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I am not getting the respect I think I deserve from my boss

December 15, 2011

Question:  I’m very productive but I don’t feel like a get respect from my boss or colleagues and I’m thinking about starting to look for another job.  Am I missing something?

Fred:  Perhaps, and perhaps not.  Set down, in writing, the problem including some very specific examples.  Then ask yourself, “Is there anything I could have done to prevent this?  Suppose, for example, your boss held an important meeting on a day when you were out attending a conference, and you did not receive a summary of the meeting.  Ask yourself:  Did the boss know I’d be attending the conference?  Did I remind her a day or two prior?  If I did not receive the minutes, did I go to the boss’ administrative assistant and ask for a copy?

Once you have thought through your examples, schedule a meeting with your boss.  You might say, “I’ve been feeling a little out of touch and I’d like your perspective.”  Then carefully lay out what you have been feeling using examples that are not personal in nature (e.g. don’t say “you’re ignoring me”).  The example of missing the meeting is a good one.  If the boss needs more than one example give her another one.  If people are involved (e.g. someone is not carrying their weight), tell the boss the circumstances but do not use anyone’s name.  Engage in an open, interactive conversation.  In the normal rush of business activities, you may find that your boss has inadvertently been disrespectful and is surprised and sorry.  If that isn’t the case, give the boss some time to work on the things you’ve discussed and to change her behavior toward you.

Have a situation at work — either good or bad — that you’d like Fred’s advice on?  Ask about it in the comments box below and Fred will respond!

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