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Reasons Why Older Siblings Are Great People to Work With

Reasons Why Older Siblings Are Great People to Work With

Though you probably had your fair share of arguments and fights when you were kids, as you grow older you start to realize your siblings are the ones who will always be there for you through all of life’s ups and downs. Older siblings will be the role models for their younger brothers and sisters, and will help see them through any difficult situation they face. For this reason, it’s extremely beneficial to spend time working alongside your older sibling when you’re both fairly young. When your older sibling is your colleague:

1. They’ll be your guide.

Training for a new job is intimidating. It definitely helps to have someone you know and trust helping you along the way. Your older sibling was once in your shoes, so they understand your confusion. They’ll also understand how to navigate you through this confusion on your path to success. Since you have a family member on your team, you’ll be more apt to focus on the task at hand, rather than waste time and energy being intimidated by other colleagues.

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2. They’ll work with you until you get it right.

No colleague wants their teammates to fail. However, most coworkers won’t be enthusiastic enough to keep dropping everything they’re doing to come to the aid of a newbie. On the other hand, your older sibling will almost certainly stay with you until they’re sure you’ve gotten the hang of things. And you probably won’t feel as bad asking your older brother for help; you’ve most likely been doing it your whole life.

3. They’ll catch you when you fall.

Then there will be times when you fall flat on your face while doing something new. This would be incredibly embarrassing working with a group of people you barely know. But, like I said, your older sibling has literally seen you fall on your face before, so whatever you did to currently mess up at work most likely isn’t that big of a deal. They’ll help you put things into perspective, pull you back up and dust you off. They’ll give you the boost you need to try again and again until you succeed.

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4. They’ll take extra time outside of work to help you.

Again, most colleagues wouldn’t spend their personal time helping a new worker figure something out or get through a task. But your older brother or sister definitely will (especially if they have to drive you home, anyway). When they see you’re struggling, or you just need to finish something up, they’ll gladly lend a helping hand if it means you won’t be stuck working extra hours for no extra pay.

5. They’ll push you to do better.

While you certainly will be driven to want to succeed at any job you take on, having an older brother or sister there will make you want to go the extra mile. Once you get the hang of your new position, you’ll want to show your older sibling that you can do everything on your own. They’ll most likely always see you as the younger one, and treat you like a kid in some ways, but you can do your best to show them you’re fully capable of pulling your own weight by putting your all into everything you do.

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6. They’ll connect with you.

Your sibling probably knows you better than anyone else on the planet. They’ll be able to relate the job to other aspects of your lives growing up, recalling times you struggled and got through it, and times you succeeded and felt amazing. No other colleague you’ll ever work with has such in-depth knowledge about you. Only an older brother or sister would be able to remind you of all the work you’ve put in to get where you currently are.

7. They’ll be there in case of emergency.

When true disaster strikes, they’ll be right there for you. They’ll be able to contact your parents immediately, and be with you as a friendly reminder that you’re not alone. And they’ll know exactly what to say to calm you down, and get you in the right frame of mind to deal with the situation at hand.

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8. They’ll make it fun.

Work can definitely be fun, and who better to enjoy it with than someone you’ve known your whole life? Having an older brother or sister around throughout your workday can make your job just as entertaining as a day spent hanging around the house. Of course, you still have work to do, but you always made doing chores bearable together, right?

9. They’ll grow closer to you.

Like I said, your older sibling will most likely always see you as “the younger one,” but working together will help them see you for the person you are. They’ll start to recognize all you’ve accomplished, and how hard you work every day of your life. And you’ll both start seeing each other as friends, regardless of the fact that you’re related.

10. They’ll remember the time you had together.

Working with a sibling will be one more memory to add to the proverbial scrapbook. Just like every other memory you share, there will be good times and bad, but you’ll both be able to look back fondly on the time you spent growing together as colleagues and friends.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on July 15, 2019

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

This is an article I didn’t want to write. Even if it appears that way on the surface, few things are black and white. Between the two colors is a world of gray. Notwithstanding the bosses who behave criminally, some of the people who carry the “bad boss” label have possibly been, or have the capacity to become, a “good boss.”

This is an article I didn’t want to write because I understand that depending on whom you ask, many of us could be labeled either a good or bad boss.

Perhaps another reason I didn’t want to write this article is because context matters. Context for the organization and context for the individual. What is happening in the organization? What is the culture? Is the “boss” in a position for which the individual is equipped to do the job? Is the person in a terrible place in life? The office culture, the relationship a team member has with a boss or board and the leader’s personal life can all influence how the person shows up and leads and how others perceive the individual.

But since I am writing this article, I will share a few signs that bosses are bad and in need of a timeout.

1. Bad Bosses Don’t Know and Haven’t Healed Their Inner Child

If you plan to lead people – well, if you plan to effectively lead yourself – you must get reacquainted with your inner child. Just because you are in young adulthood, middle age or the golden years doesn’t mean your inner child matches your chronological age. If you experienced trauma as a child, your inner child may be stuck at the point or age of that trauma. While you walk around in a woman’s size 10 shoe, your behavior may showcase an inner child who is much younger.

In a June 7, 2008, Psychology Today article, Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D., observed,[1]

“The fact is that the majority of so-called adults are not truly adults at all. We all get older … But, psychologically speaking, this is not adulthood. True adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and parenting one’s own inner child. For most adults, this never happens. Instead, their inner child has been denied, neglected, disparaged, abandoned or rejected. We are told by society to ‘grow up,’ putting childish things aside. To become adults, we’ve been taught that our inner child—representing our child-like capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness—must be stifled, quarantined or even killed. The inner child comprises and potentiates these positive qualities. But it also holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears and angers.”

