My boss doesn’t see me! So open his eyes
Do you sometimes get the feeling that your boss is in another sphere? Does he design, make strategic contacts, hang around in meetings all day and discuss things with his own kind? And you stay by the wayside! He hardly has any time for you and does not see your performance. You lack recognition and you would be happy if you could see your boss more often to clarify important questions. He’s also supposed to make sure that you take the next step in your career at some point. But what if he doesn’t even have you on his screen? Now you can whine and continue to wonder about your manager’s blindness. Or you can become active yourself. In this case, I have some ideas for you on how to open the eyes of your boss (or your boss) again.
Wait a minute! Who is the boss here?
“I beg your pardon?! Open my boss’s eyes? – I’m definitely not getting paid for that!”- Or what is going through your head at this moment?
If you think and feel this way, then you may be caught in the victim trap: “I’m just the little employee and I have nothing to report anyway. An unimportant cog in the big gear. I’m just supposed to follow instructions. Any criticism would be pointless and if so, then I am considered cheeky or uncomfortable and in the end, I get a warning from the bad boss for my rebellion. ”
Yes, if you feel too hot to change something about this state of affairs, then let it go, carry on as before, somehow deal with your blind boss. Or (Attention, fun mode!) You follow the popular recipes for boss blindness and dress more conspicuously, simply load your work on his desk without being asked and stubbornly bombard him with appointment requests that he can not do otherwise than you finally notice. When you are really annoying to him, then he has to pay attention to you.
If this is not an alternative for you, if you are otherwise happy with your job and therefore do not want to go looking for a new boss, then you should stop hoping for sudden clairvoyance from your boss and instead take action yourself will be.
And you? – Open your own eyes first
Before you tear the blindfold off your boss, you should first take a closer look at yourself. If you have already followed my contributions to fellow pigs, mind readers, and relationship killers on the job, then you have probably noticed that I think it is important to first touch your own nose when dealing with interpersonal conflicts. I often experience that the behavior of their bosses condemned by employees is a mirror or a reaction to their own behavior. How is it with you? Do you have any idea what your part (could have been) in making your boss behave as you perceive him to be today?
The following questions can also help you to see more clearly yourself in this situation: Why do you think that your boss does not see you? How do you actually determine this today and is it really true? How does it compare to your colleagues? Has your boss paid more attention to you in the past and if so, did you behave differently during this time?
And you should also question this critically: Why is it so important to you that your boss has you more in focus? I know employees who would be very happy if they were left alone more. Why are you bothered by the apparent blindness of your manager? Which of your values is this violated? Is recognition or appreciation extremely important to you and that is neglected today? Or is it about promotion, competition with colleagues or status? Or would you like a boss to be a role model from whom you would like to learn a lot? So: What is really behind your wish that your boss should finally keep an eye on you again?
Two people, two perspectives
Your boss is the boss because he has different topics in his sights than you. Even if you and your boss are ideally pursuing identical corporate goals, you work on them at different levels. You are busier with the operational business, but your boss should have the big picture in mind.
It is quite normal and also right for you and your boss to look from different perspectives not only on topics but also on the respective environment in the company. Imagine your glasses are green and your boss ones are red. They see the same thing but perceive it differently. You may even see important red things that your boss cannot see through his red glasses, but he sees the green ones that remain hidden from you.
It is possible that your boss is not as blind as you think and is very aware of you. However, there may be other things that he can see more clearly through his glasses. Especially when your boss has a lot of employees and you are one of his best horses in the stable, he will focus more on those of your colleagues who he has to lead more closely. I’m not saying this is good leadership behavior, but it could explain your perception.
My tip: Try to change your perspective and think about which “glasses” your boss wears in certain situations and what or who he sees as a result – and also has to see so that he does a good job himself. Before you label your boss as a “blind cow” and condemn his behavior towards you, ask yourself the question: Why does he/she behave like this, and could it even be that this behavior also has something positive for you?
