When your boss ignores you, their lack of response can make you fall into a downward spiral of worry and stress. Do they dislike you or the work you submitted? Why aren’t they answering your emails and progress updates?

There are a number of reasons why this may be happening – and likewise, a number of solutions.

It May Not Be You

Being ignored is no fun, but try not to take it personally. Your boss may simply be distracted, overwhelmed or preoccupied. Where once companies spent more time with each of their employees, in today’s world many are running a tighter ship with less time for one-on-one interactions.

  • Your manager may feel powerless. In order to gain some semblance of control, they may act as if they’re too important to have time for you. This can happen in any organization, at any level.

Take Control

Find out why your supervisor has no time for you by asking them directly. Getting in front of the problem will release a lot of tension. At best, it will result in a resolution and perhaps even strengthen your working relationship.

Don’t do anything over the top like slamming a door or pouncing in front of your boss. Instead:

  • Schedule regular meetings. Explain to your manager the benefits of doing this. Be well prepared for these update sessions and keep them brief and on schedule.
  • Repackage your ideas so your boss can respond quickly and easily. Rather than emails marked “urgent,” put your message points in a short, lively format that is appealing to read. A busy boss is more likely to read this than a long, rambling email with large blocks of text.
  • Put yourself in your boss’s shoes. Imagine what their day must be like. See how you look through their eyes – and adjust your behavior accordingly. You may come closer to understanding why your boss ignores you.
  • Identify areas where you can improve in your job. Create a plan for each one. This will help you to prepare for constructive criticism when you meet with your boss. If they something that you did not consider, tell them you will formulate an action plan for it and then follow up promptly.

Boost Your Visibility

Consider increasing your visibility and stepping up your role. Your manager will appreciate your effort and it will enhance your value to them and to the company.

  • Offer to help with the bigger picture. For instance, volunteer to help with a big presentation that is causing stress for your boss or department. The more indispensable you are, the better.

Find a Mentor or Coach

Working with a trustworthy mentor or career counselor can be a tremendous help when dealing with interpersonal issues with your manager. Test out with this advisor what you are perceiving around you. They can help you initiate a strategy for improvement. Or, use this opportunity to investigate, evaluate and find a new role. Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, you have to accept that it’s time to move on.

At PrideStaff Fresno, we love helping people improve their professional lives and build their careers. We can help ensure success as you address pressing workplace issues or find your next great opportunity. Contact us today to learn more.


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