Sometimes you just don't get along with your boss. It may be you, it may be the supervisor, but either way, you aren't compatible. A recent study says you admitting that fact to each other may improve your job performance.
Photo by Tim Dobblelaere
Michigan State University studied 280 pairs of managers and direct reports. They surveyed how employees see the relationship with the manager. Separately, they asked the managers the same questions. They found that when an employee and their boss viewed the relationship the same way, even if it was lousy, the employee performed better.
"Some people would say it's better to fake it, but our results indicate that the opposite is true," said Matta, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Management. "At the end of the day, it's better for everyone to know where they stand and how they feel about each other."
This study doesn't apply to all situations, but it's good to know that just because you and your boss have a poor relationship, that doesn't automatically mean you're doing a bad job. Once you both own up to your disagreements, you can move on and get to work.
Sometimes, though, a boss just doesn't have quality management skills. No matter how much you both agree your relationship sucks, admitting it probably won't fix that — but you can learn how to manage up and get on with your work.
Does Seeing "Eye To Eye" Affect Work Engagement and OCB? A Role Theory Perspective on LMX Agreement [Academy of Management Journal via Science Daily]