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Consider this scenario: You're at your team's weekly brainstorming session. Every time you share an idea, your boss dismisses it or gives a nod before moving on. Worse, you share an idea, and then your colleague shares the same idea and your boss congratulates them on a great idea. You leave the room feeling ignored and disrespected.
Being in this situation is embarrassing, and it can have a negative impact on your self-esteem, mental health, and job performance. Clearly, being respected rather than ignored has long-term consequences for us and our careers. So, what should you do if you believe your boss is ignoring you, especially if the change is abrupt?
Pass the assumptions test
Before jumping to conclusions about your boss's behavior (such as "They really don't like me anymore," consider whether their behavior toward you has been consistent or has recently changed. You may receive less attention and face time with your boss for reasons unrelated to you or their relationship with you.
Begin by challenging any assumptions you may have and determining whether there is valid evidence to support your claims. It is easy to fall for irrationality or to get irritated due to unwanted circumstances but it takes courage to process, reflect and then render a judgment. An instance reminding us of Mary and Joseph reaction when they realized Jesus was missing, and then finding Him in The Temple. We are all invited to learn from them how they handled it, they didn’t aggressively react but they created a welcoming space. Mary’s example here can guide us about the best response when we do not understand or accept why God allows us to experience moments of uncertainties.
Before adopting the worst, give them the benefit of the doubt and ask yourself: Has my boss recently been assigned a large project when he already have too much on his/her plate? Is my boss overwhelmed by long working hours? Is the upper management putting more pressure on them? I Is my boss under-resourced and carrying too much responsibility? Could my boss be having problems at home?
It's worth checking to see if the rest of the team is feeling the same way. Approach a colleague you trust and ask, "Have you noticed anything different about [boss's name] lately?"
Gather your strength
It takes courage to engage in a conversation with someone to whom you report. Your boss wields considerable power. This is the decision-making power and authority that they have as a result of their position in the organizational hierarchy. To have this conversation, you will need to draw on your inner reserves of strength.
Start a conversation
There are times when the direct approach is the best option. Because you can't see the other person, pick up on their social cues, or hear their tone, email messages, for example, are prone to misinterpretation. It is always preferable to have sensitive discussions in person (or on a video call). So, stick to your values and integrity, and transparently talk to your boss about any work-related concerns.
If your boss happens to decline your request or seem closed during the meeting, consider whether you contacted him when he was in a good mood. Even if they don't always want to have a conversation with you, at least now you have a clear picture of what kind of boss they are and whether you want to work for them. After talking to your boss, keep looking for ways to show your worth and stand out.
Consecrate quality time rekindling your spirituality by being devoted to worship and engaging in pastoral work. All steps can help you be well surrounded by a supportive catholic professionals network through thick and thin.
Henceforth, every boss has his unique personality type and leadership vision. With frequent communications and stressful requirements, it is natural that conflicts arise but it remains your role to be aware of the patterns and to deal with them from a holistic approach to ensure a healthy and fruitful relationship at the workplace and beyond!
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