Often, I see clients put off important discussions with their bosses because they aren’t really sure how to structure them and fear they may come off as expecting too much and eventually feel rejected. This is unwise. A little preparation can earn you respect and what you want.
How to prepare for the meeting:
Your boss is driving you crazy. You feel as if they don’t understand what it’s like to actually do the work. They aren’t considering the consequences of their words or decisions. They play the political game too often to be trusted. And their vision is self-serving or flawed.
Collaborative teams where character rich colleagues work in alignment with servant leader bosses are ideal but not often the case. Everyone has an ego and bad bosses usually have the biggest.
Managing the dance with ego is essential at work and in life. There are two egos in a boss/direct report relationship – theirs and yours. You want to anticipate theirs and regulate your own. This requires subduing your need to be right. You don’t need to be right, just get it right.
Negative feedback is a misnomer in todays’ work environment. The purpose of feedback at work is to help a...
At work we often measure our self-esteem by what our boss or colleagues think of us. This is based on two flawed assumptions.
1.) You think you know what they think but you don’t. How they perceive you is through their own lens not yours. That lens may hold bias. You will never know how they truly feel. Even if you ask them they will filter their response through their interpretation of their feelings. Your job is not to change their mind. Your job is to be effective.
2.) You think your value is measured by their behavior toward you. Of course we all want to be liked and appreciated. Good leaders know how to reinforce their teams with positive feedback and coaching moments. But your value is measured by your effectiveness not your efforts so focus on whether or not you are effective and allow that to be your gauge.
The operative phrase here is “be effective.” If you focus on that your self worth will grow. You’ll build trust and favor by...
One of the tests of being a leader is knowing how to navigate a boss who doesn’t score highly as a leader him/herself.
Mapping a Course to Manage a Difficult Boss
Start from the perspective that the disconnect might be a miscommunication. “I want to make sure I understand what you need from me.” Then clarify.
If you internalize a bad boss’s anger, insecurity or lack of skill you could allow your weaknesses to show instead of your strengths to shine. Their lack of confidence, disorganization or lack of inclusiveness is about them. Not you. Don’t mirror their insecurity. Be self-aware. Who are you when under fire? How do you demonstrate grace and grit – executive presence? If your work life were a movie who would play you and what would he/she do in your situation?
Be a mindful third-party observer of your own thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself what is really going on with you? What are you afraid...
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