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#801124 - 01/17/13 12:03 AM Boss Communications
nola615 Offline

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 16
Hello Everyone, I left the Corporate world last year to start my own business, which has done OK, but not enough to pay all of my bills. So, I am now applying for corporate jobs again. This is causing me a lot of anxiety because I loathed working in an office. I have been spending time thinking about how I can change my approach in order to make the next job a bit more pleasant. I realized the other day that I have a pattern of poor communication with my bosses. Over the 7.5 years I worked in an office, I had 5 bosses. One that I really liked and working for him was the best year of the 7.5 years. He liked my work, my personality and he gave me feedback that I had the potential to make several advancements in my career. All of the others I didn't like at all and they didn't like me, either. Looking back, I can see that I avoided meeting with those 4 other bosses. I would initially schedule meetings to go over my work and progress, but I always left the meetings feeling empty, nervous and misunderstood. So, after a few meetings like that, I would stop putting time on their calendars to inform them of my work/progress. All of them left me alone, so I guess they weren't too worried that I could do the job. In reviews, when they did have criticism of my work, I would ask for feedback. But, I also remembered that twice there were instances in which bosses thought that I had tried to get out of doing work or had said something bad about the work group. Both were based on circumstantial evidence and conversations and other people. I didn't even know that the situations were going on until a few weeks later. When confronted, I just sat there and didn't explain or defend myself in either situation. In my mind, because it was all new news and I hadn't done either thing, I was just in shock. But, to them, this must not have been a good way to respond. What is wrong with me? Do I have issues with conflict? Being assertive? Am I just a really bad communicator? I think I am an emotional person and I connected on an emotional level with the one boss that I liked. It was easy for me to walk into his office, even without a meeting on his calendar, and keep him up-to-date on what was going on. I enjoyed talking to him. My question to everyone is: how can I over come this flaw that I have about regularly communicating with bosses that I do not have an emotional connection to?

#801252 - 01/17/13 12:32 PM Re: Boss Communications [Re: nola615]
Dianne W - Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 5385
Loc: Virginia
Hi Nola,
Thanks for your post. It definitely sounds like you've got a lot going on. Not to sound sexist, but I noticed that you kept talking about the one boss, where the others all male, female or mix? Was there an age difference?
It seems like you developed quite a rapport with the one manager. I would also be concerned when you talk about being "emotional" and connecting with him on an "emotional" level, which is a concern on the professional level. As a supervisor, I hate to generalize, but I do find that staff who operate on an emotional level, may have a harder time at work.

It does sound like this was a great leader who definitely understood how to bring out the best in employees. You were very fortunate, too bad not all supervisors act in the leadership capacity - which means unless you want to keep changing jobs, which is difficult to do in the economy, you may need to make some changes.

Actually seeking to build emotional bonds with an employee or a supervisor is often times a set up for failure, which it seems you have experienced to a certain degree. Employees should seek a professional relationship in the workplace. I think as long as you seek to bring deep emotions into the workplace you will probably have a difficult time no matter where you go. Sure there will be supervisors who operate at the emotional level, but they also have a difficult time writing performance evaluations based on skills rather than being subjective. The problem with that is once you get on their bad side, they can't separate the professional from the emotional and the employee loses out.

I would also say that sometimes removing ourselves from the role of the victim, which it seems like you really want to do, helps.
I will say that these are just my experiences and opinions with over 25 years as a manager and the last 20 in HR. I would love to hear what others think.
Dianne Walker

Action Movie Editor, Launch Manager
Action Movies Site

How do I relax? I run!
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