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Ever wonder what others look for in a boss? Maybe it’s the perfect person. Since that person probably does not exist, it is important to look at the characteristics that enable us to fill most of the requirements.

As a coach, I hear all the issues bosses and subordinates express. As a result, this article focuses on only those issues that appear repeatedly.

These include intense behaviour, sensitivity to other’s needs, listening and the use of “I”.


I am sure you have never thought of yourself as intense and what does that mean really? Here are the behaviours which I deal with mostly as a coach.

Firm Body Language

Staff tell me that their boss looks like a major in the army. The boss is never relaxed. Their face never smiles unless they tell the joke or story. Their rigidity is frightening.


You may say, “That’s just the way I am.” This may be true, and it is not helping you establish and maintain positive working relationships.

What would it take for you to relax? Maybe a good question to ask is, “Why can’t you relax?”

Do you feel…
  • Like an imposter?
  • As if you will lose control of your situation?
  • As if others will refuse to follow your directions?
  • Weak?
  • Inferior to those who work for you?
  • As if this is the expected behaviour?
  • As if you need this stance to feel safe?
  • Afraid?
You are perfect just as you are. You don’t need to take on a persona that pushes people away. You have a right to ask questions, seek opinions, search for evidence, implement your policies, and require good work for a reasonable day’s pay.


Drop the persona that isn’t working. Look in the mirror and ask, “What type of person would make a good boss for me?”

Adopt the stance that you see in your mind’s eye.  It will be better, and others will find you more approachable and kind.

Staff want to feel valued not threatened. You can make the change. Of that I am certain.

Conflict Resolution Guide to Positive Outcomes

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