Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Uh-oh: The Boss is Ignoring You

Sometimes your boss isn't the nicest person on the planet. He or she may bark orders at you when under great stress to meet a deadline, or even forget to say "good morning" on some occasions. 

But when does such behavior bode ill for you? 

When the boss is rude to you or ignores you on a regular basis. When the bad behavior by the boss seems to be directed mostly at you, then it's not just an indication of a boss's stress or distraction -- it's a sign your career may be in trouble.

Most people might say that they would love to be ignored by the boss, to do their jobs in peace. But what they don't stop to realize is that when the boss is dismissive of you, then he or she doesn't see you as an important member of the team. The boss doesn't see you as critical to getting goals met or providing key talents, and that means you are expendable.

The boss who ignores you may also tolerate others being rude or condescending to you, ignore your contributions in meetings or barely communicate with you. These are all actions that can undermine your career now and in the future. Any boss who lets you be seen in such a negative light -- and contributes to that perception -- can damage your reputation among colleagues and customers for a long time.

So, take steps immediately to re-connect with your boss is a positive way. Try to schedule regular meetings where you outline progress you're making, pitch new ideas or get his feedback on a project. Don't be disrespectful or act like a puppy that just had his tail stepped on. You want to present a professional, capable image that demonstrates you're not going to shrink into the corner and take abuse.

In addition, try to watch how others interact with the boss -- are there habits or practices the more successful employees use that you could emulate? Or, could another colleague provide insight on ways you might improve? For example, it could be that your practice of rambling in meetings has gotten on the boss's nerves (and everyone else's.) So, how about spicing up your presentations or taking a public speaking class so that you're more dynamic?

Let the boss know in your private meetings that you are aware you're not perfect, and want to improve any deficiencies. This will put him on notice that you're being proactive -- and that can be the first step to re-establishing a more positive relationship with the boss. 

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