I understand that this topic has been hashed and rehashed multiple times, so I apologize for bringing it up again. If you know of a particular area that addresses this question more directly than I was able to find, I would appreciate any direction. 

I am the HR Manager (I know, bad word), for a very small company. I was promoted to this role from Office manager, and am growing to Operations Manager. HR manager is the best intermediate step for the company. The company is really struggling with its management processes and has been since its inception. I have been slowly changing the culture and have gotten the other managers to start using the Management Trinity. We are seeing results. 

The biggest issue is the CEO. He is an amazing person with a kind heart and a horrible management style. Our turnover is horrendous. It is getting better, the more I get him out of the management role. He is a high C/D (this is my guess). He continually asks for my opinion and feedback. He does not follow it. For example, he's had the DISC profile assessment in his in-box since before Turkey Day. I've told him that I believe his team will better anticipate his needs if they better understand his communication style. I am the only person in the company capable of standing my ground when he uses his "machine gun" style questioning. Its hard for most people to not get defensive when "why" sounds like "you moron".

He has also asked me to coach him on managing his team. He has me rewrite his emails and pre-wire his team meetings to help people show up with the necessary information. I am very much in the middle. All this has done is create an enabling process.

I never say no when asked to take on more responsibility, because that is just what you do. But how do you NOT coach or give feedback to your boss? Thanks again for any information or feedback provided...



timrutter's picture

 Chris, deep breath!

I totally understand it's irritating that he's asked for your guidance but isn't implementing it. The big thing here is he's started so keep encouraging the successes rather than worrying about the other things. The one thing you cannot do is coerce or force him, it's his company, his rules and you work for him.

Feedback works from manager to direct partly because of role power, you don't have that in your arsenal here. If he keeps asking for your help, give it to him and enjoy what he does change



cbrink's picture

 Thanks Tim. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer. I am breathing on a daily basis...I'm happy with the progress he's making. I believe that it takes just as much time to break a habbit as it does to create it, so he's probably ahead of schedule. 

mike_bruns_99's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

The manager-tools guidance to NOT give feedback/coaching to your boss is typically correct. And as you've seen, it puts you in a difficult spot in the middle.

Would he be open to an outside business coach?  Here is a good thread on the topic:

Perhaps an outside perspective could give your CEO the motivation to change, while taking you out of a difficult spot.

GlennR's picture

Mike is right, he needs to find an external coach. The question then becomes, how do you motivate him to do so. (Answer: Very carefully.) 

WayneHodder's picture

 I have utilized some very subtle ideas, such as giving my boss my DISC profile print out (from this web site) to have a read of after my annual review was completed and we discussed this on his opinion of its accuracy; he did take a great deal of time to read it carefully I noticed.

I have also mentioned that I have been listening to the pod casts from here, this was during a discussion he instigated about listening to other forms of spoken word recordings.

I have slipped some book titles into the conversation, especially "The Effective Executive" on two occasions, as a peer he respects actually has a copy in his office I had noticed and mentioned as casually as possible for my style.

He has directly sought feedback from me, I hope I was tactful enough in the way I said it was not my position to offer feedback and went on to say I was greatly humbled by his seeking my feedback; no feedback was given.



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cbrink's picture

 Ok, now my boss has given me permission to join the local SHRM group. I should be able to find a good coach for him (and hopefully me) there...Thanks everyone!


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