As much as it is ok to share with them, with the ones that work for or with you, the ones you call your team. You can call them employees if you want, or just “people at work”. And you can miss them when you are not with them. That simple statement entails way more than just the actual feeling it describes: it describes what type of leader you are, the kind that cares.
Let’s take a moment to break this down a bit and you will see it’s not uncommon and it’s not bad to actually acknowledge you miss the people you spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with, the people you fight for and lead every single day. It is not a bad thing, as much as it’s not bad to realize why you miss them.
Then how could you not miss them? Specially if you are a first line manager, your role requires you to be around them a lot and even though you can decide if you want to connect or not with them, you usually just do. You spend your days with them, you live their glories and their shames and you are usually an accessory to those. You hear them whisper, you share food with them and sometimes even shelter. In just a few words: you are one of them.
And at the same time you are not because you are the boss. You get to decide who keeps their job and who doesn’t. You know they talk about you, put names to you that they won’t repeat out loud when you’re there, or make fun of you. They will not let you totally in…because they do need some intimacy. And you can’t be a part of that, no matter how much you care or want to be just labeled “equal”.
Regardless of this, of the fact that you are different…if you care enough, you eventually connect. If you do that, then there’s just no way you won’t miss them because after all they are part of your day-to-day as much as you are part of theirs. Your routines are part of their routines, mixing just enough for you to be the boss, the Manager, the Leader, and them your employees or the ones that follow.
That is what a Team is about too, and it starts with you caring enough to miss them when they’re not around.
Also published on Medium.