Chemistry with supervisor can be achieved

Wednesday, January 5, 2005 at 1:00am

Most Nashville-area working people spend a lot of time finding the ideal position and, once hired, trying to develop a good reputation with management.

But, employees often look for new jobs because they do not get along well with management, particularly their direct supervisors.

If you're having troubles with your boss, determine if they can be addressed before you encounter greater difficulties.

The first thing you need to do is look at your own attitude. Are you the reason for the problem? Do you complain and gripe about work? Do you talk about your supervisor behind his/her back? Do you look for ways to avoid assignments? If you are doing these things - stop!

If you dislike your job so much that you can't change your attitude, then you should consider finding another job. But, make sure it is the job that is the problem and not your day-to-day attitude that will follow you in every position you take. Remember that it is always easier to blame others.

If it is not something that you can change about yourself, the next approach is to try to develop better communication with your boss. Request a meeting. Let him/her know that you are interested in doing a good job. Ask what you need to do to improve. Don't let friction from the past carry over.

Try to come to an agreement on the areas in which you need to improve. Ask what specific behaviors and actions you can actually improve. Show a positive can-do attitude. Your supervisor may be surprised, and you may be surprised at the positive response of your supervisor.

If the issue between the two of you is somewhat problematic, try to come to terms with the reasons for it and what you can do to solve it. Can the two of you work out the situation? Is your boss willing to work with you?

Is a lack of training or understanding of your job duties the problem? This is often one of the problems that can be easily fixed.

The two parties should come to terms about performance objectives. Make sure you understand what changes are expected.

Both sides need to agree to better communication in the future. Make sure you speak as routinely as possible after the meeting to keep open the lines of communication and good will.

It is possible that you are not well suited for the job. If this is the case, inquire if there are other positions available within the company and through which you can utilize your skills.

If there are no other positions available or if you determine from the meeting that the two of you cannot get along, then consider finding a position elsewhere.

As is sometimes the case, the managerial skills of the supervisor may be the real issue. If so, then other employees are likely experiencing similar problems.

Upper management may in time notice the supervisor's lack of managerial skills and eventually make a change. If you can ride it out, maintain your composure until the replacement is made.

It is possible, if you are a contributing employee, that you may be promoted to the position. Management looks to promote promising employees. At the very least, you may get a pay raise.

In short, the solution involves evaluating the issues, making an educated decision and then acting in your own best interest.

Only you can make the right judgment and determine the correct course of action to take.

Filed under: City Business