No one really wants to be seen as “the man” when being referenced by their direct reports. Being “the man” symbolizes a position of power that doesn’t relate to the general team. As many companies are starting to move toward a team based approach to management, here are a few examples of how to stop being seen as a boss and start leading.

Provide Honest Feedback

Managers have the responsibility to be honest with their team’s performance. If a direct report is not meeting expectations, it is important to give them that feedback before their end of year evaluation. It is also unfair to continually dangle a promotion if the person is just not a fit for the desired position. An associate will continue to work for promotion once the opportunity is discussed. He will also grow disgruntled when they have completed all of the “items” that held them back from obtaining the sought after position.

A manager will have issues with one or two people being tardy (or frequent call ins or some other common issue in management). Instead of the manager addressing the issue with the tardy individuals, they instead hold a team meeting. The issue of tardiness is brought up and everyone else knows exactly whom the manager is talking to- except for the one or two punctuality offenders. It is always best to just have the conversation with those that are not meeting expectations.

If your team sees that you are honest with them, they will trust you and your intentions. Does your team trust you. Are you leading effectively?

Never Publically Reprimand

It may seem obvious that the quickest way to disengage a team member is to call them out on something in front of others. Then why do so many managers make this mistake? Recently, a Field Director shared about his frustration with his boss, a partial owner of the company. An hourly employee called the owner to discuss new policy changes implemented by the Field Director. Instead of the owner referring her back to the Field Director, he stated, “I am the boss and that’s not going to happen”.

The hourly employee, full of glee, went back to her entire team and gloated that she spoke to the owner and no one had to listen to the Field Director (in so many words). Though the owner believed he was addressing the hourly associate with her concerns, he was actually publicly invalidating the Field Directors position.

It is easy to publicly belittle a member of the team through non-verbal’s as well as spoken word. Are you careful with what you both say and don’t say?

Learn The Roles and Start Leading

No one likes it when their boss tells them what to do, but has no idea what they actually do. In order to be a great leader, it is important to know about each role that you supervise. Though it is unrealistic to know every detail about every role in the organization, it is reasonable to take an interest in each person’s work. This is especially important when you, as the manager, have never worked in your particular industry before. Take an interest in the various roles, learn how they all work together, and people will be happy to tell you about what they do and how it contributes to the greater good of the organization.

Before you delegate the next task, ask yourself this question- Do you know what your team members actually do?

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite health, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at

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