Don’t Be a Nitpicking Boss … You Need to Change

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Bosses, do you constantly criticize your employees? Did you know this nitpicking style sabotages your employees’ successes as well as your own (think: career, paycheck, bonuses and promotions)?

While bosses need to ensure employees are providing great customer service and quality products, only focusing on the negative hurts everyone. There is a fine line between ensuring the best results and nitpicking. It starts with your ability to focus on what needs to improve and having the right attitude and behavior when working with and through others to make necessary changes.

You Determine the Outcome

Your Lack of Clarity. Many times, bosses manage others without having learned the tasks themselves. Then, they believe they know how to do the work better than their employees and start nitpicking. This 30,000-foot critical view doesn’t build new awareness and skills for either party.

Your Fear Works Two Ways. When you want your employees to fear you, you come on too strong and loud. This can be belittling. When you fear they won’t like you or will gossip about you, you may make poor decisions, gloss over specific areas that need improvement or work late fixing the issues yourself.

Your Choice of Words. Poor coaching and management skills will only make the issues worse. But clamming up is no better. Not saying anything will not change anything.

Stop. Ask for Help. Fine-Tune Your Skills.

Develop Your Style. Hire an external coach and internal mentor. Be open with them when sharing what is working and what is getting in your way. Participate in workshops and attend trade conferences to build your inner awareness and confidence. This will improve your openness to learning from employees and talking with them effectively. It will also help you treat them as smart and skilled people.

Learn from Your Mistakes. We all make mistakes. Admitting them is key. Learning from failure is critical. Sharing mistakes can also help when done appropriately. This will lessen your need to uber-control others, hoping they won’t make mistakes. When mistakes are made (it’s inevitable), use them as mutual teaching/learning opportunities. Together review the processes or interactions to determine where changes can be made next time. This will bolster your confidence and their willingness to learn from you.

Build Your Confidence. Being a new boss can be a challenge when you are promoted from within the company and former co-workers are now your employees. Being a boss with a new employer can also be a challenge if there are employees who felt they should have been given the job. Take time to talk with each and every employee. Learn from them. Listen to their ideas and brainstorm solutions (nitpicking is not allowed here – save the details for later). When you value them, they will in turn learn to value you as their boss.

As a boss, stop nitpicking. Learn how to work with and through others in a positive manner. It will determine your success.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2017

Need a speaker or facilitator for your company’s executive group? Have issues to address? Conflicts to resolve? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works! 

Jeannette Seibly is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant. Are you a boss who wants to excel? Are you willing to make simple and effective changes? Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.

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