What to do when your Boss doesn’t like you

Sometimes bosses are not the warm, friendly people employees want them to be, making it tough to work for them, this bring us to this question, what can an employee do when your boss doesn’t like you?

All employees hope for the ideal boss: the person who has their back, who goes to the mat for them, and supports not only their decisions, but their ideas and suggestions. Unfortunately, reality is that not all supervisors are good supervisors. Now this is not to say that they are intentionally bad at their jobs. It just means that sometimes, well, they’re not GOOD at their jobs. And there can be any number of reasons for this. Here are the three typical reasons:

  • Lacks qualities. Perhaps they’re just not cut out to lead others. Not everyone understands what it takes to be able to motivate, train and coach others and not everyone has the ability and patience to lead a team.
  • Lacks training. Maybe they were never given the right (or any) training on how to manage others. Absent hands-on management training, a mentor, and/or another form of development before moving into a supervisory position, most people will not be successful.
  • Lacks motivation. Sometimes people believe that management is the natural progression of years spent in the workforce, when in fact, moving into a management role needs to be the conscious choice of someone who really wants to take on that role.

The problem now is determining what an employee can do if he has a supervisor who clearly is out of his comfort zone and doesn’t have the employee’s back.

What to do when your Boss doesn't like you

Correctly Assess the Situation

Instead of jumping up and down at the first hint that there might be a problem, step back and assess the situation. Look at it from the boss’s point of view to determine if there is a misunderstanding that can be easily remedied with a conversation or whether something more is going on.

In addition, employees need to look inward to determine if anything they have done has influenced this situation such as following a wrong course of action through improper judgment or giving out incorrect information. It is important to take the emotion out of the analysis and focus on actions.

Determine the Best Course of Action

Each situation needs to be viewed on an individual basis in order to find the best resolution. One answer is not necessarily right for all situations. Depending on the issue, employees may choose to:

  • Do what needs to be done. In the self-assessment, an employee may have realized she was underperforming or acting out in some other way due to frustration with her boss. Or perhaps personal faults – poor time management, disorganization – are partly to blame. Stop now and do what needs to be done to perform at the highest level possible.
  • Establish expectations. It may just be a matter of needing to gain clarity about what the boss expects. If an employee and her boss have not laid down the ground rules of what their roles and goals are, this might be the time to do it. Find out what he values and expects in his team and what is essential to being successful. Employees then need to be honest and real about what they need in return.
  • Improve the relationship. Sometimes the problem with a non-supportive boss has to do with a damaged relationship. If there is a lack of trust or a prior indiscretion has eroded the bond between an employee and her boss, it is important to win back his trust. That means extra effort has to be put into communicating and meeting expectations.

At the end of the day, it just may be that the boss is not very good at being the boss and the only way to deal with him is to take no action beyond doing a hard day’s work.

What to do when your boss doesn't like you

When it Still Doesn’t Work Out

Sometimes there is nothing an employee can do to rectify the situation. All the talking and walking in the world will not make it better.

While some experts might advocate documenting the boss’s actions with the idea of taking the issue to a higher up, this may cause more harm than good, so be careful making this decision. In the end if the boss’s boss believes he is doing a good job, it will be difficult to prove otherwise. Documentation may be useful fodder for an exit interview, if the only recourse ultimately ends up being a decision to move on to greener pastures.

You can  also read: How to Succeed in your Career.

Author bio: Necole Hardison, writer and editor Thewritemyessay.com

Necole graduated Harvard Business School and studied many executive education programs. She is a business strategic expert by day and essay writing fanatic by night, writing all sorts of great content. Necole already helped a lot of people with an essay writing and does not plan to dwell on it.


Author: John Mulindi

John is very passionate about Digital marketing. He blogs on topics ranging from Social Media marketing, Search Engine optimization, Internet Marketing, Email Marketing, to Personal Development. In free time he likes watching Football, Reading, Listening to music and taking Nature walks.

14 thoughts on “What to do when your Boss doesn’t like you”

  1. It is really difficult being in a position like this. You offered some great words of wisdom to ponder. When in doubt, put in a hard days work. If your are not happy, perhaps it is time to update your resume and move on.

  2. Hi, John. Useful advice with a strong practical approach (as always) — thanks. I can remember having bosses I wanted to punch, plus a few who wanted to punch me 😉 Sometimes, one just has to focus on the job and do the best one can unless the boss is behaving unprofessionally or illegally. Whatever one chooses to do, there is always risk and there are always consequences.

  3. I never had a boss who didn’t like me (or at least I didn’t know about it), but I did have a couple professors during undergrad and grad school. Would’ve been helpful to read your article back then!

  4. I once had a boss who detested me a lot and later got the boldness to ask me what exactly i did wrong. He confessed to me that he is usually under pressure from the company owner. Since then, he really changed his attitude. I agree some people have no motivation and allow it to reflect in the way they relate with people under their authority.

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