Click on the mini-image below to listen on the page. Or, tune in through your favorite podcast service available through the “Subscribe” button.
How do you like your boss?
Are they undeserving of their position? incompetent? self-serving?
Do they see the value you add to the organization or team?
Like it or not, they get the “boss” title. And, you report to them.
Studies apparently show that most people don’t leave an organization, the work, or the team. They leave the boss.
But, what if working with a difficult boss is the best thing for your personal growth and career?
What if this is a chance to help your boss be a better boss?
You can’t directly change him or her.
You can, however, change yourself – your mind, your actions, and your outcomes.
In this episode I talk about how you can help your boss and do other things you might not want to do, especially if you are ready to leave them.
The Move Your Desk podcast is available through all major podcasting services.
Episode 93 Show Notes
- Boss Framework – Episode 11 – https://moveyourdesk.com/2019/10/17/episode-11-boss-frameworks/
- Boss Antics – Saving the Day – Episode 37 – https://moveyourdesk.com/2020/03/09/episode-37-boss-antics-saving-the-day/
- Bossy – Episode 35 – https://moveyourdesk.com/2020/03/01/episode-35-bossy/
- Naked Emperors – Episode 36 – https://moveyourdesk.com/2020/03/06/episode-36-naked-emperors/
- Showing Up as a Leader – Episode 45 – https://moveyourdesk.com/2020/04/06/episode-45-showing-up-as-a-leader/
- Leading with Blindspots – Episode 80 – https://moveyourdesk.com/2020/11/02/episode-80-leading-with-blindspots/
Episode 93 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark, Episode 93 Helping your boss and other related things you may not want to do. This podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work, but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? Hello. Move your desk. Er’s I’ve been talking to a lot of you lately and how you’re having struggles with your boss. And this is so prevalent that I realize that it’s human nature because so many of us have problems with our boss at some point in our career. And, of course, it’s all the bosses problem, isn’t it? Most of you, I believe, at this point have heard about the studies and the fact shared about how in general you leave your job because of your direct supervisor, right? You hear that? They say Okay, people don’t leave their job, the work, the team or the organization. They’re leaving because they do not like their direct supervisor. And I find this very interesting partially because I can see it because I’ve seen it happen a few times, and I have been tempted to leave jobs in the past because of what I felt about a supervisor at some point. But the reality for me is that I never actually left a job because of my supervisor and partly because I chose to work on whatever relationship struggles we were having. As I work on those struggles, I’d realized that Oh, I changed up some things. They changed up some things. And so by the time I actually left jobs, it was because I was getting some kind of promotion. Or there was some field I wanted to get in that I found more interesting or I was moving across the country, for example. So I just wanted to do a shout out to my bosses of the last years to say To Jesse and to Ingrid and to Bill onto Brett and a Kelly and Toe Lewis and Bob and Jim and to Bill that I did not leave my job because of you. And the reasons I gave you were riel and true, because I made sure that when I left jobs I shared with my boss is the real reason that I left. And I have to say that no matter how difficult. Some of the situations I was in through my career were I ended up really appreciating every single boss. And I’m grateful for my experience with them, and I don’t say that lightly. In some cases, it took a lot of work to overcome certain feelings and thoughts. So how about you? How are you feeling about your boss right now? I’m going to share with you some of the things that I am hearing from you about your boss. Especially some of you who have new bosses, right? You’re going through this transition, and you may not have liked your other boss and you might not like this one, or you may have loved your prior boss and you don’t like this one, but here’s some of the things that come up. I applied for his job and I didn’t get it, and I should have gotten it. I have a better degree or more work experience, and I’m more informed than my boss. I’ve been in the organization longer. Everyone knows that I know more than the boss. I’ve worked hard, and I have a great reputation in this organization. And they walk in and don’t seem to understand my amazing track record, right? They don’t understand your amazing nous because they weren’t there. My new boss is coming in and changing everything, and they haven’t even consulted with me or anyone else. I know that my boss just is using this job as a way to get to the next level or to the next step in our organization. And of course, there’s the little day to day things that they didn’t consult with you on. Who changes the coffee machine, who gets the next chance to go to the special leadership workshops. And of course, the boss isn’t choosing you to be in charge of that next initiative because they don’t know that you are the resident expert and that you are the most brilliant person for that task. I want to acknowledge that all of these thoughts are true, right? There are really thoughts that you’ve had, and I want to validate that. It’s okay to have all of these thoughts about your boss, and I would venture to say that if we went on a fishing expedition to gather evidence, we would find that many of the things you are thinking are true. you may have the least qualified boss. You may have the worst jerk of a boss. You may have a boss that’s just trying to get ahead. So you have every right to mentally question whatever the boss is doing, especially because what the boss does impacts your work and they may sign your paycheck, right? They may decide if you still get to have that paycheck, but we are not going to change your boss. Not directly anyway. Right. Because if we could, you could have already walked in and inform them what they needed to change. They would recognize that, you know, and have so much wisdom, and they would immediately change and be operating exactly how you want them to operate already. And they’re not doing that. And they have their reasons, just like you have yours. However, what we can do is work on you today, and it’s really important to work on you because you’re the only person you have control over. And you’re the only person that can truly change you, right? We all know this subconsciously that