In an ideal world, we’d all like to have a boss that we get along with, respect and who is understanding. However, in some instances, we end up working for a boss with a personality that clashes with our own and this can make our working life difficult and frustrating.
If you’re finding that you just don’t get along with your boss, here’s what you should do about it.
Firstly, you’ll want to figure out whether it’s just a problem with your relationship, or whether there are others that dislike your boss too. Ask some subtle questions around the office and listen to what others have to say about your boss.
TIP: Don’t go around bad-mouthing your boss as this will only make you look unprofessional and others may not even agree.
Think about all of the key reasons why you don’t think your relationship with your boss is working. Look at your list and consider whether these reasons are backed up by evidence and examples or whether you have some assumptions in there. When moving onto the next step you’ll want to be able to validate your reasons.
Arrange a meeting with your boss when they are not too busy and let them know that there are a few issues you would like to discuss. When you attend the meeting you should calmly and politely explain that you feel the relationship isn’t working well and you would like to discuss what some of the issues may be and how you can improve things.
Don’t go into a long list of complaints, you won’t want your boss to feel like you are attacking them. Instead, you should focus on a factual example and take it from there. If you can, let your boss to more of the talking once you have initiated the conversation.
Ideally, you will want to leave your meeting with you both feeling more positive and with a plan of outcomes that you want to achieve. A key area to agree on is what your job objectives are and what your boss expects from you. What exactly should you be delivering for them to be happy with your work? You should both have actions to work on that will start to improve your relationship
Understanding your boss, what their goals are and what motivates them is a valuable way to improve your relationship. If you can help them to achieve their goals – whether you like them or not – you will get along better and will maybe find it easier to overlook their faults.
If you’ve tried to improve your relationship but to no avail and you know that others are having similar problems with your boss, it may be time to go to their boss. This is a little risky, but as long as you are discreet and polite you shouldn’t have any problems.
Share your concerns about how your team isn’t performing as well as it could be, and you could make some broad suggestions about how you think things could be improved. Then leave it to them to read between the lines and decide what action to take. If there have been a number of problems, they are probably already aware of the situation.
If your boss is making your life at work unhappy and difficult, see whether there are any opportunities for you to move sideways in your organisation.
We spend far too much time at work to be miserable whilst we’re there. If you’ve tried to make improvements and still aren’t getting anywhere then it’s time to look for a new job elsewhere. There are plenty of good bosses around who want talented people in their team.
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