We have all seen it, many have experienced it. Unfortunately there are some bosses out there whose behavior can be questioned from time to time. Right here I am giving you five points that need attention.
Did your boss once again not keep his word? Are you insulted by him? Passed over for promotion? Actually you should not be surprised. Your boss will ignore your ideas, tends to always humiliate you and expects at all times that you can read his thoughts. Even worse is that he does not want to talk about it.
What can you do?
What are your options if you are undermined by those whose approval you need just so hard? You can submit your resignation or contact HR. But a company is like a casino, the house always wins. If you feel the anger bubbling up again, then first try one of the eight tips listed below that will help you to better deal with your boss.
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1 He bombards you with work
Your boss is flooding your mailbox with additional commands. This probably means simply that he himself is under high pressure, huge workload and trying to pass this on to his team. It is a tactic that often occurs in stressed and career-oriented bosses. But that does not mean that you should not stand up for yourself when the workload cannot be handled. Try to understand that strategy, otherwise you will suffer from this.
2 He does not give you enough work
Normally your boss gives you masses of important jobs, but now he “forgets” you when dividing the jobs. That could be enough to make you think that he has lost confidence in you. But look beyond your nose. Is it not because of the lower level of activity in your department or even in the entire company? Only if everyone groans under the work load except you, something is seriously amiss.
3 He ignores you
Little contact, few comments or feedback on your work … Normally you talk regularly with your boss, but now he suddenly is so distant. Probably you worry unnecessarily. It’s your boss himself who has changed. Maybe he has just had a promotion, after which it is logical that he will distance himself. Whether he has other reasons on his mind: an extra portion of stress or personal problems can make him react differently. But if you really suffer of the detachment, do not hesitate to talk to him about it.
4 He shows little sympathy
Bosses are different from regular colleagues. They find good personal relations less important. They are higher in the hierarchy and focus on achieving their – imposed – objectives. For example, it happens more often than not that a chef speaks to his team during a meeting in a very motivating and friendly manner, but 10 minutes later in the hallway just walks past you without saying anything. Do not worry about this and do not take it personal.
5 He’s lying to you
If you catch your boss lying, then it becomes an entirely other matter. It could be an important sign of a deteriorating relationship. If your boss lets you pay for a decision he has taken himself for example, then you could be in dire straits. If you happen to have a fair boss, then you can discuss and solve most things with him. But with a liar this is almost impossible. Worst case, confidence is broken and you better leave the team.
What can you do about an unfair boss?
1 Count to ten
Your first impulse will be to strike back. You already fantasize about making public the rotten behavior of your boss or send an email to the management. Such thoughts have their uses, but do not put them immediately into action. Is an impulsive action worth losing your job? Is it worth a gap in your CV? In today’s economy it is not wise to show your pride if you want to win.
2 Go with the flow
You have been cheated or treated unfairly. Welcome to the real world. Let us not be tempted to be bitter or indifferent there. Let your boss not get to you just like that. Nod and smile politely when he comes again with a self-glorifying sermon. Pretend it does not touch you especially if you have the job of your dreams. Show respect even if you have lost your confidence already. You’ll still have to cope with a number of bastards in your further career. So get used to it.
3 Prepare for showdown
Start collecting references and recommendations from clients, colleagues, prominent figures in your industry. Prepare a file of all the positive feedback on your work. Give particular focus on activities that produce measurable results. Moreover, they increase your chances as the next career step presents itself.
4 Forge Alliances
Decide which path you ultimately want. Learn the key players known in that department. Go to lunch with them. Help them relieve the pressure to prove that you are ready for the next step. Make contact with a mentor or boss of your boss. They can provide direction, expertise and even references. Increase your visibility by participating in committees and consultative bodies. If your boss is still trying to debase you, the many other contacts may help refute his claims.
5 Do not jump to conclusions
Sometimes there is more going on than you know. Maybe your boss is being held from above. Maybe your boss is suffering under an excessive workload or he has personal problems and you currently are simply not a top priority for him. It may be that your boss has no idea how his or her behavior comes across to you. After all, a boss is only human.
6 Pull the straps with your boss
Everyone likes to be praised. As does your boss just as well. Maybe you should just look for more contact with your boss, instead of pulling out. Ask what you need to do or learn to get ahead. See if you can become the right hand of your boss. Learn about his faults and weaknesses: drive yourself in asking the right questions and giving solutions. Anyway this is a great exercise for what really runs in the business world: anticipation, flexibility, engage and maintain relationships, cooperation and development.
7 Focus on the big picture
First your boss shames your confidence; then he demands of you to remain positive. He chides you for your behavior, then does exactly the same. You can be fierce and develop an ulcer but you can also make the best of it. Focus on gaining experience, increase your skills and improve your posture and attitude. Remember the daily humiliations, so you’ll never be like your boss. However, remember that your boss has not come up by chance in his job, and learn the tricks of the trade that brought him to that place. Be open to criticism and suggestions.
If your boss really is a disaster, the chances are that his time is coming to an end within the company. Charm, connections and reputation give bosses only a certain degree of immunity. Sooner or later they come into conflict with someone who is higher in the hierarchy and then they can forget it. Consider your job in the meantime, as a means to an end and lay the foundation to achieve that goal. It can only get better.
What to do when all this does not work?
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