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Tell-tale signs that your boss wants to get rid of you – and what you can do to win them over

Many people will be familiar with the sinking feeling that perhaps things aren’t going so well at work. It can sometimes be hard to distinguish whether it’s your own paranoia or whether the boss really has taken a disliking to you.
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There are clear and easy ways to be sure that you aren’t imagining it. Furthermore, there are definite actions you can take to try and reverse the process and win them back over!

Signs your boss may want to get rid of you

(1) You feel excluded

On their way to lunch a colleague says, “See you later at the marketing meeting.” But you haven’t been asked to attend. Perhaps an oversight?  But it happens again a few days later. This is a sure sign you’re being excluded and back-burnered! 

Or you’re left out of the loop; colleagues stop cc’ing you in their emails.

(2) You’re the last to know

Your boss conveniently keeps “forgetting” to keep you in the loop. He or she’s hired someone new and you only find out when they turn up for their first day of work. 

Alternatively, they’ve decided to outsource some of the projects you’re working on. You hear about it at from colleagues who were informed days ago.

(3) You’ve become a conversation stopper

Whenever you approach your boss who’s with team members, eyes shift, eye brows go up and the conversation stops.

You suspect people are talking behind your back; your boss no longer makes small talk with you. Your colleagues avoid talking to you.

Actions you can take to stand your ground and gain respect

(1) Don’t rise to the bait: Try and keep your emotions in check when communicating with the person causing concern. If you lose your cool, you will be in danger of looking undignified and losing respect. This will only worsen the situation.

(2) Be diplomatic: Present your point of view in a calm clear manner.

(3) Develop relationship links: Explore common areas of interest (i.e., sports, films, food, books, etc.)

(4) Disarm: Don’t hesitate to resort to flattery. Offer to help on a difficult project.

(5) Protect yourself: Choose your words carefully when sending emails so that things you write can’t come back to bite you. If you weren’t already, just ensure you are taking extra care in your work, don’t provide any ammunition!

Working with this kind of fear lingering in the back of your mind is of no use to anybody and will only have a negative effect on the quantity and quality of the work being produced. It can be a stressful experience, but the situation can be recovered!

Joan Kingsley and Dr Sue Paterson are authors of The Fear-Free Organization: Vital Insights from Neuroscience to Transform your Business Culture (£29.99, Kogan Page).

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