INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
Here’s a focused way to turn your boss into your raving fan, shared with me by a high-level HR exec. Write this down on an index card and keep it handy.
“I will help my boss: look good, feel good, be good.”
Help them look good by proactively giving them the support they need for key presentations or reports, by always bringing your “A” game to any meeting you’re in with them and their boss, or by finding genuine ways to praise them publicly.
Help them feel good by keeping them informed about what’s going on with your projects, by showing them you always have things under control or know exactly when to ask for help, and by bringing them solutions for problems they didn’t know they had.
Help them be good by giving them feedback, by framing up recommendations for them with pros and cons for each to aid good decision-making, and by sharing even hard-to-share facts with them about what’s happening with the business.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many make)
To better handle change, it’s vital to focus on what you acquire in such times versus what you lose.
It’s natural to focus on what you lose in times of change, like your sense of familiarity, your routine, your confidence, your identity, or even your job. In fact, our aversion to loss can cause logic to fly out the window, making us act out-of-sorts in times of change. This is why research shows that gamblers at a horse track who are having a losing day are actually the most likely ones, on that last race of the day, to bet the long shots, at terrible odds, on a 20:1 horse, a bet they’d never walk in thinking they’d make. They’re faced with the realization of loss and logic goes out the window. So does ours in times of change.
It’s so much healthier to focus on what you acquire in times of change. You build knowledge, resilience, and your experience base. You foster personal growth, get a fresh start, and gain perspective. You become You 2.0 – a better version of yourself.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Last week, I shared the definition of “quiet firing” and signs for spotting if it’s happening to you. If you believe it is, this week I share what to do about it.
Follow the acronym, DID I ASK?
You can’t start with accusations that you’re being “quiet fired,” that’ll get you nowhere good. Instead, go back to understand what your boss’s expectations are and how you’re delivering upon them (or not). That’s a more direct, “fair game” route to unearthing what their issue with you might be. Then,
Insist on feedback. Specific feedback. If you really are being quiet fired, then obviously your boss didn’t want to put the effort in to give you feedback. It’s time to force the issue.
Document what you’re told. If later on, the boss continues to act differently than what their feedback reflected, you may have to call upon what they said in your last feedback session.
Introspection. After receiving and documenting the feedback, ask, “What role am I playing in my boss’s perceptions here?” “What could I do better?” Many are quick to get angry and downtrodden over being quiet fired, less are willing to take a honest look in the mirror to see what they could do to change the circumstances.
Ask for what you need to improve the situation. For example, if your boss keeps cancelling your 1 on 1’s (a typical signal of “quiet firing”), find out why they are and ask that they stop. This is another way to get to the bottom of what your boss is really feeling about you.
Seek HR help. If you have a good, trusting relationship with someone in Human Resources, they can help if you’re genuinely convinced of your boss’s ill intent. The idea isn’t to “tattle” on your boss, but to leverage HR as a resource to help you get clarity on the situation, to get advice on how to handle your specific case, and if possible, to guide you and your boss back into a better place.
Know that you’re not alone. A LinkedIn poll showed 83% of employees have experienced some form of quiet firing! So take some small measure of comfort in knowing that it’s not just you.