My Boss is a Power Freak

My boss is a power freak

What do you do when you’re feeling micro-managed?  How do you react to a new boss or one who suddenly acts as if they don’t trust you anymore?  Trust in the workplace is at the heart of many a conflict that has caused good workers to look elsewhere for work. Trust goes both ways.

Trust between managers and the employees they manage or supervise is critical for a high functioning organization. Managers need to give their employees some decision making power and then trust them not to abuse that power. For their part, employees must trust managers not to punish them for mistakes when they are trying to do the right thing for the organization. Research has shown that trust between employees and those formally responsible for their behavior has a positive effect on the organization’s financial performance.

So what do you do when you feel like your boss doesn’t trust you? Active listening may be a good place to start. Try starting a conversation about the discomfort you’re feeling.  Describe a recent incident where you didn’t feel trusted.  Be specific about the facts without judging the actions or words of the other person.  Ask the other person for their reaction.

When the person has finished giving their reaction or explanation, check for understanding by paraphrasing what you’ve heard.  You don’t need to repeat what they’ve said, simply summarize the main points and ask if you’ve got it right.  This gives people an opportunity to clarify what they are trying to say and gives you the chance to see if the meaning you are hearing is what is being conveyed.  If when they are finished you still don’t understand, ask clarifying open-ended questions, such as “Can you elaborate on what you mean by…”

Using these simple techniques will lead to more productive conversations and more trust in the workplace.  If you and others in the workplace would like to learn more about how to establish and maintain trust in the workplace, call ACDRS and ask about our training series.  For interpersonal conflicts that don’t seem to improve, ask about mediation.  Through mediation, people can try new methods of communicating with each other in a safe environment. Don’t let mistrust build in your organization, instead take some steps today to move your workplace towards being a high functioning organization.

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