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What Are Signs That Your Boss Cares About You?

My post on the power of bosses who take a moment to offer a simple “thanks” to people got me thinking about the more general question of little signs that your boss cares for you.

Michael Scott

My post on the power of bosses who take a moment to offer a simple “thanks” to people got me thinking about the more general question of little signs that your boss cares for you. Certainly, as my recent HBR article shows, when a boss “has your back” that is sign that he or she cares about you. But when I made my top 10 list, I had the distinct feeling that I was leaving out a lot of important stuff. So I guess this is a form of open source PR. To get the conversation started, here are are 10 signs that your boss really really cares about you, based largely on Good Boss, Bad Boss:

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1. REALLY listens to what you say, doesn’t just pretend.

2. Is careful to give you as much–or even more–credit than you deserve.

3. Sticks-up for you behind your back.

4. Takes care not to embarrass you.

5. Apologizes sincerely and completely when he or she does something that upsets or hurts you.

6. Goes out of his or her way to make it easier for you to mesh the challenges in your personal life with your job.

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7. Is respectful of your time.

8. Takes time to learn your quirks and idiosyncrasies–and accommodates them within in reason.

9. Goes the extra mile to make sure that you succeed at your job and keep developing skills.

10. Doesn’t bullshit you about your weaknesses or screw-ups–tells you the truth.

This is just first draft. What should I add? What should I remove? Do you have any stories along these lines? I look forward to your comments and I will revise and extend the list after hearing your ideas and comments.

Reprinted from Work Matters

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Robert I. Sutton, PhD is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. His most recent book is The New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. His next book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best…and Survive the Worst, will be published September 2010. Follow him at twitter.com/work_matters.

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About the author

Robert Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford and a Professor of Organizational Behavior, by courtesy, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Sutton studies innovation, leaders and bosses, evidence-based management, the links between knowledge and organizational action, and workplace civility.

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