Think back to the best leader, manager, or supervisor that you’ve ever had in a workplace.
Perhaps it’s your current boss. Or perhaps you’re remembering that “golden” manager with nostalgia, wishing you could go back to that workplace.
Regardless, I’m guessing that a good leader made/makes you want to stay at any job for as long as you can.
When you feel respected and appreciated, it’s a lot easier to make it through the day.
In fact, there have been innumerable studies showing that financial compensation is NOT the primary motivation that employees have for choosing to quit their jobs.
Now think back to a workplace situation with a horrible leader, manager, or supervisor.
In those circumstances, I bet you hit the snooze button a lot more, with the promise of a paycheck barely enough reason to get out of bed.
If your boss isn’t worthy of your respect, then he or she probably lacks any respect for you.
More than likely, the reason people leave their jobs is due to a negative organizational culture that makes working on a day to day basis barely manageable, resulting in a decision to leave in order to give themselves the opportunity to feel better.
And a large part of that negative culture tends to be a direct result of their supervisors and managers. Employees will usually consider other job opportunities if they don’t feel that they will be able to develop a trusting relationship with their leaders.
The grass appears much greener on the other side in those cases…
Studies have found that this trust factor plays an immense role in the workplace.
If employees experience considerate, interested, and respectful supervisors, they’re far less likely to suffer the ravages of burnout, and more likely to experience greater levels of work and job satisfaction.
It’s this employee/manager relationship that ultimately determines whether employees leave, survive, or thrive in an organization.
And no one should have to live their life simply “surviving.”
If an employee is either experiencing or witnessing workplace problems such as bullying or harassment or a lack of respectful conduct, the relationship with their immediate supervisor and manager is going to be key in their response to that negative situation.
If their immediate supervisor or manager is the problem, however, that can lead to a “surviving” type of situation.
Thinking back to those best leaders, we might remember being able to talk with them about anything that is on our mind, no matter how apparently controversial or peculiar the issues might appear to be.
And reflecting on the worst managers, we tend to not want to discuss any matters that have the slightest risk of raising an eyebrow.
The difference between the two individuals comes down to one word:


David Horsager, a contributor at, suggests that the following characteristics are key to building a trusting relationship with your supervisors:

  • Clarity: Being clear with your messages, people dislike ambiguity.
  • Compassion: People are attracted to those that care for others more than themselves.
  • Character: It’s easy to do the easy thing, but not always easy to do the right thing. The latter will get you noticed.
  • Contribution: People tend to quickly trust someone who actually contributes and makes a difference.
  • Competency: People trust those that know how to do their job well.
  • Connection: Trust is built on relationships with people. No relationship = no trust.
  • Commitment: People tend to trust those that hang in there through tough times.
  • Consistency: Being consistent with your words and actions is critical.

Do these character traits reflect your current supervisor or manager?
If they do, I very much doubt whether you’ve ever thought that the grass was greener on the other side…