3 Signals Your Boss Might View You as “High Maintenance”

In the past two weeks, I have run into numerous conversations with bosses and subordinates dealing with emotional issues.    The common theme:  supervisor feels he/she deserves a promotion/sabbatical/special recognition and boss doesn’t believe the supervisor has earned it.   In all of those cases, the supervisor was significantly annoying the boss and didn’t even realize it.

Signal #1  –  I have approached my boss twice in the past year to discuss promotion / recognition and what I deserve

   –  I have approached other senior managers to state my case in the past year

–  I approached my boss first

–  I have interrupted my boss more than once for these discussions

Signal #2  –  I spent at least 3 hours this week, and more than one meeting,  arguing my case with the boss.

–  We talked about my career and I presented my arguments for why I deserve a promotion/ sabbatical/ special recognition.

–  I stated the same reasons more than once, in more than one meeting

–  I spent way more time talking about my career/ issue than I usually spend with my boss

Signal #3 – My boss repeated the same message to me in each meeting (the message didn’t change)

– My boss told me I wasn’t ready for what I requested, and gave me examples

– Other managers answered me in the same theme, similar message as my boss did.

–  Others have stopped approaching me about my concerns;  I always approach them.

If more than half of these signals could apply to you, then your boss possibly views you as a “high maintenance” employee who needs calming down or recognition periodically in order to keep you motivated.  Repeated conversations with senior managers on the same theme will not convince your bosses that you are more capable or more deserving.

Remember that bosses look at RESULTS.

– What have you delivered in your role?

– What new skills and deliverables have you provided in the past 2 years?

– Compared to others in the roles / situations that you aspire to, do you have the same years of experience?

– Do you have the same track record of delivery (volume/size, dollar value, project or technical complexity, political,team-building experience, people-handling)?

– Try to be honest with yourself.

– If you do have a solid history of delivering results at the same level of complexity, size, risk and strategic level as your benchmark competitors, you may have to leave your current company to be recognized.   If so, good luck!

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