How many times have you quit your job (or you have been about to) because you felt unhappy and dissatisfied? Moreover, how many of those times were due to growing anger and frustration? If I think about what I have heard in many years of complaints in front of the coffee machine, and what I have experienced myself, I can isolate some key triggers:
- Excess of negative feedback
- Feeling diminished or ignored
- Lack of trust
- Lack of reciprocal respect with the direct manager
Before you leave slamming the door or you give up to feeling miserable, be aware that there are a few things you can try that could either remove the source of your anger or allow you to take a conscious decision about your permanence in the company.
However difficult it may be at first, try and not repay your boss, and the people around you, with the same treatment that you consider unfair when reserved to you. Be appreciative of the work of your colleagues and praise them with your boss and theirs. If you do not stop complaining, you will never stop feeling helpless, but it is the positive attitude that will bring a real cultural change around you.
This recommendation probably applies to every aspect of our life. Caring for the others’ wellbeing is so surprisingly rewarding that it can ultimately be the right medicine for many negative feelings. Be aware of the needs of your fellow employees, and how your expertise can help them with their problems or challenges. Try and understand how to increase the satisfaction of your company’s clients. Making your colleagues and customers happy is more productive and rewarding than making your boss happy, on the long run.
While trying to do a good job and to make our bosses happy, we might focus on perfection as a standard for what we produce. Perfection, however, does not add any value to what we do. Perfection is about meeting expectations and, honestly, anybody could do that. Excellence, instead, is about exceeding every expectation, about choosing a target that is so high to be almost unreachable but at the same time such a strong motivation to make a difference. While trying to meet such a challenging goal, you will go above and beyond the normal expectations of your boss and your company.
Lack of empathy is lately considered as one of the most frequent (negative) characteristics in managers, and it is regarded as one of the main obstacles to be a real leader. Once again, you must step up the game and demonstrate you have that kind of empathy that is possibly lacking around you. Have you ever tried to stand in your boss’ shoes and see the world through his eyes? You may be surprised by how your perspective will change once you realise that he also has worries, fears and bosses that may be even more challenging for him than he is for you. Helping him with his objectives might be the key to the change you are longing for.
Do not ever assume that from your current position you cannot begin a “cultural revolution” in your company. Lead by example, and you will be regarded and recognised as a leader irrespective of your role. What about you? Do you have any other recommendation that worked for you at some point in your career? Is there anything, in particular, you struggle with? I would love to hear your feedback in a comment below.