A good friend of mine who is also in the human capital business asked me a few months ago what the most over-rated relationship is that most people have in their lives. I confess, I had never been asked that nor had I given that much consideration as I think like most, I tend to focus on the important relationships, not the overated ones. My responses were guesses and wrong. “It’s people’s bosses,” she argued.
She went on to explain that bosses are important. They coach, set expectations, evaluate and surpervise what most do for a lion’s share of their time during a week. However, she went on to say, for most people these are very superficial relationships, filled more with fear and anxiety than with love, affection, or genuine care. As such, from an EQ perspective that I have blogged about before, fear-based important relationships will always garner significant mind-share – a lot more than the more truly important relationships in our lives. But why is it over-rated? She suggested that no one on their death bed wishes to have had more time with their boss and in reality, they are given infinitely more power than they deserve or ask for. The fear of losing one’s job, being demoted, or just not being viewed as friendly can in a competitive environment fuel very unhealthy parameters of engagement. It is over-rated, she said, because they power they have is almost entirely based on our own insecurity and fears, not on what is actually given to them or some great skill they have. This dynamic has led driven many out of companies into entrepreneurism mostly for the desire to be their own boss or be the kind of boss they always wanted for themselves.
This week, evaluate your relationship with your boss. How authentic and healthy is that relationship? If can be better, can it be done in a mutually respectful manner where both benefit from a more substantive engagement. If cannot be better, then is the value you place on it a fair assessment of the real value of the relationship in the context of who you really are and the worth you put on your being authentic? If you are a boss also, what kind of relationships do you have with those that work for you? As a general rule of them, again from an EQ perspective, the more fear there is in any relationship, the less you will be at your best, the more you will be “yellow” or “red” and infect those that are truly important in your life. Make it a priority to understand and evaluate this relationship and it’s impact on your entire life, yor mind-share, emotional health, and all your valuable relationships.