learn something from people with more experience. You can teach me things too. If you work better with more or less direction, as an individual or in a group, tell me. I can’t read minds either.


As a manager, I do have the final say, however, I want to do what will be best for everyone. I hire talented people and let them do their jobs. That is basically my job description: Provide a workplace where everyone feels comfortable voicing opinions and believes that they are heard. Remember that thing you put on your resume about being “self-motivated?” Be that. You’re here because I want you to be here, so take that as a sign to keep doing exactly what you’re doing.


Last Updated: February 12, 2016
About the author

Cally Martin

Callan is a social media loving, blog writing, event planning freelancer who believes in the power of the oxford comma. Originally from America’s high-five (Michigan), she’s been in Austin since 2015 and doesn’t plan on moving anytime soon. When not attached to WiFi, she can be found running around the lake or drinking mimosas at brunch.