As a career coach at Work It Daily, my teammates and I can't help but notice certain patterns. Right now, employee frustration is at an all-time high. Workers are feeling fed up with their employers and wondering if the grass could be greener elsewhere.
While pay and opportunity for growth are the top two reasons people claim they want to find a new job, our research shows that what ultimately pushes a person to seek a new job is feeling disrespected by their boss. Think of it this way: most professionals enjoy a job search about as much as they enjoy having a tooth pulled. In order to put in the extra time and energy to switch jobs, the pain has to be really bad.
"You teach people how to treat you." -- Oprah Winfrey
When job seekers come to us to vent about their manager's lack of respect, the first thing we do is discuss Oprah's famous quote. Like it or not, it's true. If you don't have the respect you want, it's because you allowed your boss to treat you a certain way. From your first interaction with your boss until now, you have set the tone for how you're perceived in the role. The good news is, you can change this. But to do so, you have to recognize the signs that your manager doesn't respect you. Here are seven to consider:
- They call you in a panic about an ASAP task -- only to go silent on you.
- They change their mind daily about what they want you to work on.
- They ask to review every task you complete.
- They tell you to do unnecessary, tedious work.
- They constantly cancel and reschedule meetings with you.
- You have to chase them down for answers and approval.
- They dismiss your questions and concerns.
I could list more, but if you can say "yes" to more than two of the above, it's safe to say your boss has concluded that you aren't a trusted resource. Which means, it's time to work on a communication strategy to turn things around.
Solution? Talk their language.
The best way to increase the respect you get from your boss is to understand what your manager values most in a working relationship. To put it simply, people trust those they feel they can effectively communicate with. Lack of respect is a sign that somewhere along the way, your approach to communicating with your boss failed. At Work It Daily, we call it an Interaction Style, and it helps professionals understand A) what their preferred method of communication is, and B) how their style differs from other professionals. In every case I've seen where an employee feels disrespected by a manager, it comes down to a disconnect in their opposing Interaction Styles. If you don't know how to interact with your boss in a way he prefers, you won't earn the respect you need to succeed.
Facts versus feelings.
There are four Interaction Styles: Contemplator, Commander, Empathizer, and Energizer. Each one is a unique combination of communication traits. It is not uncommon for me to see an intense Commander boss have zero respect for a jovial Empathizer employee. The first is focused on the facts, while the second is focused on the feelings. As a result, each time they interact, there is a tension due to their inability to value and appreciate each other's way of communicating. I've also seen plenty of outgoing Energizer managers who get frustrated with a reserved Contemplator employee. Again, each time they interact, the tension rises because their Interaction Styles aren't in sync.
The solution is to learn your Interaction Style and then work to change how you speak to your boss. If you can tweak your approach in order to make your style more in sync with his, you will see results.
NOTE: I'm not suggesting you change who you are. All I'm saying is that to get what you want, you need to speak the language of your manager.
Don't let a lack of respect from your boss hold you back from achieving your goals. Learn how to interact better so you can get what you need to succeed!