6 Officious Habits That Are Worth Learning From

Often it is easy to be critical of the boss of an enterprise or the new head in a department but, those bossy habits that you may find annoying, irritating, indecisive, intrusive or even incompetent could hold gems you can pick and learn from. The asking, the meetings, the schedules, the delegating, the summoning and the continuous changing can be learned from. To elaborate

  • Scheduling

Since there are only so many hours in a day and so many days in a work week that the company or business has to come up with results it is imperative that time is allotted to a process and each process given a deadline. This does not mean dates and timetables cannot be revised as sometimes opportunities arise that may call for a revision but overall arranging and putting things down in an agenda and having a time table means that you will have guidance, direction and a reference point every step of your work day, week and month. Also, it makes things clear and helps to highlight whether at the end of the period the plans did indeed produce results.

Time is priceless so the schedule either by way of a diary, monthly planner or memo is a useful time management tool.

  • Asking

The boss keeps asking you questions and you probably think that they do not know anything but, if you are new to a department, if you have been there for a while or even if you own the enterprise information is precisely what you need to identify what has been done, what was planned and what needs to be done. Asking for information means you can pinpoint and tackle issues effectively.

Finding out what is going on from time to time or indeed how something is usually done means that the right decision will be made for the good of all.

  • Meetings

It must be mentioned that many managers or heads of departments out there busy themselves with countless meetings, workshops and conferences and seem to think that this is a gauge of their success. However, before you think the same of your boss, meetings do actually help to develop a business. As long as they are idea and problem solving forums and not chit chat sessions about everything under the sun. If you have meeting fatigue just remind yourself that those meetings from time to time if they are well scheduled, start on time, stick to the agenda, resolve issues and end on time do definitely help you and can make your life at work easier.

The meetings your boss calls are a place to get feedback and air your difficulties, make suggestions and share opportunities.

  • Delegating

Ideally your boss will give you a clear direction when work is delegated to you or some other person. It probably means that the boss sees you or that other person as the right person for the task. Consider this to be thumbs up to you. You have the authority to execute a task and must keep in mind that you are accountable for everything that happens with the assigned task; the execution and the results.

Once work is delegated to you keep in mind that a good over all result will mean a step up for you; may be right into your boss’ shoes.

  • Following

Summoning you to the office for feedback and keeping tabs on your progress means that your boss is on top of things and that you have back up. Following up on you and asking for updates is important and means that you and your boss can review decisions periodically.

Following up on you means that a poor decision can be corrected before it is too late and an immediate solution can be offered.

  • Changing

Just when you thought you had it in the bag, the road map changes and you are all back to the drawing board and are being briefed on new developments, trends, tariffs and taxes (…wait a minute, you groan. I just finished my last assignment). Well, any boss worth their days of sweat will be out there listening and keeping track; preparing for changes in demographics, the weather, wars, polls, sentiments, prices, banker’s rates etc. There are so many changes and new opportunities out there and a boss will scour for them and check out developments in your company’s specific area or your industry.

In the looking out for gaps to fill there will inevitably be change. Embrace it and learn from it.


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo