The Yes Boss


  • Scale of Frustration 70%
  • Scale of Potential Harm 30%
  • Likely to Be Up for a Chat 70%

The Yes Boss is everyone’s friend.  As a trainee they initially seem to be a great pick for a Boss as they always seem to be happy to help and more than willing to help you get your day off.

But then the work starts piling up because the Yes Boss doesn’t just say yes to you.  They say yes to everyone.  And as a member of their team that means you having to do a lot more than you think is fair or reasonable.

How to Recognise

This is the Boss who says yes to anything anyone, staff and patients because they seemingly “don’t want to upset anyone”. They leave you frustrated because a lot of those “yesses” mean you have to do extra things. Like an extra day on take, reorganizing a theatre list, or negotiating with a frustrated secretary about cramming extra time into an outpatient clinic.

Possible Reasons for this Behaviour (Empathy)

Your Boss may be very new to the role and unsure of themselves. They may be wary of establishing credibility with their peers before saying no to things.

How to Own It

Such a Boss may be very receptive to a friendly empathic conversation about feeling new and unsure. Make it clear that you are happy to support more firm decisions (like saying “No”) when they are needed. But also make clear what you need to get your job done and what you may need from a boss.


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