Is your boss driving you crazy?
The luckiest of us have had managers who were great mentors, who cared about our career advancements and personal growth, who provided direction without being critical and overall became the role models to live up to and inspire to be. Unfortunately, great bosses like that are hard to come by, and for the rest of us the biggest challenge at work, besides doing work, becomes managing your manager’s expectations.
“My manager was the worst micro-manager ever. She wanted to review every document I would produce no matter how unimportant it was, and would always find faults with it,” says Sharon O. from Toronto. “I was always worried about not living up to her expectations, and it was stressing me out constantly.” Sounds familiar? A petty boss may not be the biggest of your problems.
We’ve heard of managers being rude, sexist, having unreasonable expectations, and just plain incompetent. So what do you do if work becomes a toxic environment because of the person who is responsible for your career growth and annual bonus?
Don’t take it personally:
Maintain positive attitude and stay friendly and professional. Keep reminding yourself, that it’s not you, it’s her. After all, you do not want to come up as a grumpy negative person, right?
Don’t talk back:
It is easy to lose temper and tell your boss everything you think about them, but remember that this may be the person you may have to ask for favors as long as you are still employed in the company, such as vacation approvals, and references. Stay professional and do not talk back.
Do your best:
If there is tension between you and your manager, it is especially important for you to do the best job you can. Come to work on time, meet the deadlines to minimize any reasons for criticism or dismissal.
If you find the tone that you are being talked to unacceptable, say so. Start your message with words such as “I would really appreciate if you do not…” or “I find this statement unacceptable” or “when you do this… you make me feel like…”. Many people do not realize what they are doing wrong until it is pointed out to them in a way that they can understand, factual and free from excessive emotion.
Keep a log:
In case you have to escalate the problem with your manager to HR, the company’s ombudsman, or a legal council, you need to present them with the facts. Keep a log of all incidents that you are encountering. Obviously, do not keep it stored on your work computer in case you get dismissed and lose access to your work files.
Look for another job:
Ultimately, if you can’t change your boss, the next best thing to do is to change your job. Look for openings within your own company, stay in touch with recruiters, post your resume online, join LinkedIn and keep networking.