Do You Annoy/ Threaten Your Boss?
The automatic response is ‘of course not. It’s all his/her fault.’ But here’s how you might have a hand in the situation. Taking the list from the last post on how you might threaten your boss, I’ll elaborate on how you might be making the situation worse.
|You are:||So you:|
|Smarter||Correct your boss frequently (or even infrequently), especially in front of others|
|More articulate||Interrupt/take over the conversation when your boss is mucking up or missing the point|
|Better liked||Offer to intercede on your boss’ behalf with a colleague your boss doesn’t get along with|
|Taller||Tower over him whenever the two of you are together|
|Thinner||Talk about the sacrifices you’ve made to keep and maintain your svelte figure
Give her advice on how to lose weight
|Better dressed||Give him fashion tips
Make sure she knows how much the new outfit cost
|Better educated||Refer to all the advanced learning you are privy to
Complain if your advice isn’t automatically accepted
Any of these ring a bell? In all of this, frequency and your boss’ reaction are paramount. You might be able to get away once in a while but if it’s a habit, you’re more likely asking for trouble (and again, ‘tall’ is one you can’t quit doing).
How do I know if my boss is threatened?
Don’t expect anything like “You know, I feel really threatened when you take over the conversation in a meeting.” Not gonna happen. Firstly, because it is the nature of an undercurrent not to be spoken of. In addition, it is possible that your boss may not be aware of it herself. The feeling of threat seems to go directly from the gut to action to stop it without passing through the brain.
So how do you know if he is threatened? He might laugh it off. ”Hey, can you let somebody else get a word in edgewise?” But don’t take that at face value. Even if he is silent, watch his face. Do his eyes narrow? Do his lips tighten for a second? Does he change the subject immediately? Does he cut you off? Any or all of these could be signs that something isn’t going well.
I can’t do anything about it/I shouldn’t have to do anything about it
I can see you getting on your high horse. “It’s not my fault that I can shape an argument better than she can.”
True, but slow down a moment. You actually want it to be you. Because if you’re the problem, you have a chance of rectifying things since the one person you can change is you. If your boss really is the source of the problem, your chances of effecting a satisfactory solution, while not going to zero, are lessened substantially.
In the next post, I’ll suggest how you might lessen the threat level.