You don’t click with your new boss. You grit your teeth when he enters your office. If this fits you, try these strategies.
1. Dig deep
If you don’t like your boss, but want to get along with him, you have to dig deep into yourself and what you value. Do you not respect him? Rethink that. Respect says more about you than it does about him. If you respect him, even when he doesn’t deserve it, it says you’re a person who respects your coworkers and wants to be part of a team.
2. Flex to his style
You can’t change others, only yourself. Maybe your boss has a high need to control and micromanage, while you thrive on autonomy. What can you do to minimize friction and maximize compatibility? Can you flex to his style, for example, by giving him regular project briefings? If you change your approach, your boss may change in response.
3. Focus on your work
While you can’t always influence your relationship with your boss, you can control how you handle your job duties. If you do a stellar job, it may improve how your boss treats you.
4. Is it just you?
Do others work well with your boss? Can you ask for pointers from someone with whom your boss works well?
Ask yourself how others handle your boss while you find it difficult. Do you read too much into things? Do your expectations play a part? Perhaps you want a mentor while your boss doesn’t play that role. Consider the situation from his perspective: What does your boss need, want and expect?
5. Have a heart-to-heart
It is time to talk directly with your boss about the problem? Ask for a meeting and say, “I’d like things to be better. What do you want me to do differently? How can I help you succeed?” Allow your boss to do the most talking, and you may be able to turn things around.
6. Bear with him
Maybe people like your boss rub you the wrong way. Is it time to take the emotion out? Even if you don’t like your boss, can you work with him?
7. Go over his head
If none of these ideas work, it may be talk to your boss’ boss, find a transfer — or quit. If you’ve tried everything and it hasn’t worked out, you may just need to vote with your feet so he’s no longer your boss.
If you have a career questions you’d like Curry to answer, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Curry is an executive coach and author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully (AMACOM). Follow her through her other posts on sheknows.com, via www.workplacecoachblog.com, www.bullywhisperer.com or @lynnecurry10 on Twitter.