Sometimes the key that your inner child needs tending to is conflict with someone else’s inner child.

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Good bosses are aware of the ups and downs of their childhood, have worked or are working to heal their inner child and are aware of their triggers. Good managers use this awareness to manage themselves, and their interactions with others. Bad bosses are oblivious to how their inner child impacts not only their life but the lives of others.

2. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Accept Feedback

Bad bosses are not intentional about creating an environment where their peers and colleagues can share feedback about their leadership. They don’t solicit feedback. Given the power dynamic that managers, CEOs and others in leadership yield, they must go out of their way to solicit feedback, and they must do so repeatedly.

Before being completely honest, most team members will test the waters and share low-stakes information to get a sense for how their boss will respond. If the boss is angry or retaliatory, team members are less likely to risk being candid in the future.

So being unable to accept feedback takes on two forms: failing to proactively and repeatedly ask for feedback and reacting poorly when feedback is shared.

3. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling to Give Timely Feedback

The flip side of accepting feedback is giving feedback. Both require courage. It takes courage to open yourself up and accept feedback on ways that you need to grow. Similarly, it takes courage to share honest feedback about a team member’s or colleague’s performance or behavior.

Since not everyone is open to accepting feedback, whether they’re a manager or not, having an honest conversation about areas a team member or colleague has missed the mark, is not always easy. Still, good bosses will find a way to share feedback, and they’ll do so in a timely fashion.

Withholding feedback and sharing it months after a situation has unfolded or in a snowball fashion is unhelpful to the employees. One of the ways we grow as leaders is through feedback. When people have the courage to tell us the truth, that information allows us to progress.

4. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Acknowledge Their Mistakes

Owning their mistakes is like a disease to bad bosses; they do not want it. Instead of being risk averse, they are accountability averse. The problem is that they can only gloss over their weaknesses or failures for so long; the people around are able to see their flaws and weaknesses, and bad bosses pretending they don’t exist is not helpful. It is infuriating.

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However, bad bosses are masterful at reassigning blame. They are unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes — small or large. But career expert Amanda Augustine told CNBC “Make It” in May 2017, that “good managers also admit their mistakes.”[2] They don’t pass the blame or pretend they didn’t make a mistake. They own it.

5. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling or Incapable of Being Vulnerable

Vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill. But well-placed and well-thought out vulnerability enables employees to see their leaders’ humanity, and it creates a way for leaders to bond with their teams.

Bad bosses may talk about vulnerability, but they don’t practice it in their own lives, particularly in the workplace.

6. Privately, Bad Bosses Do Not Live Up to the Organization’s Stated Values

Bad bosses may publicly spout the values of the organization they work for, but privately they either don’t believe or don’t embody those values.

If they work for an environmental group, they may not practice sustainability in their private lives. Their words and actions are incongruent.

7. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Inspire Others

When bad bosses are unable or unwilling to take the time to inspire others, they lead through fear or command. Neither are helpful.

A culture dominated by fear will stifle creativity and risk taking that can lead to innovation. An autocratic management style will have a similar effect in that team, members will not feel they have the space to step outside of the box they have been placed in.

A good boss is someone who takes time to share the big picture and time to inspire their teams to want to be a part of it.

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8. Bad Bosses Are Disinterested in How Their Behavior Impacts Others

They are narcissistic and focused on self-preservation. In “19 Traits of a Bad Boss,” Kevin Sheridan said,[3]

“Terrible bosses are endlessly self-centered. Everything is about them and not the people they manage or what is going on in their employees’ personal lives. It is never about the team, but rather all about how good they look. Conversely, great bosses lead with integrity, honesty, care, and authenticity.”

Rather than seeing their team’s talents and seeing people’s full humanity, bad bosses believe their team exists to serve them. Families, personal life and priorities be damned. Bona fide bad bosses believe that their comfort should be prioritized over their team’s needs and desires.

9. Bad Bosses Have Likely Received Negative Feedback

Bad bosses have likely been told that they are poor supervisors. They have likely been told time and time again that their behavior is harmful to the people around them.

Perhaps they do not know how to change or are unwilling to change. But bad bosses certainly have received clues, insights and direct feedback that their management style and behavior are harmful to others.

Even when someone hasn’t explicitly said, “Your behavior is harmful to me and others,” the absence of feedback indicates a problem. It can mean that the leader’s team doesn’t feel safe enough to share feedback, that people do not believe the leader will act on what is shared, or that people have determine the best strategy is to avoid the boss as much as possible.

10. Bad Bosses Are Perfectionists

Bad bosses are driven by an internal urge to be perfect. Perfectionists don’t just want to be perfect; they want everyone around them to be perfect as well. This is a standard that neither they nor their team can live up to.

Since perfection is illusive, they spend their time chasing their shadow and being frustrated that they cannot catch it. They are unable to enjoy the journey and often block others from doing so as well. They let “perfect” be the enemy of “good.” Rather than embracing a growth mindset that desires to learn and improved, they are compulsive and toxic.

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If you are like me and you see yourself in parts of this list, do not despair. A bad boss can change. The key is seeking honest feedback and being willing to work through that feedback and your triggers with a therapist or coach.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of your age and the mistakes you have made, you can change and become a healthier leader whom others respect and appreciate.

Conversely, if you are employed by a bad boss, do everything in your power to take care of yourself. Understand that your boss’s behavior, even if directed at you, is not about you. Your boss’s reactions, if and when you make a mistake, is a reflection on that individual, not you.

To survive the work environment, think about the lesson you are meant to learn. You can do this with a trusted therapist or capable coach. However, if you deem the work environment to be toxic and harmful to your health, seek employment elsewhere.

In the end, this is an article I did not want to write, but I’m happy I did.

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

Reference

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