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How to handle clashing with your boss


How to handle clashing with your boss

We’ve all heard the story before- you’ve landed your dream job that you’ve worked so hard for, to then realise, you are just not clicking with your boss. 


Although it may not be the biggest reason for employee attrition, employees leaving a job because of their boss still sits at a significant 12% (you’ll be interested to know that pay as reason for leaving is also similar at 11%). Employees are looking for excellent leaders more than anything - people who inspire them to break barriers and motivate them to show up as the best version of themselves! 


So, what can you do when you just don’t like your boss?


  • Recognise that it is completely normal not to like everyone. You cannot be everyone’s best friend, so lift that expectation off of yourself please! 


  • Communication is key. If you are exchanging passive aggressive comments in meetings, WhatsApp’s or emails - take the time and the initiative to have a face-to-face meeting with your boss. Explain your work pipeline for the week and be open about where you need support. You might even find it useful to keep a detailed WIP in place, that you can regularly share with your boss, so you are more likely to stay on the same page. Whatever the issue, take it off-line like grown ups. 


  • Kill them with kindness. This is a tough pill to swallow sometimes, but you need to realise that whatever may be bothering your boss - it is 99% unlikely to be you. So, remain courteous, helpful and show that you can rise above it all. It may start to rub off. 


  • Stay out of office gossip. Do not go blabbing to your colleague about your most recent clash with your boss in the office. Confide in friends and loves ones, and of course, your HR Manager if you feel something needs addressing. 


  • Document everything - keep your emails and follow up conversations on emails. You never know when they might help you if you have a slippery boss.


  • Don’t be afraid to set boundaries. If your boss is over-stepping the mark - calling or messaging at night or every weekend, then you are within your rights to respond politely that you will respond during working hours. It is common across many industries to work out of hours - so apply this to anything that is non-urgent or out of the norm. 


  • If it gets to the point where you feel that your relationship with your boss is affecting your mental health, alert your leadership/ HR team immediately and see what can be done. Their role is to safeguard their employees. 


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