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Suppose your boss doesn’t like you


Published: Dec 22, 2016

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The workplace is simply a microcosm of the world and not much different from high school. There is a plethora of personalities, backgrounds, cliques and politics. Suppose you are assigned to a senior who, for no apparent reason, dislikes you? Most people feel there is nothing they can do about such a situation. However, over the long term, being subjected to this type of tension could negatively affect your health. So, here are five things you may be able to do to create a better situation.


Own it!

Say what? Yes, you read right. Even if you don’t believe you contributed to this negative attitude toward you, take responsibility for the way others respond to you. Too often we walk into situations without a clear intention. You were given a job and assigned a manager. Did you really contemplate what you would like your relationship to be like? You may have thought in detail what you did not want, but you had no strategy to create what you desired. So, you were blind-sided and things unfolded the way they did without your intentional participation. You are now probably saying to yourself, “What could I have done? If someone doesn’t like you, they just don’t like you.” That is exactly why you must own it, assume there was something you didn’t do to get the results you would have liked. By owning it, you become empowered to change it.


Be intentional

You could have been intentional about building rapport with your new boss at the beginning of your relationship. How? Well, you are there to support your senior and therefore your focus is to make that person look good. Do you think you would communicate differently when your objective is to help them shine, versus approaching with the intention to simply do a good job? If you are driven to do your part to help them excel, you would ask certain questions. You would find out what they need from you and the best way to deliver. You would find out what they are trying to achieve and how you could assist. Beginning this way, may have derailed their negative misconceptions about you. Let’s face it, there are insecure people in management and they are on guard that they are not outshone by their bright supports, which leads to the next pointer.


Support based on their terms

Find out how they want to be supported and assist them on their own terms. If they take credit for your brilliance, let them. A star will always shine. We reap what we sow, maybe you will reap elsewhere. However, in the mean-time your focus should be on being a support. A good support will study how their boss wants things done and can anticipate their needs. You should tune in so you can truly empathize with them. What are the concerns and fears that keep your boss up at night? As a member of their team how can you help them? True empathy will even help you to understand their insecurities and how to work around them.


Check your own feelings

If someone mistreats you, the most natural response is to dislike them. Well, given the fact that we are all made of energy; we feed on each other’s energy. So, if they were mean to you and now you dislike them, they are now feeling your dislike and you are playing a game of ping pong, serving each other more of the same. You have the power to stop it. Decide to forgive them, release that negativity and implement the next step.


Look for things to appreciate

What you focus on expands. Look for the good attributes in that boss. Look for what you can learn from them. What can you verbally compliment them on and what can you thank them for? Most people never hear enough praise. I am not talking about flattery. I am talking about looking to find qualities, talents and skills that you can admire and find worthy of mention, look for ways to build them up as a person. It’s really difficult to dislike someone who appreciates you.


• Kim Welcome is the CEO of Influential Voice, a communication trainer and coach; she assists businesses and professionals to achieve their goals by helping them to develop deliberate, skillful, polished communication skills. Contact: kimwelcome@influentialvoice.com or call 242-225-9013.


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