Can you manager be a gift horse? Setting expectations.
In our lives, growing up, in school, entering the working world, and moving up the ladder, along the way we get ideas as to what our ‘ideal’ manager would be. The person we report to. Everyone has a different experience, and I’m sure there are more than a few entry level folks afraid of their manager.
Why afraid? We see examples of manager’s on tv. But what if you’re that one unlucky person, who has just had the worst manager in every role they’ve been in? Never allowed even a brief escape so they can breathe. Those are your people who end up on short and long term disability.
We’d like to avoid that.
Instead, I believe manager’s have a duty and obligation to be a gift horse. You’ve heard the saying “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”
Being in customer service, I know all about setting expectations. A mother may expect that her child will grow up and become Prime Minister of Canada. A father may expect his child to simply grow old due to a developmental disability. And yet another parent may expect their child to pass away due to being born with HIV.
For a manager, the challenges, and juggling, are immense. But that manager has to set expectations with their employees, and vice versa. It’s a relationship that both employee, and manager must, at the very least, endure. But why should both of those people simply endure it?
I have long believed that you have to check your issues at the door. Your spouse might have left you. It’s not your employee’s fault. They don’t deserve to take the brunt of your anger. Instead they deserve your compassion. And yes, this might be a one way street, because you are the manager. You were chosen to lead for a reason.
I don’t expect a manger to be giving out favours and gifts, I expect a manager to give out fairness and compassion. Treat your employees fair, have compassion at all times, and evaluate them fairly, always erring on the side of the benefit of the doubt for them. It’s been proven that employees with low work stress levels are happy, productive employees.