5 Reasons Why Your Boss Hates You

This post is part 3 of 7 in the series Does Your Boss Hate You?

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I was with a group of 126 recently appointed managers and we were talking about our relationships with our boss. I just love it when people begin to talk about the subjects that matter to them.

The group shared their thoughts on how they have suffered from bad relationships with their boss, and more to the point, how their relationships turned sour in the first place. It was such an interesting (and enlightening) conversation that I am sharing with you what I learned.

So I discovered the 5 reasons why your boss might hate you (although there maybe more, these are the biggies)

You are a Threat

If your boss believes you pose a threat to their job then they could turn nasty. If you walk around with a halo on your head (put there by your peers, or even your manager’s peers or superiors) then this could be perceived as dangerous to your boss.

This goes beyond the belief of your boss that you are after their job. By building up a strong profile inside your organization, which I fully recommend, it is likely that you a pedestal is also being built underneath you. If your profile creates support and sponsorship by senior members of your organization, then the likelihood of being knocked off is reduced, but there always remains the potential of being sniped off by a jealous boss.

If you suspect that this is the case, then you have a choice – continue as you are and live with the glory and the threat, or share your halo with your boss by ensuring that they always get 10% of the credit. (Number is arbitrary!). You do this by always mentioning their support and guidance as you achieve greatness.

You are Too Political

Politics is a banner of many behaviors, but roughly I am suggesting that your manager may get pissed off with you if you don’t consistently align with the truth and behave like ‘all things to all people’. Politics has its place, but over-emphasis on truth-economies can create distrust between you and your manager. Think about it: if they see you as a skillful player with your peers, then what do they read into your relationship?

If you’re in a politically charged environment (despite best will, this does happen) then it’s always best to disclose your political game plan with your boss. Even if they don’t play too, at least they know what you’re trying to achieve. Create a version of the truth that you both align to and will work together to achieve. Personally, I prefer work without politics, but if you must engage in politics then it’s important to have the support of your manager.

You are Not Political Enough

The flipside to the above, and probably a more likely situation. The higher you climb the pole, the greasier it gets.

Your manager may be playing many angles and operating in grey-areas to achieve an outcome… only for you to come along with an honest and transparent communication to destroy their game-plan.

My feelings towards this are clear – this is your manager’s fault and if they don’t involve you in the game (or at least tell you where the goal-posts are) then that is their problem. Nevertheless, your lack of awareness, or refusal to play, can build up bad feelings which are likely not to be expressed. Your boss’s hatred of you will seem irrational and may be sensed but not directly manifested.

There isn’t much you can do in these situations. Sometimes, a direct challenge might work but the same political behavior will be applied in your manager’s response.

Lack of Rapport

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