We all have that single manager at the office who is never satisfied or happy with the work we do. With the work anyone does!!!
And I really mean NEVER!!!
I bet after the regular “pleasant conversation” you had with him, you just sit there, feeling like shit, staring out the window, thinking to yourself “Is it me and I’m the black sheep in the office or is he/she always in a bad mood?”
Well, it’s not you, at least not always 🙂
It’s your manager’s attitude and his character. And sometimes it’s his superior at the office or his personal environment at home.
Does your manager:
- Desire for the office to follow his ideas and ambitions?
- Want to be in control all the time and to micromanage all teams?
- Blame other managers/colleagues for his failures?
- Create stressful situations?
- Attribute to himself any professional success at the office?
- Believe his understanding is always the correct one, on any given subject?
- Request unrealistic deadlines on projects?
- Always add extra tasks to your job?
- Show no understanding at times?
- Enjoy picking on you or your colleagues for no reason?
Congrats, you are officially dealing with a overly disapproving & criticizing manager!
In reality his behaviour is based on one single fact: your boss lives in constant fear of losing his highly paid job.
And the only way to deal with his fear is to behave like a toddler.
Yes, you read that right! Toddlers have at times the same behaviour as your manager, believe me.
When they are angry, toddlers scream and throw stuff! When they want something they cry, shout, repeat 100000 times, throw a tantrum and demand it NOW!
Sounds familiar, right 🙂
How to stop a toddler ? Easy ! Distract him from the problem/issue and offer him a new unexpected perk 🙂
Yeah, but what to do with a grown-up? How to deal with the problematic manager?
Here are some tips:
- Always prepare your arguments before you walk in his room
You know this person very well by now and what he’ll ask or comment on your work. Write a short list with key points on the task you’ll discuss together that might actually help you. Play out in your mind what you might be demanded to explain and have your answers ready.
- Collect other managers and colleagues’ feedback on your projects
See what other people from the office think about your work. Sometimes they can give you valuable feedback, things you didin’t consider. Also, their opinion could weigh in your discussion with your manager, especially if he has great confidence in these professionals. Finding allies at the workplace is one of the best and easiest ways to create a good name for yourself. It’s usually a very good tactic at becoming a valuable employee in the long-term, especially if one of your managers is not such a big fan of you.
- Don’t react to his accusations and behaviour
You don’t have to respond to his comments in any way. The best thing you can do is remain constructive and agree with the things you think are good comments. Try to complement the discussion, to add other points, not to contradict everything he says. Say you’ll consider his point of view.
- Remain zen & calm and don’t take his shit personally
Breathe in and out and remember it’s not personal. Some people want to get you to start behaving like them only to escalate a situation. If you stay positive and smile, you could actually get you manager to calm his aggresive behaviour and start a normal conversation again.
- Stay confident and add humor (if possible)
You are a professional at what you do. You have been doing it a while now and you have the knowledge. Demonstrate your experience and know-how and add some humor if you can. A good joke or a simple laugh at something he might like could improve the atmosphere and you could have a pleasant conversation after all. Sometimes a different approach might completely surprise your manager and it could eventually change his mood.
- Sometimes it’s a matter of earning his trust
Highly demanding managers usually have big trust issues. After several constructive discussions you might gain his confidence and respect and your perfectionist manager could eventually become your biggest supporter in the office 🙂 You could win a promotion at the end too !