• Collaborating with people
  • Communicating with power

What to Do if Your Boss Doesn’t Like You

What your boss thinks about you is important as it can make or mar your career. Your boss is largely in control of the kind of projects you get, whether you are promoted, or whether you lose your job. If your boss does not like you for some reason, it can color all their interactions with you, which could end up hurting your career.

Having a boss that does not like you can be frustrating, but it is not the end of the world. You might be tempted to run away from the situation by either finding a new job or transferring to a new department, but before you do any of that, there are a few tips you can try to win your boss over:

  1. If your boss does not like you, you might be tempted to want to “stay of their way” but do not. Your boss might not like you because they do not see the value you bring to the team. If you decide to stay out of their way, you would just make matters worse and go from being disliked to being unnoticed which could eventually lead to your boss deciding that you are of no value to the team.
  1. Knowing your boss does not like you would make it especially hard to want to engage in conversations with them, but you should try to do just that. Say hi to your boss and proceed to ask questions that would engage them. Find out things they are interested in; this would make conversing with them easier.
  1. Even though you might not feel like it, endeavour to show up at the office or for meetings early. This shows your confidence and your eagerness to work. Remind yourself each day to put your focus on doing a good job for yourself, your career, and your team and try not to think about your boss too much. Going to work early has its perks which are great for your career.
  1. When you are around someone you believe does not like you, it is easy to think of excuses why you should leave early. Doing this would only make your boss think you are shying away from the job and would not make them like you any better.
  1. A well-placed compliment would go a long way in helping you build a better rapport with your boss. When giving compliments, you must be careful not to come off as a sycophant. It is also important to restrict your compliments to office-related topics and stay away from personal topics. Look for things you genuinely appreciate and if you cannot find any, keep shut; people usually notice when a compliment is not genuine. 
  1. No matter how close you think you are to your colleagues, do not bad mouth your boss. You might think its normal office banter but bad-mouthing your boss or telling others you think your boss does not like you often leads to trouble in the end. Talking bad about your boss is a sign of disrespect and should be avoided at all costs. If you need to vent about your situation, find someone you trust outside the office to talk to.

The reality is, your boss might never like you and you might never know why, but if they respect you and the work you do, then you could make do with that. However, if it’s making it difficult for you to do your job, then just follow the tips above to help bridge the gap. If all else fails and the environment is becoming toxic, consider switching to another department or getting a job at another company.