Papers are flying. Arms and legs are flailing in every direction and you’re not sure if you should stand back or offer to help. When your boss is “on fire”, what do you do?
I am often asked this question: What does your license plate mean? Then they’ll pronounce WOF like a dog barking, which is how people said it when I was a kid! But, au contraire mon frère-hehe – it stands for Amazing Woman On Fire and the friend who gave it to me actually had to convince the DMV it wasn’t in reference to something racy or explicit! Yep, you guessed, I am one of those bosses who’s occasionally “on fire”. Meaning, I can get in such a zone where I am doing so much at once that it can be hard to follow what task I’m on at the moment. Just ask anyone who works with me. ha! But, what do YOU do when your boss gets that way?
Offering Help is One Option
Sometimes you can offer to help a boss who is a “doer”. We call them Commanders with the use of our CORE® Profile and depending on what they’re doing, they might let go of an item or two and let you take some of the load so they don’t appear quite so stressed or they might not. This is not the time to say “have you gotta sec”. Be more specific and offer to do something specific that you can see is on their plate and if they say no, it’s not you, it’s their own internally driven need to multi task the living dickens out of their list that day.
Staying Out of Their Way is Another Option
If you see your boss running around like mad, making rapid decisions, and bringing closure to project after project in quick succession, sometimes the best approach is to stand back and watch. Go with the flow and maybe even secretly start selling tickets to the show. “Doers” are fascinating to watch at times and getting frustrated at their speed of work doesn’t serve you well. Avoid the temptation to take their obsession with getting it all done themselves personally and await the time when they slow down for a moment and you can then offer your assistance.
Know They Can’t Keep that Pace Up Forever
Even “doers” need a break. Even high powered Executives can’t keep up the break neck speed forever. Eventually they’ll run out of gas or need to recharge. If your boss is on fire, enjoy the ride, stay alert for delegated items and know that eventually they’ll slow down and not appear so stressed or decisive.
A “doer” is one of the more common Executive or Leadership personalities promoted into positions of power. The one who is always “getting it right” is the second most common. When we promote these two types of personality preferences into leadership, almost exclusively, we leave the people oriented relaters and entertainers on the front line to do the work that is almost always customer facing. But we also give Human Resources job security for life because these two groups of personality preferences communicate entirely differently.
Want to Know More?
If in your office, your boss is “on fire” and singularly focused on the task at hand, occasionally forgetting that there are people who report to him or her that need a little love and attention, AND if you ARE that person, seek out guidance on personality types and how to work with those different from you. The upcoming Contagious Leadership Conference™ One Day Executive Retreat will provide you with not only the skills to do this differently, but practice in shifting your natural communication style to allow you to converse effectively and lead more productively those that maybe “doers”, “relaters”, “get it right-ers”, or the ever energetic “entertainer”. If you have communication breakdowns in your office, this conference will help you do better and resolve some of those issues. Join us on Nov. 17th in Orlando and click the banner below to learn more and save your seat.