Follow Dave Linkedin
Email Dave Email
Human Resources
Jul 1, 2014

Have You Ever Had A Bad Boss?

Sponsored Content provided by Dave Hoff - Chief Operating Officer and Executive VP of Leadership Development, EASI Consult

Have you ever had a bad boss? If this doesn’t apply to you, then there’s no need to read the rest of this column. … Interesting, you’re still reading.  Over the course of a career, most people describe having had at least one bad boss. But what makes a boss a bad boss? 

A colleague of mine, Dr. Steve Arneson, recently released a book entitled, “What Your Boss Really Wants From You.” Steve speaks to large groups of managers, serves as an executive coach, and lives in Colorado. He wrote about leadership development in his first book, “Bootstrap Leadership.” His just released book, “What Your Boss Really Wants From You,” is about what you need to do to promote your relationship with your boss.

How many of us have spent time whining with co-workers over coffee or a beer about our boss and how he or she is making our life difficult? How many of us have made a hobby of updating friends and peers about the latest bad interaction with the boss? At the end of the day, Arneson says, you are wasting your time. If you and your boss have an uncomfortable relationship, then you are going to have to find ways to make it work. 

Arneson in his book describes three areas of focus: 

  1. Study Your Boss
  2. Consider How Your Boss Sees You
  3. Take Responsibility for the Relationship
His basic premise is that you are not going to change how your boss is or behaves. It is up to you to adapt and make the relationship work. 

Two of the things that I like most in the book are the series of Coaching Questions that Steve asks and the exercises that he asks people to complete. 

In the first section, Study Your Boss, Steve has short chapters asking things such as, What behaviors does your boss reward? What is your boss trying to accomplish? What does he or she worry about? What is his relationship with his boss? What motivates your boss? These are all good questions, most of which I hadn’t given a lot of thought to, particularly with a bad boss. Steve in essence says that if you want to improve your relationship with your boss, then you have got to understand his or her world and what makes him “tick.”

The second section involves how your boss sees you. Does she see you as a star or just an average performer? Does your boss see you as supportive or are you a pain in the neck? How does she compare you to her other direct reports? Does she see you as having minor development needs or major skill gaps?

Which of your skills does your boss appreciate? What is she leveraging with others in the organization? Which of your skills is she ignoring? You need to take an inventory, understand the implications, and act to expand her view of how you can add more value. This exercise will really change you’re thinking if you allow it: “Wow, I never thought about my relationship with my boss that way. I never considered that there are things that I do well that my boss doesn’t care about. I never thought that it might be my responsibility to do a better job of ‘selling’ myself and my skills to my boss.”

In another chapter in this section, Steve asks the question, “What do you need to improve?” Steve suggests asking the boss, “So what do I need to work on to improve our relationship. What skills do I need to work on to add more value for you?”

In section 3, Steve suggests that you take responsibility for the relationship. He suggests that improving your relationship with your boss will come by modifying your attitude and behavior. He suggests that you modify your story. What does that mean? So far, the story has been one-sided (your side) and may be about persecution, being held back or whatever. It is a distorted reality that you invented and now you need a new story that is objective. Adjust your behavior. What things can you start doing, stop doing or do more of? Some of these changes may go against your personal preferences, but that’s ultimately your problem. Steve suggests that you capture these behavior changes in a development plan so you can be clear on how and what you need to do differently.

What is the old saying? Rule #1, The boss is always right. Rule #2, See Rule #1. Boss and subordinate relationships are one of the most complicated relationships out there. They can work, but they often need work and adjustment, particularly on the subordinate side.

EASI·Consult® works with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. EASI Consult’s specialties include individual assessment, online employment testing, survey research, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, and EEO hiring compliance. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about EASI Consult, visit www.easiconsult.com, email [email protected] or call 800.922.EASI.

Other Posts from Dave Hoff

Block ad easi 121411839
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Dan baden 300 x 300

Workshop Links Regional Seafood Startups With Global Resources

Daniel G. Baden - Marine Biotechnology in North Carolina (MARBIONC)
Billhunter300x300 b&w

Why Were These Our Most-Read Insight Articles in 2017?

Bill Hunter - Wilmington Design Company
Nealjohnson 12191614553

Free Things to Do in Wilmington

Neal Johnson - Network Real Estate

Trending News

Sales Show Renewed Interest In Market Street, Brokers Say

Cece Nunn - Jan 12, 2018

Woody White Appointed To UNCW Board, Resigns As CFCC Trustee

Cece Nunn - Jan 12, 2018

Growth Spurt

Cece Nunn - Jan 12, 2018

Reports: Brunswick Forest Ranks Among Top 50 Of Its Kind

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jan 12, 2018

MADE: Making Inroads In A Medical Market

Staff Reports - Jan 12, 2018

In The Current Issue

Megasites Hold Potential For Big Industry

Could the potential for landing the next major employer in the Cape Fear region lie in Brunswick County? Local and regional economic develop...


Growth Spurt

More than 15 years ago, experts predicted that explosive growth would come sooner rather than later to Brunswick County. Although the Great...


True Blue Owner To Blend New, Traditional

Bobby Zimmerman has been thinking about opening his own restaurant for years. When the former Pembroke’s space opened in The Forum, he had w...

Book On Business

The 2017 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2017 Health Care Heroes
Major Developments
WilmingtonBiz Expo - Key Note Lunch with Keynote Lunch with Chip Mahan - 2016