If you have a job, you probably have a boss. This poor person is who we most often vent to or blame for dissatisfaction with a job that sucks regardless of the reason. They hear it all and regularly take the fall for issues that arise with their employees. But have you ever stopped to think about the role YOU play in your office drama? Is it possible that your behaviors, attitude, appearance or skillset may be causing your own problems—and creating massive stress for your boss?
In surveys of supervisors across industries, there is a broad spectrum of communication skills and comfort level with providing truly honest feedback, especially about aspects that aren’t directly job related even if those things are impacting the success, productivity or happiness of their co-workers, themselves and the company. By better understanding some of the top issues bosses must deal with that may not be the most comfortable topics to approach, we can be better employees and be more successful at work and at home.
3 Things You Need to Hear
Here are three things that bosses should be saying to you to help you be more successful and help the team and company.
1. “Pull yourself together!”
If you drag yourself out of bed and into the office after barely putting effort into your wardrobe, hair or appearance, it can not only impact your own success, but also create issues for your team. Why? Research proves that we relate more positively to people who look (and smell) nice. This doesn’t mean you need to be a supermodel, but spending more than five minutes getting ready for going into public will make a difference in your career growth, personal relationships and how others treat you.
2. “Don’t be a jerk!”
We run into jerks all the time—the cranky person behind the counter at the coffee shop, the snarky customer service person on the phone and even some of our closest friends and family can turn into annoyances who rub us the wrong way sometimes. But often YOU are sending out vibes and being a jerk yourself that is causing others to mirror you and behave the same way. Think back on your last several conversations, emails and social media interactions. Were they negative, whiny, judgmental or egotistical? If so, chances are you need an attitude adjustment.
3. “Stop being lazy!”
No one wants to admit that they are lazy or causing problems for others, but in today’s world of work there is a major issue with disengaged workers, distractions and lack of responsibility. Employees are doing the bare minimum to get the job done, exerting minimal energy and innovative thinking into their roles and putting out a “not my job” attitude when others ask for help. If you are regularly thinking about how to do as little as possible, often spending time on social media while at the office or always leaving the office for personal needs, you are likely putting out a vibe of laziness and disengagement to your boss and co-workers.
What can you do?
1. Put in effort.
Take a shower and have good personal hygiene. Style your hair. Wear clean, stylish clothes. Ditch old, stinky shoes. Ladies—add a little make-up and jewelry. Guys—invest in a good haircut and personal grooming appointment. It doesn’t take much to elevate your appearance, which will directly impact your work and life happiness and potential income—and make the work environment more pleasant for everyone.
2. Shift your attitude.
Firstly, what is driving you to be a jerk? Are you stressed, unhappy about something in your life, struggling with a health issue, having money or relationship problems? Negative behaviors are usually driven by something going on behind the scenes so be really honest about what’s causing your issues and start to work on the root of your problem. Next, you have to spend more time doing things that make you happy which will naturally shift your attitude. If you think your life or job sucks then change the dynamics. We have the power to choose our path. Finally, make an effort to be nice. Smile more. Ask people how they’re doing. Think about someone besides yourself. It’s a hard shift but one that will pay off in career and personal success.
3. Improve your job.
Re-define your job tasks so they are more fun, interesting and focused on your personal strengths and goals. Every job comes with boring or tedious tasks that have to get done, but you can work with your boss to create the rest of it to fit your needs. Think bigger about what you’re doing and how it impacts the world in big and small ways. Pretend you are someone else who has to work with you. Would you want to work with someone like you? If not, it’s time to step up your commitment to your work and create a new plan for job success.
Share your thoughts: Have you ever had to have a difficult conversation with your boss or employee about sensitive topics? How did you handle it?