Take Your Leader Out of the Office!

Have you ever felt that your boss is too authoritative? Does he listen to your ideas or give a thought to your suggestions? If you’d like to get your boss to seriously listen to you, read on…

In one of our regular Breakfast Forums attended by L&D Managers and HR Managers, Miss R, one of the attendee from the hotel industry shared this with us.

Miss R has a close relationship with her boss, in fact, she complimented her boss’s open-mindedness and her pair of always-ready-to-listen ears. It’s one of those rare occasions, she sang praises for her boss so much that, it made I wonder if such bosses still exist? We were all curious to know why she loves her boss to that extent. Miss R said ‘No matter how busy my boss is, whenever I need help, she would drop everything and give me all the attention I need to solve my issue. My boss would say “Do you want the doors closed or shall we go to Starbucks?”. Seriously, is your leader like that too?

This kind of leader-subordinate relationship could only exist if both parties make an effort to work at it. More importantly, the leader needs to be open and sensitive towards her subordinates’ needs at the workplace. The leader needs to be flexible to use various channels to engage and influence others. In this case, Rani’s boss was not only the leader, she was also the friend in need. A friend whom you could be honest with your opinions and a friend whom you can hang out with at Starbucks.

Another attendee, Mr K mentioned that taking the leader out of the office is the best way to communicate new ideas. Whenever he needs to propose a new plan, he would request to meet in meeting room. Why not in his boss’ office, you wonder? It’s because he noticed that his boss is more authoritative and dominant when he’s sitting on his high-back chair in his own room. But when his boss is sitting on an ordinary chair out of his office, he’s less authoritative and more open to new ideas. Plus, out of the workplace, there will be less distractions i.e. phone calls, computers, documents. This may sound funny, but it is true.

So, the next time you’d like to seriously engage your leader, take him out of the office and into the nearest Starbucks (Old Town White Coffee is fine too). You may simply find a whole new dimension to this person, you thought you already knew…

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