Coaching the boss

Lots of my time with leaders is spent not on leading others who report to them, but rather dealing with the board or the group CEO or similar.

Ambiguity of expectations, lack of clarity on results, conversations that leave the leader wondering at best, confused at worst.

Yes we need to get clarity and ensure that the board or our boss make their expectations clear, as best can be for senior people.

But it’s also an opportunity to coach the boss. Working closely with someone gives you a unique opportunity to observe. Knowing when and how to give the feedback and not to, is vital of course for everyone, but especially so for your boss.

So here’s the first of my daily tips – this one adapted from Amy Gallo “How to give your boss feedback”:

  • Wait or ask permission: ask if they’re open to feedback, rather than launching.
  • Focus on helping him or her: Not what you would do, but what would be best to grow your boss.
  • If you’re not sure, don’t say it: No point in damaging the relationship if the feedback is not going to be well received. Use other methods, such as a 360 feedback process.



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