Mr Menon is one of the senior Directors of an organization. Though he is in charge of Human Resources Management, his subordinates say that he seems to be one of the most inhuman senior officers. Menon has given strict instructions to everyone that none could meet him without a prior appointment through his secretary. And the secretary has been told to deny any appointment in the first instance by stating that the boss is busy with an important work. Only if they persist and beg for a meeting, they may be given a slot to meet him, which should not be immediate. He says, people should know that he is very busy and he does not wish to encourage walk-in visitors.
Unapproachable bosses tend to keep a distance from their subordinates. Everyone fears them. They fail to understand the people around them. No one gives them an honest feedback. They wear the garb of a ‘serious’ task master. There will be overall dissatisfaction in people who are destined to get associated with such people. These unapproachable types wish to put a fence around their aura of inflated ego.
A boss with a difference
Let me introduce you to a senior most officer of a very large public organization consisting of about 10000 officers and 50000 staff. She holds the most important position with highly sensitive and demanding tasks and is responsible for reporting to the highest functionaries in the government including the cabinet minister. Every minute of hers is valuable. She hardly gets any time even at home because of the pressure of the official tasks.
Dr Poonam Kishore Saxena IRS
The first thing she did as soon as she was elevated to the top was to send a letter across the organization welcoming anyone within the organization with an unsettled grievance to meet her. She strongly believed that every official in the organization is an asset and the output and the overall success of the organization largely depend on the happiness of the officials. None should feel that he is not been given just treatment within the organization. Even if at the cost the valuable time, this boss thought that it is her duty to give an audience to anyone who would like to share anything with her that concerns the larger interest of the organization.
Through her letter where she refers the organization as a family, she informed everyone that the doors of her room are open for officials to come without any prior appointment between 1 pm and 1 45 pm on any working day. She also informed that officials can directly call in her official phone number between 10 am and 11 am on working days. She also encouraged the officials to send their messages or grievances at an exclusive email id monitored by her personally. She assured that any requests made over phone or email will also get her equal and immediate attention and therefore the officials need not take the pains to travel for hours to meet her at the head quarter.
Unapproachable boss is a loser. He would earn the disrespect of people around him. He would not get the real feedback about the organization as he fails to be receptive to people. Thus the ultimate loser is the organization itself. It is imperative to appoint only those with excellent communication and management skills at the leadership levels in any organization. Training in soft skills is equally important at the top levels as at the lower management levels. Though there may be criticism that it is a sheer waste to put manure at the roots of a giant old tree, it is necessary as the top leadership positions of many large organizations are filled up solely on the basis of seniority.
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Comments are welcome. Views are personal. (c) Sibichen K Mathew