the Onley way that you change is if you give yourself permission to change and the only way someone actually changes you is if you decide you want to change something based upon something they said or did. But at the bottom of that, you’re the one making the change. They aren’t forcing you into it. You do it because you choose to or you suffer the consequences from not doing it, especially if it’s a boss employee relationship. So I want to first express empathy for you and what you’re going through. We’ve all been through it, and it’s very important to recognize that you are going through pain. You are suffering from this relationship, and the hard part about this suffering is it’s preventing you from offering up your best work. And I believe that if you’re listening to this podcast that you are someone that wants to offer up your best work. And so this is even more painful for you because here you are wanting to offer the best you have and be acknowledged for it and get more opportunities from all of your efforts, and you are now stuck feeling like you cannot progress in this way because you have this boss. The hard part about this pain is that you are making a choice at some point to keep feeling it, and it’s really fascinating to sit down and take a look at what goes on when we’re experiencing this pain in a boss and employee relationship. Because number one you are feeling pain and we do not know if the boss ISS feeling any pain right? They might just be tootling along doing what they dio not realizing. You are in all of this pain, but more likely they are going to sense that something is going on and they don’t know what it is unless they ask you and then you are honest back with them, right? So until there’s some kind of open form of communication, this pain isn’t going to get better. And if anything, it will get more painful. Now. I’m using the word pain, but there’s a lot of other words I realized I can use, because in this type of situation where you’re feeling pain in working with your boss, I’d venture to guess that there’s a lot of other feelings going on. I’m going to throw a few out and you’ll know whether or not they resonate. Judgment, anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, bothered these air, different emotions that can come up when we’re feeling like someone does not appreciate us. Someone is not working well with us. Someone is not acting in the way we think they should toward us. They’re not giving us opportunities to advance all of these emotions and not just emotions. But a lot of these translate into how we act. Who we talked thio, how much we think about what’s going on. What’s fascinating to me is how often at work people would say something to me. That was a reminder that we don’t just go through all this in our heads. We automatically share with people most of the time at least one other person. But people would say, Yeah, we were talking about you at the dinner table and we were wondering if your husband was going to be working at this thing or how your son was doing or, yeah, we were wondering when you said you took that trip, that data and they go on. And as they talk about him like Wait a second, I was a topic at their dinner table, and then I realized how many times other people at work were topics at my dinner table. Right? So these people in our lives that may not have ever met our boss know a heck of a lot of information about them, right? And they’re hearing it on Lee from your perspective most of the time, right? Sometimes the person we’re talking Thio Well, no, the person And that can be really off putting. If you don’t realize that until after the conversation right, you might have been venting and then find out that they’re good friends with, um Or if you do know, you become more calculated and what you say not knowing how they’ll respond until they give you insider information, so to speak, toe let you know how they feel about that person. And you either become more reserved and what you have to say an offer or you sometimes open up and share mawr. If you feel like you have ah, fellow person in pain, right? So we’re not going to fix your boss is the bottom line. But we can work on you because if you are in pain, if you are a judgment, if you are resenting or justifying your behaviors, if you are having more anxiety in this relationship. That’s something that we can take a look at and go. How can we help you feel better in this relationship? Because I will tell you that one of the reasons that I have never left a job because of a boss is because I did have this conversation with myself and worked on it because I decided that I was not going to let a boss get in the way of me showing up in my best possible way, learning what I needed to learn, doing what I had to dio and finding a way to use it as a lesson for personal growth. I did not handle every situation in amazing ways, but from a personal perspective. I feel like I tried my best at that moment in time to figure out how I could work on myself so that no matter what, I could look back and go. You know what, Rebecca, you made some mistakes, but ultimately you tried to make that relationship better. You tried to do better work, and no one can take that from you when you approach your work. In that way, when you approach your relationships at work. In that way, no one can take your best effort away from you. And certainly when you get to adulthood, whatever that means for you, you want to be able to know that you can work through any difficulty relationship and be present in the best possible way. And be proud of how you responded at some future date, even if it’s really hard in the moment. So I wanted to offer you some things to think about when you are experiencing this with your boss. First of all, it’s a good chance to decide to be curious and to be interested and what is going on with your boss. Why are they making the decisions they’re making? Are they aware of something that you aren’t like? They’re more factors to consider that you aren’t aware of that. They know and they’re making their decisions. Based upon that. How are they selected to be the boss? Was there some kind of politics going on? Was there some kind of favor that needed to be addressed? And if it was that, how do you think the boss is coming to that experience? Is it possible that they could be insecure. Is it possible that they’re looking at this as a necessary step they have to take? But they didn’t really want to take. Are they afraid of how they’re viewed of whether or not they can actually do the job? And part of this is trying to walk a minute in their shoes, right to see things from their perspective. But as you asked these questions also going