We are wrapping up our 4-week series on the boss/employee relationship. If you recall, I wrote a story about a few types of bad bosses and what you can do about them, in January. I would like to choose two more and elaborate on them: the poor communicator and the excuse maker.
If your boss doesn’t give adequate direction, fails to provide step by step process instructions, and/or doesn’t directly put forth her expectations, you need to press for clarity on a regular basis. Try saying something like this: “If it’s okay with you, I’d like to take a moment to repeat back the series of steps you just outlined for this process.” Or, you might say: “I want to be sure I am meeting your expectations related to this current project. Here is what I think you want me to accomplish. Is this accurate?”
The boss who fails to face his shortcomings and take responsibility for them is a real challenge. If he makes excuses for what he can’t find, can’t learn, doesn’t know, and doesn’t have, he’s going to make your life more difficult than it needs to be. If this describes YOUR boss, then you are going to have to take charge of your situation by asking lots of questions. These questions might sound like this: “I am hearing that you don’t know the information I need to move forward on this project. In your opinion, who should I go to in order to get that information?” Another question could be: Since you can’t locate your notes on last week’s incident, how shall I proceed with my piece of the report?”
For more information on how employees preserve the relationship with their bosses when conflict exists between them, check out this short clip on the topic:
If you have a question regarding the relationship among your employer or employee(s), send your questions, in confidence, to: firstname.lastname@example.org.