Boss Lying and Destroying My Reputation

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about dislike of her boss: She makes a very innocent face in front of HR and seniors. She is trying her level best to pull me down and lie to me all the time!!

My boss gives away credit of all my hard work and research to my other colleague. She accuses me of being negative and propagates the same for me to everybody. She even tried to relate my negativity and performance. She makes a very innocent face in front of HR and seniors. She is trying her level best to pull me down and lie to me all the time!!

Signed, Bad Boss

Dear Bad Boss:

Your brief paragraph paints a negative portrait of your boss, and you say she has painted a bad one of you to your colleague. You don’t like her and you are sure she doesn’t like you. It is an understatement me to say this can’t be the kind of workplace for which you feel good about getting up and going to work. I assume you have sent this description of your working life because you don’t want to wallow in these unhappy thoughts.

You have some options, the first two that are opposite:

Openly fight your boss. Paint a negative picture of her to your coworkers, family and anyone else who will listen in a similar way you say she is picturing you. This shouldn’t make your working relationship much worse than it apparently already is. Consequently, she and you will battle until one of you wins and the other loses.

A second option is to bite your tongue and look in the mirror. Then erase and paint over the portrait she has of you. Pretend that you are not negative. Pretend that your boss is positive about you and behave that way. Select bright colors, those that make you look good and feel positive. You might be surprised about what a change this could make in the way she thinks and acts toward you. In conjunction with this option, become a cheerleader for others. Applaud them, praise them, and thank them. Find ways to cut wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted energy, and wasted money. See your job not as just a job but as steps on a career path. Enlist your boss about where you are now and ask her help to get to where you want to be. This is no quick fix. Apparently your present boss-bossed dysfunctional working relationship evolved over time and it will take time to change that.

Now two more options which are more conventional:

Confront your boss and spell out the details of what, when, or why you think your boss has a negative view of you. Learn if your perceptions are valid. See this as a problem solving session. Compose a log of incidents in which you say she has badmouthed you and take this to her superior and/or HR to ask for a three-way meeting to resolve your antagonistic boss-bossed relationship.

The last options are get-out-of-there actions you can take. Transfer to a new boss. Often there are positions that open in other departments. Apply for them. Seek a job elsewhere. Life is too short to continue day after day where you are not appreciated and worse are badmouth and disrespected.

My answer to your unhappiness proposes that you can become even sourer about how bad your boss is or you can elect to examine causes that justly or unjustly have caused her to be negative about you. From a distance, the workplace doctor can’t know what has really provoked your negative feeling. Therefore it is unfair to advise you explicitly what you should do. So weigh these options and decide of any other them make sense. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, my closing thought, is to suggest that whatever you elect to do will succeed to the extent that it enables you and your boss feel good about yourselves and your workplace.

William Gorden