Mixed Signals

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about relationship signals: Now I am finding disregard not answering emails or following up on things as promptly as before, buzzing almost sprinting past my office, hiding in his office out of sight etc.

Scenario: I have a boss that checked in with me at least daily if not more than once a day to see how things were going. He would go out of his way to stop by sometimes even just to chat. I am in a committed relationship that has had some bumps along the way in the last few months. I have noticed an attraction towards me and have been told he is single but have never asked him about his personal life. I recently had a performance evaluation that I thought for the most part was good with no significant issues. Now I am finding disregard not answering emails or following up on things as promptly as before, buzzing almost sprinting past my office, hiding in his office out of sight etc. I don’t know what to think at this time. Any suggestions?

Signed, Feel Cut Off

DearĀ Feel Cut Off:

For now, signals from your boss suggest less frequent interaction with him. So you have a forced choice: to confront him or to follow his lead for less interaction. Possibly, he sensed that he was becoming too involved and that a boss/bossed relationship should be professional only. Possibly you spilled too much of your personal bumps with your “committed relationship” and he decided there was no place for him. Who knows?

Whatever the reason, you can confront him about feeling cutoff or you can live with it and only contact him regarding your assignments. For the time being, probably that latter option is the wisest. After all, you were hired to do a job, not to develop a personal relationship with your boss.I don’t mean this to be harsh. Obviously such a change upsets you.

But for the next few weeks, what will it hurt if you back off and focus only on your work? Think of ways to cut wasted supplies, time, and money. Prove that you add value to your workplace. Do all reasonable to make your boss’ job easier and more effective. Think of your employment not as just a job, but as a career path. Don’t obsess about being cut off. You might feel the need to share your frustration, and a little of that is ok. But don’t gossip about it with coworkers, your committed other or anyone.

Does this make sense? Think ahead. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that in the long run is in your boss’ and your self-interest and the success of your work organization.

William Gorden