The One Thing Driving Your Boss Crazy
December 2, 2015

The One Thing Driving Your Boss Crazy

by Brian de Haaff

Your usually chipper boss seems irritated with you lately and you cannot figure out why. You miss the old days when you felt like you could do no wrong. But this morning she barely said hello to you before retreating to her office. And she closed the door, which she never does.

What could have happened that caused the rift? It could be lots of things, but most times it’s best to reflect on a few likely actions that you took. It could just be that she had a bad morning, or is stressed about something that has nothing to do with you — but do not count on it.

In my experience, if it continues and feel directed at you, it’s usually disappointment. Disappointment in you!

Could it be that several weeks ago you missed a key deadline? Then maybe you let another light verbal commitment slip last week. Did you get a funny feeling inside — a guilty little feeling that you did wrong?

Have you stalled out? Are you moving along at your own casual pace — and putting off urgent requests from your boss? This might be causing her to scramble at the last minute, and more importantly it’s putting your team’s goals at risk.

You might not realize it, but your lack of responsiveness might be forcing more work onto everyone else. That might be why your boss seems so exasperated with you — she is hoping you will finally get the picture. She knows that it is in you, and is wondering where it went.

Are still nodding your head and thinking that your boss might actually be disappointed in you? If yes, what should you do? It’s time to get responsive really responsive.

At Aha! we are driven by interruptions. That sounds wrong, right? But we believe the things that are right in front of us should rightfully demand our attention. Following The Responsive Method is how we are able to accomplish so much as a team every single day.

You may see this way of working as inconvenient and unnecessary. But here is why a lack of responsiveness may be driving your boss — and everyone else — crazy. You appear to be:

To be responsive, you have to have goals. And those goals prevent you from wandering around aimlessly from task to task. Ultimately, there simply are not enough hours in the day to do everything. That’s why successful people have a strategy and establish what they want to accomplish. If your boss does not have goals for you, maybe it is time you set some for yourself?

When you fail to quickly respond to requests, you give the impression that your work is more important than theirs. This is probably not the message you want to convey. When you start becoming responsive, your actions tell your boss and colleagues that their request is important, no matter how small.

You mind your own business and simply stay out of everyone’s way, but have you ever thought about how your work style affects your boss? She depends on your knowledge, expertise, and help — and her time is important too. She cannot wait around for you to get back to her with answers.

There is a good reason for the sense of urgency and the constant blur of activity in your workplace — your work is important. After all, we spend more waking hours there than anywhere else. So, if you are going to do something, do it with excellence.

You may be a laid-back kind of person, but it is time to step up your effort and start being the kind of person that your boss can depend upon again.

When you make a real effort to be responsive, everything changes. Disappointment disappears and you are at your best — and loved for it.

What drives your boss crazy?

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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