As a small business professional, there are a few little factoids that your staff members will never tell you about themselves and their colleagues, at least not until you promote them or they move onto another position, and feel extremely safe around you as a friend or equal.
1. Your jokes aren’t funny 😦
…and even if your jokes are genuinely funny, they’re not.
Yes, some members of your staff do like it when you lighten the mood, but you’ll never be as funny as you would be if you were one of them. Even if your jokes are funny, they’re not because you’re the boss. It’s just the a natural order of things most of the time. If you manage a warehouse staff, the same joke might pull laughs like gangbusters, if you were really one of the guys. But as the boss, forced laughter just comes with the territory, and it comes from natural discomfort.
2. Your sexual prowess is not what you think it is.
Though this is a subconscious thing that is often unintentional (unless a manager is particularly creepy), many supervisors both male and female somehow feel they are more attractive because they are in a power position. At first, most managers will say they’d never think that way, but really think about it. If you’ve ever held a management role that you were proud of, feelings like this were there on a subconscious level, (if you can admit it to yourself).
Here’s a little secret. Most of your workers don’t think you’re attractive at all. Inside of you, it comes from a natural feeling of accomplishment that is normal for you to feel because of your success. However, mostly it’s an illusion, a personal, instinctual pat on the back.
3. Lastly, your employees like to hear about themselves; and your life experience tales are boring.
Though you are giving some of your staff members fodder for their future kiss up sessions, they aren’t as entertained by what you’ve been through as you think they should be.
They only really want to hear about things that will benefit them. Tell them what they’re doing right and wrong, once a month even. Make sure to do it tactfully though.
In Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” he exposes the harsh truth that we’re getting at here. People just really care about themselves. And though if you have achieved a management position, you really should congratulate yourself; feel good about what you’ve done with your life; and know that a few people will want a deeper, more mentor-like relationship from you; most people just care about themselves. And most people only pay enough attention to survive.
Understanding this will help you to understand your workers more; gain respect quicker; make your work life less stressful; ease awkward interactions; and your staff will probably enjoy working for you more, due to the professionalism you will start to show.