You may have often found yourself thinking: “does my boss hate me?”, “why does my manager always seem to prioritize my coworker over me?”, “why did my boss give me such a terrible evaluation?” and so on.
It’s easy to spiral and reach the conclusion that your boss really does hate you.
However, there is a fair chance that isn’t true.
Your boss’ expectations may just be different from yours. Your line of thinking may not align with each other’s. Or you may just be misinterpreting his or her behavior towards you.
In attempt to take this burden off your mind—or at least, lessen it—we present to you a few tips that will help you deal with this predicament.
Understand your manager’s requirements
First and foremost, it is important to understand what your boss wants, so you can produce results accordingly. Listen to them carefully, ask questions wherever you are not clear on something, and make sure you have a complete grasp of the requirements. If you put in your best work and follow the given guidelines carefully, your boss is likely to be satisfied. And most importantly, your mind will be clear of any self-doubts and you will be confident in the results.
Ask the 3 whys to understand the motivation of your boss behind a requirement. Why does she want that? Ask her. This will give you a perspective of where that piece of work is going to fit in the larger picture. You will better be able to grasp which bits are important and which are not. Hence, you would be better aligned with your boss that way.
However, following instructions and doing how you’re told does not mean that you should shy away from taking initiative. If you propose new ideas and come up with new strategies and suggestions, your boss will be able to notice the amount of interest you have in your work, and will thus will be inclined to appreciate you and see you as a valuable member of the team.
Don’t take criticism to heart
If your boss criticizes your work, don’t take it to heart. Remember, they have nothing personal against you. They see potential in you (which is why they decided to hire you in the first place!) and now they want to polish your skills even further—which, in most cases, requires extensive feedback on their part.
Thus, the criticism is not to belittle you, but to build your skillset and bring about improvements in the work you produce. They want to see you do better, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If anything, it reflects on their inclination to see you grow.
Don’t let your work get affected
Don’t let negative thoughts or doubts about your manager’s opinions on you affect your work! Put in your best effort at all times, and remember that your hard work will never go waste. There will always be someone out there who will be appreciating it, even if that one supervisor doesn’t.
Talk to your boss
In cases when you feel that your boss is putting you down for no reason or showing clear bias against you, it might be a good idea to talk to them. Be open, honest and transparent. Let them know that you think they are being unfair in their approach and propose suggestions on how that particular issue can be resolved. Even if a plausible solution doesn’t work out, at the very least your boss will become aware of your sentiments.
Exert your presence
Build your presence in team meetings. Don’t be afraid to speak up. The more you participate, the more reason your boss will have to value you and your input. Drop into your boss’ office from time to time, even if it just to say hello. Try to show him or her that you are investing effort to construct a professional relationship with them—this will encourage them to do the same.
Introspect. Is there anything you could potentially be doing wrong? Is there any room for improvement in your work? Could you change anything in your own behavior towards your boss? It’s easy to always see oneself in the clear and think the issue is from the other end, but doing some self-reflection never hurts.
To improve communication and collaboration between your boss and yourself, propose using a test management tool like Kualitee, to your team lead. With this tool, your boss will be able to assign tasks with clear responsibility and timelines—this would help in setting expectations right, and thus lower potential points of contention!