“My boss isn’t perfect! What should I do?”

businessman screaming with flames coming out of his mouth

Last month we published this piece: It’s a NO EXCUSES Moment For Management

Some of you asked, “How should Mandy have handled it?”

Well, here’s what you do when you don’t have the perfect boss.

Our story is about a subordinate/boss or, if you prefer, associate/team leader relationship. If you’re in one of those roles, or ever plan to be, read on …

From Rob, a reader of the QBQ! book:

John, I’ve been employed at a church in an associate pastor role for ten years, and I have a fantastic relationship with my boss, the senior pastor.

But that wasn’t always the case.

At the end of my first year, I was frustrated and discouraged. So much so that I actually instigated passive-aggressive interactions with my boss, just so he’d know I was not very happy!

It didn’t work.

Then I read QBQ! and realized I had adopted a true victim mentality which was getting me nowhere.

So, using the book’s inspiring stories and simple but effective strategy, I changed the questions that I was asking myself—and quickly saw different and positive results. This led to a heart-to-heart conversation with my pastor/manager, which helped him change some things in his management style.

To this day, he refers back to that honest, healthy talk as a “pivot point” for him, when he left some controlling tendencies and behaviors behind.

For me, though, when I stopped asking victim questions like, “Why doesn’t he treat me differently?” and “When is he going to change?” and began asking QBQs such as, “How can I communicate my dissatisfaction more effectively?” and “What can I do to assert myself in a professional and straight-forward manner?” everything changed for the better! This is when communication and understanding came into our relationship, as well as the healing we both needed.

Good stuff, Rob. Thanks for sharing!

Recently, after a “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” speaking engagement, an audience member made this comment:

You know, it’s strange—when someone has a bigger title and is in charge, we tend to assume they know what they’re doing. But that’s not always the case, is it, John?

Nope.

So, what should an underling do when a superior needs some, um … ahem … “self-improvement”? 🙂

What Rob did!

He took personal accountability for speaking up, speaking directly, and speaking in a healthy manner.

Is there risk? Sure. But here are the options:

Stay miserable.

Blame the boss.

Whine to colleagues.

Complain at home to family.

Quit and never tell your employer why.

Or waste time and energy hinting through dysfunctional passive/aggressive behaviors to the boss that we’re really not very “engaged,” hoping she/he gets the message!

What Rob did was set an example for all of us who just might need to go have a conversation with our supervisor.

When it’s done right, it can produce a dynamic, productive, meaningful, and fun on-the-job relationship.

And you just can’t beat that.

Discussion:

What is the #1 lesson you take from this message and how do you plan to apply it?

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