Most people in the corporate world can relate to the struggle of having an anxious and demanding boss. They’re moody, always asking you to do more, and seemingly unappreciative when the work is finally done. At this point, it’s easy to just give up on having any kind of relationship with your boss. We’d rather get by, get paid, and get out. Yet, the fact of the matter is that choosing to do this, closes many doors for you and your career.
First of all, if you do hope to switch jobs one day, there may come a time when you need a letter of recommendation. Having a non-existent relationship with your current boss will take away any opportunity for this.
Secondly, in general, people are more productive, less stressed and altogether happier when there is less conflict in their lives. Therefore, giving up on a relationship with your boss will only impact your work, and overall state of being, negatively.
Third, you lose the ability to effectively communicate with your boss on important matters (and there will come a time when you need to do this). This will only subtract from your work and create more stress. So, what’s the point? Wouldn’t it be easier to have the ability to really talk with your boss about details and deadlines that work for both of you?
Lastly, you end up contributing to overall workplace unhappiness. This happens much too often. Ultimately, Employees give up on not only a relationship with their boss, but a relationship with each other too!
That being said, here are four tips for managing a relationship with a boss you don’t like:
- Ask yourself, what is my boss seemingly the most stressed about today? Then, take your answer and think about what you can do to help your boss relieve some of that stress. This may mean arriving five minutes early to your first meeting, prioritizing a certain task as first on your to-do list, clearly communicating with your boss about where your at on a certain project with an upcoming deadline, or simply smiling smiling as you pass him/her in the hallway! Whatever the call to action may be, this is a great way to start a positive relationship with a boss you don’t like.
- Communicate effectively.
- If you feel that your boss is holding you to unrealistic standards, speak up! Remember that your boss can’t read your mind. Therefore, whether it be deadlines made too soon, tasks you simply don’t know how to accomplish, or issues with other employees, communicating with your boss is the professional thing to do.
- Keep calm and hold your ground.
- If your boss endlessly discredits your hard work, and expresses it unprofessionally, keep calm and hold your ground. Take a breath, and simply say, “I worked hard to produce the best results I could. What would you have liked to be different, and how can I work on doing that next time?” Typically, responding in a calm and collected manner will allow your boss to realize the unprofessionalism in their tone. Furthermore, not only are you expressing respect for yourself, but you’re expressing respect for your boss and their opinion as well!
- Despite all the chaos happening at your workplace, remember to remind yourself that you’re doing your best. It’s easy to get caught up in other people’s opinions of our work, especially the opinion of your boss. Yet, remember that everyone has a different perspective and it may simply just be that your bosses is different from yours! It doesn’t necessarily mean your work isn’t good, especially if you’re trying your best.