Everyone at some point in time has boss problems. Here are a couple of keys to managing those problems.
1. Provide solutions, not problems. If you are a fountain of negativity (even if it is reality), have some potential solutions for the problems you discover or point out.
2. Focus on accomplishing your goal, not creating excuses. Progress and success solve a lot of problems.
3. Show some independence. If you need constant reassurance, work to develop a little self confidence.
4. Ask for clarification. If your every decision is questioned, look for ways that your activities can better align with the overall focus of the organization.
5. Give something up. Your pet project is your pet project. Work on your boss’ pet project.
If these strategies do not work, then face the realization that if you have a problem with your boss, it is your problem, not the boss’ problem. Figure out how to work for that person or find a new place to work. Is that fair or right? The answer to that is not pertinent. The reality is you are the employee. As Dr. Jim Davis says, “It is your job to make the Head Coach happy.”
I’m not being glib. Three times in my career I have gone from being the “favorite” to the “irritant” overnight (the new boss often does not warm up to the old boss’ key people). In each case, once I recognized (or a mentor pointed it our to me)that my skill set was no longer appreciated and that I was not a fit in the new regime, I left. My career has continued to move forward.
On the other hand, I have watched what happens when an employee fights for what he or she thinks is his or her “rights.” Careers end, positions are marginalized, and attitudes become bitter.
Take the high road and find the boss you can work for. If your boss isn’t smart enough to appreciate you, he or she isn’t smart enough for you to work for them anyway.
Think. Work. Achieve.