A boss hires you because they see promise in you, and it’s their job to help you achieve your full potential. Yet I once had a boss who hired all of us under the pretext that we didn’t have much to offer, yet he would try (insert heavy sigh here) to make the best of it. It was a wildly dysfunctional department. Everyone felt insecure. At work we felt like we were animals trapped in a cage being poked with sharp sticks.
I think a boss who delivers praise when earned builds confidence. But you also want the straight goods when you’re not hitting your marks, or you have an area of weakness that needs shoring up. You are owed that kind of honesty because that’s how you’ll get better. Good bosses kill a bad idea deftly. They don’t leave it flailing on the floor in false hope. But they also help you explore different directions that you may not have considered. They coax you to places creatively you might never have otherwise discover. A good boss can coax a hidden gem out of the ideas you’ve scrunched and tossed aside. . . . Read Karen Howe’s “The Right Boss.”