A boss like candy (Guest Blog)
Updated: Jul 28, 2021
Guest Blogger: Areli S., Cancun, Mexico
This guest blog post addresses how to manage the perceptions of others, especially those you are in charge of leading.
I have recently been promoted into a leadership role at my company. Upon asking my former boss for advice about how to communicate with my new team, she told me to be like candy.
When I deal with my team, I have to be like a piece of candy that's soft on the outside but hard on the inside. That is, I must be sweet and subtle about the objective that I need my team to meet, while also holding clear expectations and accountability about what needs to be done (this is the hard interior)
The sweetness and softness in communication will allow me to avoid negative perceptions from my team. For instance, they might perceive me as too authoritative if I speak with a strong tone.
I am going to experiment with my communication style in these beginning stages to see if being a boss like candy works for me.
Because many of us are constantly projecting our past experiences with authority unto current authority figures, it is important for authority figures to understand how their communication style might impact different employees.
Discussion Question: 1) How would you characterize your communication style when you are placed in a position of formal leadership? 2) Think of a metaphor that captures the type of boss you want to be. What is it, and how does it relate to the communication needs of your team?