The infographic below entitled, “Are You a Boss or a Leader?” does a good job of explaining the difference between the two styles of management. After reviewing the descriptions, I don’t think I’ve ever worked for anyone who was purely one way or the other.
Interesting to note, managers are a mix of both boss and leader. No one is perfectly balanced. Most situations call for a mix of directives and orders to be followed — combined with a healthy dose of collaboration.
When the balance is off, working relationships suffer and the team has problems communicating with each other.
Boss vs Leader
The “Boss” side of this infographic describes someone who could be described as a bully or “difficult to work with”. Power and control are closely guarded. Connection to others is used to further the career of the Boss. People keep their guard up during meetings and conversations with the boss and with other members of the team. Feeling the need to protect yourself (specifically, your feelings and self-esteem) at all times is real.
The “Leader” is seen as someone who is collaborative and warm. Instead of shrinking in fear when the boss approaches, the team lets down their guard, gets work done, shares problems and looks for solutions together. Connection is strong within the team. People stay focused on their agreement to do their best work in support of completing the project or work assignment on time.
As you review each side of the infographic, ask yourself, “Where can I interrupt the pattern, change the game?”
Whether you are in charge or not, your position on the work team requires you to find ways to get along with people who seem brusque or cold.
Uncover a blind spot
There might be one small area that needs attention. Or you might uncover a blind spot in your behavior that others see, but is hidden from your view.
The questions are positioned for you to respond from your point of view. Because the only behavior you have complete control over, is your own. You can (and should) report instances of people behaving badly, but until the person takes steps to correct their areas of imbalance, nothing will change.
Pondering the answers to these questions will help you take better care of you:
Because everyone has those moments when the balance tips towards too bossy. Catch yourself and interrupt that pattern!
- What am I doing / saying when people see me as more inspiring and less intimidating?
- How do I respond when someone makes a mistake?
- Am I receptive to new ideas?
- What was the last “new idea” from someone else that I championed?
- Whose opinion do I listen to?
- Is the circle of people I rely on for ideas and opinions too small?
- Do I tell my boss when an issue arises or do I delay because I’m afraid of the reaction I’ll get?
- How do I think other people would answer these questions about me?
- Who’s in my corner, providing support?
What’s your game plan, DramaGuru player?
What have you discovered about yourself? Try working on one thing. Share your results to help others learn and grow too. Leave comments below!
Each one, teach one.
You can also find more infographics at Visualistan
photo credit: world’s best boss (bad boss), THE OFFICE — Pictured: Steve Carell as Michael Scott — NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth, bossy girl wearing glasses