15 Job-Saving Tips If You Don't Get Along with Your Boss
Working a job where you and your boss don’t get along is no one's idea of a good work situation.
But as much as we all would hope that our work relationships are strong and stress-free, sometimes, there’s one person who you just rubs you the wrong way — and, unfortunately, that person could be your boss.
Not getting along with your supervisor can easily affect your work, how you interact with others and even mess with your self-confidence. However, just because you and your boss don’t get along, that doesn’t mean you need to quit your job — especially if you love what you do.
There are ways to ease the tension between you and the head honcho. Following are 15 ways you can have a civil relationship with your boss — and maybe even find a way to like working with them.
Figure Out Why You Have an Issue With Your Boss
Before you try to work on the relationship you already have with your boss, try to figure out why you have an issue with them in the first place.
Do you not like how they conduct business, how they critique, or do you feel used? When you realize why you don’t like working with your boss, figure out ways on how you can overlook or fix these issues so you can peacefully work at your job.
Maybe you can schedule a meeting with them to talk things over or ask for feedback to improve the relationship.
Either way, the sooner you figure out why you have an issue, the less time you’ll marinate in the emotion.
Try Not to Take Things Personally
It might be hard not to question yourself or constantly complain about your boss when they do something that bothers you.
Most likely, your boss doesn’t have a personal vendetta against — their job is to make sure the company thrives and, sometimes, that requires them to do things that you don’t like.
Whatever you do, don’t take their actions as a personal attack against you, unless they do or say something to you that affects your morals or integrity.
At the end of the day, business is just business and as long as you keep your head up and do well at your job, everything will be just fine.
Focus on the Positive Things That Your Boss Brings to the Table
If your relationship with your boss is on the rocks, you might only notice the not-so-great things that they do. For instance, you probably will notice that they gossip way too much about people or their lack of communication skills.
Instead of seeing the world through stormy-colored glasses, it might be a better idea to focus on the things that they’re good at. Maybe they’re a marketing genius or great at closing deals.
Either way, focusing on their best traits will help you build a better outlook toward your relationship with them, which is what you need to find peace while you’re at work.
Compliment Your Boss
Even though you might not want to give your boss positive recognition, that doesn’t mean that you should throw shade at them every chance you get.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never built a healthy relationship with anyone if I was constantly telling them what they did wrong or what I didn’t like about them.
Next time you’re in the office, and you genuinely like something they do or an idea they came up with, tell them. They’ll appreciate the gesture — because they’re human, after all — and they might even begin to warm up to you because of your kindness.
Meet With Them to Discuss Your Concerns
Sometimes, most people don’t notice when someone has an issue with them. Your boss, for instance, might fall in this category because she has so much on their plate to even realize.
To fix this issue, the next time you feel extremely frustrated, schedule a meeting with them to express your concerns. This doesn’t mean that you have the green light to yell at them or tell them how bad of a boss they are.
With this time, you want to address how you want to improve the relationship.
Come to the meeting with a few examples as to why you feel this way and politely address them. Hopefully, your boss will discuss and allow an open dialogue between the both of you so you both can feel heard by the end of the meeting.
Ultimately, this is a relationship that you want to thrive — this is a person you work with and who could affect the future of your career.
Remember: Your Boss Is Human
Just like when you realized that your parents are human, your boss is allowed to make mistakes — even when we would love to hold them accountable for everything that they decide to do in their role.
To ease the tension, try to get to know them on a personal level, opt to ask them questions outside of what pertains to work, and let loose every once in a while by cracking a few jokes.
This can build a rapport between the both of you and this new relationship may even make you excited to go to work.
Learn and Understand Their Work Style
While your boss needs to understand how each of her employees thrive in a work environment, you also need to do the same when it comes to your boss.
Study how your boss handles stressful situations and see how they communicate with you and your other employees. You and your boss might not get along with each other because both of your work styles might not flow together.
If you see something amiss, try to alter your style a little to help them achieve their goals or schedule a meeting with them to see how you both can mash your work styles together so they can mirror each other.
You Can’t Change Others, Only Yourself
Yes, it would be amazing to force your boss to do what you would like — a promotion? Yes. Work from home on Fridays? Sign us up! However, life doesn’t work like that.
The only thing you can change is your perspective and actions. If you find that you and your boss are in another tiff, try to figure out what you can do to make the situation better.
Can you update your approach to make your boss happy? Listen to them when they give you feedback? Alter your view so you don’t focus on the negative and just on your work?
This method will allow you to feel more in control when your boss makes your work environment feel out of control.
Connect With Someone Who Your Boss Does Get Along With
If you noticed that your boss always has a great interaction with a specific employee at work, it might not be a bad idea to connect with that person to see why they have such a great relationship with them.
Inquire about how often they talk to them, their work ethic, and the speaking style they use to communicate with the supervisor.
Incorporate these tips into your style and see if it makes a difference with your relationship with them.
Keep Your Cool
Constantly working under a boss that doesn’t make you feel valuable can influence your emotional state. You may feel more irritable, frustrated, and even sad.
While you never want anyone to have control over your emotions and how you view yourself or the world, you want to make sure that whenever you do interact with your boss you don’t get emotional or visibly angry.
Work and emotions don’t mix, and your boss won’t clearly understand how you feel if you’re yelling at them. If you find yourself getting to that state, stop the conversation and collect yourself.
The last thing you want to happen is to say something that you’ll regret.
If you’re in the midst of trying to repair your work relationship with your boss, remember that it will take time.
When you’re aware of this, you won’t get easily frustrated when they do something that irks you, especially after when you both just had a meeting about the issue. Take a deep breath and tell yourself that your boss is human and things will work out.
However, if things don’t change — even when you’ve changed your work style to fit theirs — then you might want to reevaluate the situation and revisit the topic with your boss.
Try to Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Whether you’ve had a managerial position before or not, putting yourself in your boss’s shoes will help you see from their perspective.
What would you want out of your employees if you had their position? What would be the best way for you to communicate with them and vice versa?
Ask yourself these questions and see if any of your actions align with them. If they don’t, make the adjustments and see if it will make a difference with your relationship with your boss.
Ask Your Boss For Feedback
Another way to create a civil relationship with your boss is by asking for their feedback.
Even though your boss might frustrate you, they were promoted to this position for a reason, which means that they might actually know what they’re talking about.
By requesting to have a meeting with them to ask for their feedback on how you can improve as an employee could make them see how much you care about this company, this position and the lengths you’re willing to take to become better.
Plus, this step you take could alter their opinion of you and have them see you in a more positive light.
Maybe you don’t get along with your boss not because you’re not doing a good job, but because your personalities don’t match. If that’s the case, then try your best to focus on your work.
Your boss might not get your sense of humor or how much you love movies, but they’ll appreciate your work ethic and, honestly, that’s all that matters.
Quit or Switch to a Different Department
If you’ve tried everything under the sun to have a civil relationship with your boss and nothing has been working, then packing your bags and applying for a new job or switching to a different department might be the only solution.
While it’s probably nothing against you — because, frankly, we can’t get along with everyone on this planet — you want to make sure that you leave on good terms, because you never know when or if you may work with this person again.