Sometimes it’s a simple personality clash, in which case you can both get by on your professionalism and just getting the job done. Other times, there are genuine problems that need to be addressed.
First of all, how do we deal if you simply just can’t get along? Dan Auerbach, Workplace Consultant with Associated Employee Assistance Providers reckons it’s all about trying to understand your boss and finding common ground.
“Try to understand your bosses motivation for their behaviour,” he suggests, “Are they esteem sensitive and care a lot about others’ impression of them? Or maybe they are they performance oriented and perfectionistic?”
When you’ve worked out how they work, you can set about adapting your work habits to support them in their work and complete your own in a way they prefer.
“So an esteem sensitive boss will do well with acknowledgment,” Dan explains, “Whereas a perfectionist will do well with the reassurance that you understand the task at hand and that you have it under control.”
Showing your boss that you’re actively trying to clarify and work to their needs, as well as showing that you aren’t intimidated or afraid to try, is going to go a long way in improving your working relationship.
“Clarifying the other persons’ needs assertively and being willing to accommodate their style can go a long way to diffusing the demands of an insecure or anxious boss.”
However, this doesn’t mean it’s every ok to be bullied or intimidated in the workplace. If your boss problems go beyond not seeing eye-to-eye, it’s time to take the matter further.
“If your boss is directly crossing fair work boundaries try and get support from your HR department or a support person to directly address the issue,” Dan recommends.
If you work in a small company, this support person can be hard to find, especially when the owner/ boss/ HR department is allll the same person. Trust me, I’ve been there. Sometimes, even with HR you’re not able to get it sorted.
“If you are being taken for a ride or mistreated by your boss, knowing your rights is the first step. Check out Fair Work for tip sheets on being treated fairly at work and also on what constitutes bullying and harassment,” says Dan.