A workplace is a tough place to navigate. A boss is a person who helps shape the perception of your workplace. So, it is all the more essential that you work with a good boss who values and gives importance to your contributions and provides opportunities to grow. However, there is a faint chance that your boss might feel intimidated because of your presence. In this article, we discuss the signs that your boss is threatened by you.
The article will answer these two main questions:
- What Are The Signs Your Boss Is Threatened By You?
- How To Deal With A Boss Who Feels Threatened By You?
Without further ado, let’s go to the first question.
What Are The Signs Your Boss Is Threatened By You?
Life in the corporate setup can be a roller coaster. Your manager could be happy with your work, or he may completely ignore your existence.
But the worst place to be in is when your manager is afraid of you. In this section, we will discuss some signs that your boss is threatened by you.
He stops praising your contributions.
There must have been plenty of occasions earlier where your boss must have lauded your efforts. However, he hardly compliments you anymore. These are definitely troubling signs. Not only that, he points out minor errors in your work and rebukes you in front of your colleagues. This clearly indicates that your boss does not feel safe because of you.
He constantly criticizes you.
A standout trait of a good boss is the fact that he acknowledges your efforts and praises you, thereby enhancing your visibility in the eyes of senior leadership.
However, a bad boss does precisely the opposite, and he does not allow you to progress. To achieve this, he indulges in constant criticism and puts you down all the time. This is a sure-shot sign that your boss fears your presence.
He withholds information.
The relationship between a boss and his subordinate should be based on trust. When your boss is afraid of you, he might not deem it necessary to share crucial information that could assist you in completing your tasks faster.
You will have to find out all the news through the grapevine. This seriously hampers your productivity. Moreover, you end up losing respect for your boss.
Your boss does not address your concerns.
Any superior who sees the value of your work within the constraints of a typical corporate setup will ensure that you get the most conducive environment to work in. As we are all aware, there are several operational tasks that need to be done to ensure that work continues without any disruption.
Some examples of such tasks are – granting access to tools, fixing office equipment such as printers, clearing invoices, etc.
A boss who is scared of you will never resolve these issues and ensure that you spend your entire day in these cumbersome tasks instead of doing the actual work.
Your boss interferes with your personal life.
We are all expected to work late from time to time because of essential projects, events, and whatnot. However, when this late work becomes frequent, it is a problem.
Everyone has lives and commitments outside of the office as well. But, your boss does not seem to care about this fact. Instead, he sets up unreasonable expectations and unrealistic deadlines time after time. This is an indication of your boss’s insecurity.
More Signs That Your Boss Is Threatened by You
We discussed a few classic signs that show that your boss fears you in the section above. In this part of the article, we dig deeper and look at some more signs your boss is threatened by you.
He keeps shutting down your ideas.
You may be offering helpful and constructive suggestions from time to time. However, they may fall on deaf ears. This may be because your boss has decided to ignore you.
Also, it is a sign that your boss is threatened by you. The worst part? – He then tells you that you are not coming up with fresh thoughts and ideas.
He does not want you to succeed.
Your boss could not stop raving about your work in your previous performance review. He kept insisting on the fact that you are here for bigger things. But, suddenly, according to him, you could hardly get anything right in the past year.
Typically, this is also when he brings up minor instances that have become significant problems overnight. Also, these are signs that your boss is fearful of your rise.
Restricts your access to senior leadership.
You are performing well in your role, and the results are beginning to show. Now, the senior management has started to notice it, and they like it. But there is someone who is not happy with the development – Yes, you guessed it right- your boss.
So, he decides to cut any direct access to the top executives and ensure that he is the conduit for all communication. This is a move on the part of your boss to reduce your visibility amongst the leadership so that your thought process and acumen do not get noticed.
You are not invited to meetings.
There is a change in the overall sales growth strategy or other significant developments. But they don’t inform you of the same. Then you find out that there is a team meeting and they didn’t invite you.
Being kept out of the loop is a definite sign that your manager does not like you or is afraid of you. One of the main reasons this might occur is that you may steal your boss’s limelight. And that is something which will never be to his liking.
He sets you up for failure.
Another sign that you threaten your boss is when they assign you impossible tasks and unrealistic deadlines. You will most likely fail, and this presents your boss with a golden opportunity to humiliate you in public.
Not to mention, it gives you poor ratings in that all-important annual performance review.
He assigns you the least important tasks.
You will have to work and continue to be a part of the team. However, you will not be a part of projects that are high visibility and of strategic importance to the organization.
Instead, they will give you cumbersome and repetitive tasks in nature. Additionally, they will assign a seat in a nondescript corner of the office, away from all the chatter and gossip.
You will feel stagnated.
A jealous boss will ensure that you do not get the chance to develop your technical or people skills. He will limit your exposure to challenging situations and not allow you to grow. This is a strategy on your boss’s part to make you quit without firing you.
Earlier, your boss would look forward to connecting with you. He would ask how your day went. But now, there is hardly any energy in his interactions with you. And, he does not actively seek your advice or opinions on anything. The conversations are short and to the point.
How To Deal With A Boss Who Feels Threatened By You?
So far, we have discussed all the signs to know that your boss is threatened by you. Here, we will look at the possible solutions.
Make your point heard.
If you feel that your boss is being unfair to you or is ignoring you of late. Maybe it is a time to have a frank discussion with him.
Try to understand what is his problem with your approach and work. The one way to do this is to have a frank discussion with him on changed expectations and shifted goalposts. This way, you will realize the modifications you need to make to your working style.
Make sure you are on the same page regarding your targets and goals for the year. Moreover, work on a plan that outlines how you go about achieving these targets. Share that blueprint with your boss and work on refining it together.
Take care of yourself.
All employees in an organization have a right to fair and respectful treatment. If your boss is responsible for creating a toxic environment at the workplace, you have the right to seek action.
Try to approach your firm’s HR department or the employee grievance redressal mechanism cell. If either is not possible, it is advisable to switch teams or be on the lookout for new jobs.
One must always understand that hierarchy rules in a corporate setting. And as a result, your boss always wields power over you. It is a natural human tendency to retain that sense of power and eliminate anyone who threatens it.
As a person looking to get back into the boss’s good books, you should work on – supporting your boss and reducing his workload as much as possible. Also, remember to acknowledge the contribution of your boss to the growth of your career.
Genuine humility and gratitude can work wonders, which is applicable at the workplace.
Always remember to have your boss’s back in tough times. Deliver more than what he expects from you. And try to build a rapport with your boss on common areas of work and life outside of work.
Good article! It’s very clear, and some of these points actually happen to me. Thanks for sharing!