When I had bosses, I sometimes got the impression that I was bothering them. They said they had an open door policy, but I found I just didn’t use it very often.

As often as I could, I did whatever I needed to, without them. my goal was to get them to think about me as little as possible, and when they did think of me, to be grateful I was a self-starter.

I realise now that this is a trauma response. It’s an effort to “not get into trouble.” I was doing my work without them—but it meant they were doing their work without me.

When I became a boss, I tried something different. I believed everybody was doing their best and it was my job to celebrate every success my team members achieved. When they came into my office I wanted them to feel heard and supported. I never wanted them to feel like they were bothering me.

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