In 1994, Scott Adams introduced the concept of the Bungee Boss in his infamous Dilbert cartoon. As a brief synopsis, a “Bungee Boss” is someone who is quickly introduced to a team, and tries or does change everything, then takes off again. Think about someone barking orders as they are on a bungee cord heading in your direction. You can only hope they don’t hit you on their way through.
As managers (or bosses) that are running from one meeting to the next, we have to be careful with our busy schedules that we don’t quickly bark orders to our employees over our shoulders. While running out the door, it is a common habit to ask your employees to do this, this, and this and only realizing while you’re halfway to your next meeting that you didn’t give them the time to write down what you were asking for. Unfortunately, it is all too common for us managers to get upset if our employees haven’t completed those poorly-communicated tasks in a timely manner, or at all.
Even with our busy schedules, we can still improve our communication skills with our employees. Before you can improve though, you have to first recognize that your communication style may be that of a Bungee Boss. If your communication style needs work, and most likely all of can work on communication, then try these tips to help:
- If you are in a hurry between meetings and you need a project done, take the extra minute or two to get verification that your employee has understood the project and provide feedback if needed.
- You should also follow-up via email with your employee, reiterating the tasks as soon as possible. I also recommend scheduling regular meetings with your employees to go over tasks. Monday mornings are good and, if you want to be a stellar boss, bring donuts.
A challenge for all of us busy people: Find the tools and methods to appropriately communicate projects and tasks that need to be accomplished and make sure you get feedback from your employees.