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08/09/2009 05:10 AM

How to improve your relationship with your boss?


Any thoughts?

08/10/2009 05:03 AM
Posts: 2447
Senior Member

Not enough information. What are the problems with your boss?

08/11/2009 05:01 AM

A friend of mine is having problems with his boss. I think it is lack of communication. He just has such ill feelings toward his boss. He does not respect her or her management style.

08/11/2009 05:14 AM
Posts: 2447
Senior Member

Since you said "he" doesn't respect "her", I wonder if that is part of the problem. A lot of men have great difficulty in working for a woman. Is he specific in what her management style is and what he does not like about it or is it just general complaints?

Has he made any attempts to talk with her and/or voice his opinions?

He needs to understand just what he is upset about and if it is working for a woman, then he may need to find another job. If it is just her management style, then he needs to talk with her.

Here are some differences between men and women in the workplace.

Contrast #1: Thought processes

Men are more linear and factual thinkers, while women, on the other hand, tend to think more conceptually and with associations. Women's minds are like underground subway systems – everything is connected. Men's minds are like ships sailing along the ocean, going from point A to point B.

Contrast #2: Giving orders

Men tend to be more direct, while women give orders using softened demands and tag lines. Women are naturally disposed to maintain harmony, so they will follow up a demand with something like, “If you don't mind.”

Contrast #3: Compartmentalizing

Men can work with people they don't like. Women generally can't. This is because men can compartmentalize – work is work. But women naturally make associations (see contrast #1). Joan will find it harder to work with Steve on Tuesday if she witnessed him being needlessly rude to the waiter at the restaurant on Monday night.

Contrast #4: Expressing feelings

If a man wants to express his feelings, he'll talk to his wife or girlfriend. Women are willing to talk to more than just close friends about their feelings – coworkers, hairdressers, doctors, people on the bus, the other lady standing in line at the store, call-in radio hosts, Oprah…

Contrast #5: Handling problems

If there's a problem, men think about it. For women, it isn't enough to just think about the problem on their own. They need to articulate their thoughts without even necessarily wanting solutions. They want to discuss it and have someone lend an ear and their time to them. Men want solutions. They like to fix problems and not just discuss them. So when you're talking to a man, you can expect some sort of solution, even if all you intended was simply to be heard.

Contrast #6: Goals

While men and women are both dedicated to achieving goals, they do so in their own way. Men tend to focus more on the end result. They are task-oriented. Women are more concerned with the process involved in accomplishing those goals and tend to be more people-oriented. So if you're at a meeting where two men are involved in a heated discussion about something, remember that it doesn't always imply a bad relationship.

Contrast #7: Feedback

Men can be more direct and blunt when giving feedback about something, whereas women tend to use more tact and sensitivity. That's why when you ask a man for an opinion about your idea, and he says something to the effect of, “It stinks!” he wonders why you're upset. Expect a brutally honest response. And remember that they're responding to the idea and not the person – it's not a personal attack.

Joan: “I was thinking we should implement the program in the various departments before scheduling so that way we can save production costs. What do you think?”

Steve: “Yeah, right – and then what? Wait until everyone's done testing it? That won't help us in any way.”

At this point Joan is thinking to herself that Steve just called her an idiot when he really didn't.

Contrast #8: Asking questions

Men rarely ask questions. Even if they do, it's usually to gather information. Women ask questions more frequently, but for two purposes – to gather information and to cultivate the relationship. That's why women sometimes ask questions they know the answer to, such as, “So you're back from vacation?”

Contrast #9: Phone calls

Men like to keep calls brief. Women prefer to chat. See how Joan and Steve ask another coworker about packaging.

Joan: “Hi, Claire. How are you? So I heard you began your sailing lessons this week. Mmmhmm. My dad used to compete, y'know. Yes. That's wonderful. So I was talking to Steve and we were wondering about the packaging and how you've been coming along with all of that…”

Steve: “Hey, Claire, packaging done yet?”

Contrast #10: Coffee breaks

Ever wondered why men don't take coffee breaks?

For the 3rd time in a row…

Joan: “Coffee break?”

Steve: “No.”

Meanwhile, to themselves:

Joan: He never wants to chat; he must not like me very much.

Steve: I can't believe she wants me to stop drinking coffee!

As you observe these and other contrasts between men and women in the workplace, remember neither one gender's style is better than the other. Men are perfectly right to be more direct while women are perfectly right to be people-oriented, even in the workplace. Women are nurturers, and this quality can enhance any work situation. Men are natural providers. They are task-oriented and like to get the job done. These two styles compliment each other perfectly, as long as there is an openness and understanding on each part. Vive la difference!

Understanding Men in the Workplace

by Stefanie Coutinho

08/12/2009 06:18 AM

This is great stuff suebaby41. I find contrast #3 of great interest because my therapist has told me that I compartmentalize. My company is one of the largest financial companies in the world. At one point in time, 85% of our employees were women. I am not sure what the percentage is now.

08/12/2009 07:45 AM
Posts: 2447
Senior Member

I have worked as a boss to men and as an employee with men as the boss. Needless to say, the men are much happier being the boss. Men and women do not think alike!!

08/12/2009 08:11 AM

Amen to that!

08/13/2009 01:55 PM
Posts: 2447
Senior Member

Do you think you can be friends with your boss?

08/13/2009 07:51 PM
Posts: 513

I had a boss that forced me to resign just for voicing my opinion. The CEO of the company, I filed a grievance against and she forced me to resign because she was wrong and didn't want to apologize and that is fine with me because I was not going to lower my standards or morals to keep a job. Not a company I want to work for. How bout you?

08/14/2009 10:01 AM
Posts: 2447
Senior Member

Definitely do not want to work for a company like that. I always told my boss that I had to say what I think but I would do what he/she said.

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