Never Grow Up®
Life At Work

Can Your Boss Be Your Drinking Buddy Too?

Drinking with your Boss

“My boss is quirky, supportive, innovative, empathetic, and super approachable.”

Sounds like a farfetched dream?

Or is there scope for it to be true?

Each one of us believes that our bosses should ‘ideally’ be, well, ideal. A great boss should be an eclectic blend of a mentor, as well as a friend. Humble enough to accept their mistakes, patient enough to embrace criticism, and diverse enough in their thoughts to respect every opinion. They should help out, but not kill creativity; they must have a sense of humor, but take employees’ problems seriously; they must correct our mistakes, but be gentle with criticism.

It’s a lot to ask for, and no one’s perfect, even when they’re trying to be a boss like a bawse! Striving to change the boring and stressful work culture, one employee at a time, managers are, however, revolutionizing the way they interact with those who report to them.

Bosses Are What Bosses Do

Despite changing times, one invariably ends up wondering what their boss will be like when they join a new place. Will it be a sullen man who to his employees says no more than two sentences (Unless he’s firing them)? Or will it be another Miranda Priestly (You know, being the devil that drives you insane, believing that you have tremendous potential?)

A fresher’s expectations are sometimes, well, quite fresh. Adjusting takes time and ‘fitting in’ is not an easy process because each company has a different work culture. Initially, it’s the fear – “What if my boss ends up being this nitpicking, gut wrenching, manipulative workaholic?”.  Eventually, it becomes an obligation – “The boss is always right!” Are they, always right? Or are you, always right? Or is it just not about wrong and right and that’s where we all continue to go – wrong?! The employer-employee equation is steadily shifting from the age-old authority figure, wielding power over the employee, to that of two individuals exchanging ideas and being receptive to reciprocal feedback. When the see-saw is parallel to the ground, nobody gets hurt!

Two Should Play At The Changing Game

Talking about reciprocal behavior, what if your boss walks into the office wearing ripped jeans and a t-shirt that says “Swag”? He then sits beside you instead of in a separate office, shares lunch with the entire team, and suggests hitting up the nearest happy hours with you all? What if you have made a grave error and instead of having you fired, your boss helps you realign yourself to get the work back on track. It’s not just the mindset that’s evolving, its also the attitude that’s changing. Companies today have begun to imbibe the ‘people first’ culture. It’s a matter of employee happiness and comfort, as opposed to simply getting things done.

All the above not withstanding, over the years of rumors, we have ended up building a stereotype in our heads that all bosses are promoted to be mean to their teams. That they love playing the blame game and cannot sleep without micro-managing. However, with the improving equation, isn’t it time for us all, to collectively reciprocate the security that an encouraging and motivating boss tries to bring to our lives?

You Are Your Culture

With an increasing number of organizations investing in employee engagement activities to bring a smile on the faces of their employees after a hectic day, leaders not only publicly recognize, but also consistently appreciate their team members. How employees can contribute to the leadership revolution, is to actively take part in such activities, exchange insights with their leaders, and be unafraid to ask for help when a problem crops up.

Be it fun at work, or unwinding after hours, bosses that join their employees for social gatherings, are more affable and more approachable. And, employees who welcome their bosses into the circle are only furthering the move towards holistic and guidance-based leadership. Together, this employer-employee relationship can definitely make happiness at work a living reality.

“I want to hire employees who complain.” Said no boss ever! 

“I want to work with someone who does not give feedback.” Said no employee ever!

“I want to be able to chill with my colleagues!” Said every boss AND every employee ever!

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