10 Ways To Alienate Your Boss
It's tough enough heading to work everyday and keeping your nose to the grind stone without making the boss mad.
1: Tell your boss what you think he/she wants to hear
This is an understandable human tendency, and it's certainly not confined to the employee/boss relationship. Playing spin doctor may be socially expedient in some situations, an act of kindness in others. But in a working environment, you're not doing your boss any favors if you hold back on what's really going on. I confide in my boss and bring him up to speed on everything.
2: Complain incessantly
It's okay to point out concerns and express dissatisfaction or frustration (or even weary resignation) from time to time, especially among peers. It's how we cope. And bringing those grievances to your boss is going to do three things, all of them bad: Get on your boss's nerves; convey the impression that you're incapable of addressing problems in a constructive way; desensitize your boss to anything you say, even when it's valid. I should win the award here in the past. I drove my last boss nuts with complaints about my working peers.
3: Cast your co-workers in a bad light
Some people go through life attempting to elevate themselves by denigrating the people around them. Even in a relaxed and harmonious workplace, those folks will probably surface and create discord occasionally. I never do this. Not a good plan.
4: Suck up
I know there are bosses out there who actually DO want their staff to suck up to them, offering false compliments and exhibiting fake interest and concern in their affairs. If that's your boss, and you have the stomach to play that game, more power to you. But for bosses who aren't swayed by all that hooey, sucking up is only going to insult them or piss them off. There are actually companies where this is general practice and people spend all their time kissing a** to keep their jobs.
5: Pretend to be on board with your assignments...
... and then tell everyone who will listen how stupid or unfair or unrealistic they are. Obviously, you don't want to be sullen or argumentative when your boss explains a task or project for you to take on. Nor do you want to whine to your boss indiscriminately (item #2). As a manager, this makes me crazy, call me out and say this sucks and let's discuss it. if you think it's a boat with holes, let's work on it.
This one goes a bit beyond putting a positive spin on a bad situation or telling bosses what they want to hear. We're talking about flat-out lying -- presenting false data, denying mistakes you've made, fabricating reasons for absences, and making excuses for late projects. Honesty is the best policy, when I screw something up, I promptly admit it.
7: Don't meet your commitments
If you can't be counted on to do what you say you'll do, you're going to create a huge amount of extra work for your boss. Not showing up for meetings, not completing tasks, promising solutions that don't happen, leaving work half done, ignoring client needs -- your boss is going to have to follow along behind you to try to keep you on track, clean up the mess, and do damage control. This is real important, I juggle so much and sometimes miss something, not on purpose, but you can't be two places at once. Be honest.
8: Go to your boss's boss to discuss your concerns
Chain of command varies drastically from one organization to the next, so it's tough to generalize here. But even if you work for One Big Happy Family, it's a good idea to resolve issues at the local level, if possible.knowledge, judgment, and influence. My goal here is find a way to work through it and then present your boss with the answer, not the problem.
9: Ask your boss to affirm every small action or decision you make
If you're just starting out in a position, you'll naturally need a little hand holding. Best case, your peers will help you out and show you the ropes. And your boss -- at least a good boss -- should be available to answer your questions and provide direction. Communications is an effective way to handle all actions. I over communicate with my boss.
10: Badger your boss for special treatment
Call it a disproportionate sense of entitlement, a childish need for recognition, an egocentric conviction that your needs come first -- the many flavors of the hopelessly self-important. If you're constantly asking or expecting your boss to make exceptions or confer special favors, you're being a pain in the a**. Never ever do this, especially personal situations. Most bosses don't care, they have their eye on the prize and so should you.