and thinking about, how am I possibly showing up differently with my boss? In the past, I enjoyed my boss, and I didn’t mind walking by their office in the middle of the day and going, Hey, what do you think about this idea, or can I have this privilege this week? I need some flexibility and just were able to sit there and talk with the boss. And now am I doing that with this boss, Um, I treating them the same way that I treated the other boss, Or am I more reserved and my withholding information? Am I quietly rolling my eyes at their decisions? Am I a little bit more tart or sharp in my email responses? Um, I actually emailing them Mawr versus going and having a face to face meeting with them and my gossiping more with this boss, Um, I willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in the same way I’ve given other bosses or other people that I interact with. Pay attention to how you’re showing up. Pay attention to where you hesitate to interact. Pay attention to how you respond to their ideas and how they react to yours and question yourself and go. It sounds like they reacted like this. I wonder why they responded to me in this way. Are they responding to everyone in this way or just me? And sometimes you can look at past emails. You might even have recordings of some things to look at, but just notice, and it’s it’s interesting to notice, you know, if we come up to them in the hallway or we get on a meeting with them before the rest of the participants joint. And do we sit there and come up with a simple question or we say, How are you doing today or what do you need help on today, or just basic human questions? How is your family? Are you enjoying your new car, whatever. I’m just throwing things off the top of my head there. But the main point is to realize that perhaps it’s time to think about how you can look at this situation as an opportunity to learn toe, learn about yourself, toe, learn about your boss and decide what if I could think about my boss differently for the day? What if I could notice everything they said and did and how they said and did it, and allow myself to see that it would be possible for me to agree with something they’re doing, or to see the insightful nous of a choice they’re making and two step forward with ideas to support it or offer to help in some way that you haven’t offered to help before? But I will say that sometimes what is helpful for a boss is if you very openly communicate about something that concerns you and it may be something that concerns you about your own work or how the boss is showing up, it might be simply stating. I haven’t concerned that I am not working with you in the way that I would love toe work. I’m committed to the work I enjoyed working here. I don’t quite understand yet how to work with you in the best way. And I really, sincerely want to learn how and to understand that this is something that you can do just for you. And that’s not selfish, right? You’re doing this for you because you want to show up in the best possible way, and you may actually have a jerk. Boss, who says I don’t know what you’re talking about, right? I think we’re working just fine. This is how I work. This is how I expect you to work. And there’s no problem here. And you can decide what to do with that conversation and go, okay? They don’t have a problem. Well, maybe I’ll just work in the way we’re working, and that’s okay. Maybe it’s not supposed to be anything more. Or maybe you do want more and you decide. You know what? I’m going to show up in the way I want to show up for the work and know that if I do that that I will eventually end up having a better relationship with this boss, or I will eventually be introduced to an opportunity that I get to move on to, or I will be thought of as someone for a different team or initiative or leadership position, because I will be showing up with everyone, including my boss, in a way that honors who I want to be and how I want to be thought of. Now I share thoughts about bosses and lots of episodes, but in this one, I just wanted to offer that if you decide that regardless of who your boss is, you can still show up the way you want to be. And if you’re showing up, seems not appropriate to the boss or still contradicts what the boss thinks is what a good employee does. You can take some time to self reflect and decide if you want to change yourself. Or if you think you know what. No, I am really making a conscious effort to do a better job, to listen better, to respond to requests. Better to be open minded, and I really am working on that, and I feel like I’m on the right path, and if that is the case, good for you, you’re doing the work on your thinking and your emotions, that air helping serve you. And if anything, it will show you the distance that has grown between the direction you are going and the direction your boss is going. And you will get clarity at that point on what next step you have to take. It’s always worth it to work on yourself and to ask yourself, What can I do differently in this situation? Regardless of how the other person is acting, it’s always worth it. And over time those emotions of pain can start getting replaced with confidence and empathy and compassion and with willingness and new capabilities to learn and new capacities to understand human interactions. And you get to take those skills and those emotions and those ways of thinking into your next work. Thes experiences may be the very thing that propel you into leadership that propel you into becoming an excellent boss, because you will see what happens when you do not work well with an employee. When you do not help and employees succeed when you do not ask for their insights, and what happens when you don’t find out what’s causing pain for employees, you’ll be able to take all of those do not with you into becoming an excellent boss. And those employees that report to you will be able to say I am lucky because I got the boss that I got not realizing that the boss that you’ve become is a direct result of both the positive and negative seeming experiences of past boss interactions. Okay, my friends, I hope you keep moving forward. Being the best possible employees. You could be being the best boss you could be. Have a great work week. If it is time for you to improve your work relationships, get the raise or move into a new career. I have two programs for you. The first is Make the move, a self paced online course that leads you through the mindset, management principles and planning approaches that help you up level your work. The second is one on one coaching for those who are serious about transforming their work, now, find both at learn dot Move your desk dot com