Quiz: What’s Your Boss Style?
1. When you notice an employee is going above and beyond her assignments and crushing it big-time, you:
- A. Give her more work because she obviously can handle it.
- B. Ask her what she sees as her future in the company and see how you can help her get there, while telling her take it down a notch so as to not make other, slower worker bees feel bad.
2. When an employee calls out sick, you:
- A. Send her a list of assignments that she will need to make up and ask her to keep you posted on her progress.
- B. Ignore the call, let it go to voice mail. Assume she is playing hooky and ask someone else to take over her assignments.
- C. Tell her to feel better and ask her if she wants your assistant to send some Airborne over.
3. When an employee is struggling with an assignment, you:
- A. Pull up a chair next to her and walk her through everything step by step.
- B. Give her a couple of general tips and send her on her way to complete the assignment.
- C. Sympathize with how hard it must be, offer to rub her shoulders to help her relax (half jokingly) or take her out for a drink after work (not jokingly).
4. You just found out you are going to have to lay people off. You:
- A. Call a large a meeting, allow for an open-mic discussion, and log feedback for yourself and HR.
- B. Call those people into your office the day before you have to let them go, and send a note to your staff the next day, paraphrasing or forwarding the directive that has been bestowed upon you from above.
- C. Hug it out and give everyone you have to let go your personal e-mail and cell phone number in case they ever need anything professionally or personally.
5. You just found out you that no one is stepping up to help the intern, and she is just sitting in the corner occasionally fetching coffee, so you:
- A. Forward your staff the company policy on managing interns, plus a recent article about the importance of doing so.
- B. Let the intern figure it out for herself—after all, you had to do that! Or casually ask one of your trusted employees to keep an eye on her while allowing the employee to pass the buck to someone else if she doesn’t have time.
- C. Take over the responsibility yourself! Get to know your intern personally and then send a note to your staff with her bio and ask which folks want to help mentor this fine young person.
6. While on vacation away from your staff for an extra day to extend a holiday weekend, you:
- A. Are on e-mail twenty-four seven, checking in with your number two three times per day: morning, noon, and night.
- B. Take it easy, relax, hit the beach, and get a massage. Check in with your number two once per day just in case anything comes up.
- C. Buy everyone in the office trinkets and souvenirs.
7. When you hear about a beef two employees are having, you:
- A. Send an e-mail to both of them separately saying you want to see them in your office today to get each side of the story. Then call a meeting with them together the next day, corroborating their stories based on your notes. Ask them to see past their differences and tell them that you would like to have this same meeting in a week with a positive outcome.
- B. Let them figure it out as the grown-ass people they are, and check in with them separately to see if all is good after a few days.
- C. Take them out to lunch off-site and help them work it out over kale salad and a glass of rosé.
If you answered mostly As
Well, then, you are a detail-oriented boss. If you feel the need to dot every i and cross every t personally, you might be a micromanager. There’s nothing wrong with attention to detail. In fact, that attention to detail likely got you where you are in the first place. But good managers will stop short of micromanaging to help their teams to understand the big picture while empowering them to tackle the more minute details of the project on their own. Your team will never learn anything if you do everything for them, and likewise you’ll never realize your full potential as a leader until you learn to let go a bit and delegate.
If you answered mostly Bs
You are a chill boss. You’re happy to let staff take the reins on projects, only reporting to you when they’re done. Rather than get involved with office drama, you’re more of a hands-off, let-the-baby-cry-it-out kind of boss. I applaud you for maintaining your cool during the rat race, but be careful that your laid-back attitude doesn’t come off as simply not caring. Regular check-ins with your employees, even biweekly, are a great way to foster your workplace relationships and answer any questions that might come up—and also to catch any mistakes or misguided enthusiasm before a project totally derails on your watch or, more accurately, while you aren’t watching.
If you answered mostly Cs
You are a super-friendly boss. You go out to dinner with the gang, maybe knock back a few cocktails. You’re known as being approachable (maybe too much so) and almost like a bestie. Be careful not blur the lines too much, though; after all, you’re still the Boss with a capital B and as such deserve respect. You don’t want to get into a position where you need to extend negative feedback, or maybe even disciplinary action, and aren’t taken seriously doing it. I’m all about being a good cop, but a balanced Boss Bitch knows when to be a bad cop, too.
This quiz is only intended to show you which type of boss you naturally tend to be—not the one you have to be. A huge part of being a manager is managing yourself: playing to your strengths as a leader while actively improving those less-stellar tendencies, like micromanaging or being overly familiar with colleagues. The whole point of assessment quizzes like this is to make you aware of these behaviors. And self-awareness is the best possible quality any boss could have. The best bosses are a combination of detailed, chill, and friendly—and continually seeking to improve themselves even as they inspire their team to do the same.