"Fix-It Formula" for Improving the Relationship with Your Supervisor
difficulties top the list of problems employees have with their bosses.
Most boil down to five key issues. They include
- Disparities in the amount of work assigned from one employee to the next.
- Minimal praise or no recognition for a job well done
- Dissatisfaction with pay and refusal to address it
- Personality style and performance style differences
- Minimal or no constructive feedback about performance
So, here is the Fix-It for Improving the Relationship with Your Supervisor...
- Prior to meeting with your boss, define the real issue that is creating problems in your relationship. Consider whether you played a role. Did communication issues play a role?
- Write down your concerns. Forget the small and petty stuff for now.
- Meet with your supervisor and explain in plain, unemotional language your observations and concerns about the relationship.
- Be positive in your energy and demeanor—not cocky, passive aggressive, or acting as if you are cornering your boss.
- Wait for your supervisor’s response. He or she may agree or may have another opinion. Hang on every word. Do not be defensive.
- Own your “half” of the relationship problem. It is unlikely you will get very far if you don’t accept the universal principle that each party in conflict plays a role in contributing to relationship problems.
- Your goal is an improved relationship, not to find fault.
- Ask for constructive feedback on your performance. Let your boss have the last word in this conversation.
- Initiate regular contact with your boss going forward. As nationally known EA professional and mental health therapist, Dodie Gill, LPC frequently said, "Do not let a tree grow between you and your supervisor."