Leadership is not a one-way street
No question about it, the word “personnel responsibility” implies responsibility. Your boss is responsible and has the task of leading you well, motivating you, and taking care of your health in the workplace. He should give the direction and tell you what to do (how) and when. He relies on you to complete assigned tasks or give results back to him at an agreed time.
Today I sometimes have the impression that the bosses’ “responsibility” means that the individual employees no longer take responsibility themselves. Because they are used to the fact that their bosses do everything for them in an emergency, it means an effort for them or because they simply do not see it in their current work situation to take responsibility themselves. Even if you don’t want to hear that as an employee, leadership actually becomes a one-way street.
I believe that, as in a modern, equal partnership, both sides are responsible for providing a framework and a working atmosphere in which they can do a good job they are fine. And so, as an employee, you can and should tell your boss if something bothers you, if you see things differently through your “glasses” or if you have questions because you do not understand the purpose of a task or the overarching goal. And if it is important to you that your boss keeps a professional eye on you, then he or she will be very grateful for this tip too.
5 ideas so that your boss can keep an eye on you again:
Talk to your boss about it
You may know by now that I am a friend of clarity. Do you know why it is important to you that your boss has a closer look at you and your work, then ask him for an appointment and discuss the topic in private? Be careful not to end up in blame-justification ping-pong. Explain your point of view and perception and say what you specifically want for the future. This allows your boss to reflect on his behavior, explain the view through his “glasses” and decide how to deal with your concerns. At the end of the conversation, it should be clear to both sides whether and what will change in future cooperation.
Show real interest in current topics
If you are actually happy if you can just do a good job quietly throughout the day, but still want your boss to see the good performance more, then this could be one way. Participate more actively and show real interest in topics to the right and left of your area of responsibility. This can be at lunch with the whole team or at regular team meetings. It’s not about becoming the clown on the team or the jack-of-all-trades in every hallway. It’s about your generally stronger presence. From my point of view, this is primarily a question of one’s own attitude as an extra- or introverted disposition.
Suggest tasks to your boss that you would like to take on
Perhaps your daily job today consists largely of routine tasks, which you also do excellently. Your boss knows this and is happy that he can rely on you and can concentrate on other construction sites with peace of mind. If you feel like livening up work-life yourself, keep your eyes open for topics and tasks that you find exciting and that you think you can do, and that you really want to do. Propose your idea to your boss. It will be important to many bosses that your previous activities are not neglected. You should think about an answer to this question beforehand and take this worry away from your boss.
Find out what the team values you for
Do you have a certain role in the team today or are you just one of many? Is there anything you can do better than your colleagues? What are you valued for in the team today? Can you think of anything? If so, then this can also be a good starting point to bring the boss back into focus again. Pay attention to situations in which these strengths or functions are particularly useful in the team – and use them consciously. Maybe your boss is just looking at the entire team – he shouldn’t! – but this way you have the chance to be perceived as an important part of his team.
Use your personal strengths for your career
I recently read somewhere (can’t find it anymore): “You have to push a career yourself”. Certainly, there is a spark of truth in this, and that closes the circle that you too are the boss of your (work) life and that you have the power to change something.
I experience a lot of employees who are not deployed according to their true strengths and thus also cannot reach their full potential. If that also applies to you and you may only be working on the back burner today, then it is no wonder if you make yourself small and so are not the focus of your boss. Focus more on your real strengths again and work actively and (self) consciously on your career, which you believe will lead you in the right direction over the next few years. This is sure to catch your boss’s eye.
Would you like to open your boss’s eyes?
Of course, not all bosses are as blind and bad managers as I have portrayed them in this article, in some cases greatly exaggerated. And certainly, many employees interpret and dramatize the behavior of their bosses a lot.
But whatever the “truth” looks like, I would like to give you, as an employee, the impulse not to helplessly accept bad relationships with your boss or what you see as insufficient leadership. You have a bigger part in creating a positive collaboration with your manager than you might think today.
Also: Many bosses are very grateful when their employees approach them and give them constructive feedback on their behavior. Because we all know that there are situations in life in which we are blind in both eyes and it is good when someone honestly but respectfully opens our eyes.