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How to Earn Your Boss’s Respect as a Millennial

How to Earn Your Boss’s Respect as a Millennial

The Millennial generation is often portrayed as lazy, self-involved and entitled. Not the most flattering portrayal for Millennials trying to succeed in the corporate world, right? Prove these stereotypes wrong and earn your boss’s respect with these five tips.

1. Don’t be shy.

Ask your co-workers and your boss questions to help you settle into your work and have a better understanding of the company. Find out the answers to questions like:

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  • “How do you prefer I check in with you, via email or phone?”
  • “How has this work process been done before?”
  • “What results do you want to see with this client within the next six months?”

And so on. Bosses will appreciate you taking an interest in learning and will respect you more for doing so.

2. Steer clear of the water cooler.

Earning a reputation as a trash talker or gossip will never equate to respect in the workplace. Managers value employees who can play well with others and succeed in a team-based environment. Millennials who choose to speak negatively about their co-workers will be viewed as immature, unprofessional and lacking integrity.

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If you happen to be in a group of people where the conversation shifts to gossip, try redirecting to another subject, and if that doesn’t work, then just walk away. Even if you are not the one starting the drama, you do not want to associate with it in any way.

3. Um…like, communicate professionally.

Whether you speak to your boss on the phone, in person or via email, make sure your communication style remains professional. Don’t show your age by unnecessarily abbreviating words, using emojis or excessively using exclamation points.

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Emails should be business-related and brief if possible, with a proper introductory greeting and sign off. Show your boss you can carry on a professional conversation without using filler words like “um” or “like” in every sentence. Upper management wants to know you can conduct yourself in a professional manner when communicating with clients, so use your interaction with your boss to demonstrate how capable you are.

4. Find solutions, not problems.

Facing issues from system errors to ridiculous client requests is expected in the corporate world, but how you handle the situation makes all the difference in the way your boss sees you. If an issue arises, before you run down the hall panicking to pound on your boss’s door, try to find a solution to the problem. Impress your boss by presenting it as a problem that you overcame by doing X,Y, and Z. Bosses do not want someone on their team who simply points out problems for the sake of doing so. Be the voice in the room that says “this isn’t working, why don’t we do this instead?”

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5. Adapt to the culture.

Millennials should pay close attention to the behaviors of their co-workers for cues on how they should act. Notice how the majority of your peers show up at 8 a.m.? Don’t arrive at 9 a.m. Are you the only one not taking notes during a staff meeting? Grab a pad of paper next time and follow suit. Managers want to see that you can behave like you belong with your peers. Acting in a way that goes against the office cultural norm will make it seem as if you feel you’re above the established rules. It’s OK to think outside of the box, but don’t work outside of the cultural box.

So, do you think you’re ready to climb up that corporate ladder? Take this leadership assessment by Joel Goldstein, President of Mr. Checkout Distributors, to find out if you have the skills needed to take on a management role!

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Joel Goldstein

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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