I am struggling with a relationship at work. My boss has made some mistakes that I believe were unfair to me, even though they were not necessarily immoral. At this point, I can hardly stand being in his presence. I disagree with almost everything he says, and I don’t feel appreciated. Should I move on?
You will never find a person with whom you will always agree, so your relationship with your boss is not atypical. Leaders are faced with making decisions that usually leave at least someone dissatisfied. Not every decision can possibly be equally pleasing to all participants. When you are the dissatisfied party, it is important to look past that single decision and try to take in the big picture. There may have been times where you did get what you wanted and someone else did not. Staying objective is difficult. Our emotions get the best of us and cloud our ability to reason.
That leads me to the spiritual part of my reply. A business relationship is like any other. It will be marked by the shortcomings of both parties; therefore, forgiveness is essential. This is not a sentimental piece of advice. It is more practical, powerful and effective than any other advice I could give.
Unfortunately, most career counselors and coaches limit themselves to suggestions on how to communicate more effectively or how to “manage your boss.” Techniques have a place, but they only help you navigate a specific situation. They fail to transform you.
You say you disagree with almost everything your boss says and that you don’t feel appreciated. Your choice of words strikes my ear as more of an expression of unforgiveness and resentment than of perspective or analysis. Only you and God really know what is happening in your heart and soul, but it is important to know that those negative emotions are offshoots of the sin of pride — and pride is blinding.
I have seen this many times. It’s the business-relationship version of “irreconcilable differences” in a marriage. You may need to begin the process of changing your situation by looking in the proverbial mirror: Examine your conscience, and let go of sinful pride by going to confession. If I am wrong, there is no harm done; you can move forward by mending things in a natural way. If I am right, you will be changed. In an instant, you will experience what some people spend years in therapy trying to achieve.
God’s grace transforms. A clean soul gives greater clarity to the mind, allowing us to see all our relationships in the life-changing light of the truth. It’s worth a shot.
Last year Leadership Excellence magazine named Dave Durand one of the
‘top 100 minds on personal development.’ He’s online at DaveDurand.com.