Employee, Boss Conflict - Who are You Really?

Do you know whether your boss wants the worker who thinks outside the box, the one who stays within the box, or the one who is like a Jack-in-the-box?

When an employer doesn't really know what he/she is doing in one's position much less know what others are up to around him or her, how can the leader expect much?

You might be great at leading, following or both, but whatever your greatness the truth is you have some weaknesses.  You either enjoy thinking far too much outside the box, staying put within it, or popping up out of no where with something new and different.  This kind of thinking also affects your skills and decisions at times--too rigid, laid back, slow, fast, etc.  You might be any one of these adjectives on most days impacting operations in negative ways at times.  However, any weakness can be worked on and before long one is doing quite well at the workplace. 

Sometimes employers make duties more challenging for workers when they don't have to be.  They list 30 plus position requirements and then one discovers there are 30 more once hired or promoted.  Of course, the employee is going to exemplify the kind of character traits that will get what is done on paper, but will eventually question or make suggestions about those 30 other tasks.  This is where the work relationship might take a shift with some professionals between management and staff.  The boss wanted to see the side of the employee he or she hired and only that one while forgetting that people can be fickle.

Let's take a moment and think about a fictional employee, a great actor or actress for the interview.  Have one in mind?  Dressed to perfection, articulate, has all the credentials, and great references, but then after six months or more shows his or her work ethic, difficult personality, and more while leaving an employer scratching his head.  "Now who is this guy/gal again?" a manager might say.

When a leader has his or her idea of what a worker should be based on what the work description says, rather than who he or she is, things tend to take a different turn.  The boss will want to re-think whether he or she communicated expectations well.  Also, take notice of the system he or she has in place that might not allow too much wiggle room or may not be a good fit for the employee.  You end up with a performer that does what is asked--nothing more, nothing less.  This problem can be solved if one creates a comfortable atmosphere where there is room to improve, grow with change, respect other's ideas/opinions/customs etc. With improvements in place, who knows what strides an individual or team might make.

One of the toughest relationships to have with another is the one where no one wants to put themselves in the other person's shoes.  Whether you are in management or in a supportive role, whatever your expectations, not personal perceptions, of others, they should be well-represented accurately and honestly.  Do this and you will reduce the workplace woes that arise when two people just don't seem to get along due to false expectations and personal beliefs.

Nicholl McGuire is a freelance writer, content marketing manager and a professional who has 20 plus years work experience.  Need virtual assistance, click here.

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