Your boss’s impression of you is important, since he or she largely controls the projects you work on and whether you are promoted or fired. If you have a strong relationship, your boss can become your biggest advocate. If you don’t, your job could be on the line.
Some bosses will be direct about their feedback and where your relationship stands, but not everyone is comfortable with confrontation. Your boss might not say what he or she really thinks, so you have to learn to read the subtle and not-so-subtle signs. Business Insider spoke to Dr. Amy Cooper Hakim, founder of the Florida-based management consulting firm The Cooper Strategic Group and author of “Working With Difficult People,” to find out the signs that your boss is just not that into you and what to do about it.
Sure, your boss doesn’t have to be your BFF, but if you notice that he or she is friendly with other people they manage, it could be a reflection of what they think of you.
Whenever you start to explain your ideas in meetings, your boss interrupts you and steals the metaphorical mic. Now you know all too well how Taylor Swift must have felt at the MTV Awards when Kanye West swooped in mid-speech. “It shows that your boss doesn’t respect you or your ideas, or she is more interested in promoting her own agenda than in listening to anyone else’s opinions, including yours,” Cooper Hakim said.
You’ve expressed interest in projects that you think you’re qualified for, but you are never chosen for the role. Instead, your boss takes the lead or gives it to someone else he manages. Your boss either doesn’t listen when you share your goals, or he hears them but blows you off. This is a sign that your boss doesn’t care about helping you accomplish your goals, Cooper Hakim told Business Insider. It could also be a sign that he doesn’t trust you or think you’re qualified to lead the project.
A boss who is committed to your career growth will ask about your career goals and advocate for you at work. After all, she has a big say in what you work on, your responsibilities, and your advancement. If your boss doesn’t ask about your ideal career path, or asks but doesn’t try to help you get there, you can assume that your boss is not interested in your long-term plans or career advancement, according to Cooper Hakim. “Your boss just thinks of you as a means to get the job that he wants done,” she said.
After you are out sick, your boss jumps right into everything he needs you to do without taking 10 seconds to ask if you are feeling better. When you have to miss work for a personal obligation, he asks if you can skip it or move it to a day that’s more convenient for him. These are surefire signs that your boss doesn’t care about how you feel, physically or emotionally, and only cares about things directly related to work, Cooper Hakim said. Again, it’s not your boss’s job to be your friend, but they should still care about your wellbeing.
Nodding your head to any or all of these? Now that you know that your boss doesn’t like you as much as you may have thought, you need to evaluate your next steps. First, consider whether or not your boss acts like that with everyone. If so, try not to take it too personally.
If you like your job and have a good relationship with the rest of your team, Cooper Hakim recommended focusing on your relationships with your teammates and being less concerned with developing a strong relationship with your boss. “Recognise that your goal is to get your work done and to please them with a solid work product. Even though it is ideal to love working with your boss, we go to work to work,” Cooper Hakim said. But if your boss treats you differently than everyone else or you are so uncomfortable at work that it has a negative impact on your physical and emotional health, it may be time to start looking for another job, Cooper Hakim said.“If your boss is outwardly rude or inconsiderate on a regular basis, and if this is unbearable for you, then it is likely time to move on. It is reasonable and appropriate to expect to be treated with kindness and respect,” she said.