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Everyone wants to do the best job they possibly can, but what do you do when your boss starts to feel threatened by your performance? It can be a difficult balancing act to keep performing optimally without outshining your immediate supervisor. While there is little you can do to stop someone’s internal insecurity, there are things you can do to make the workplace environment more bearable.
A regular columnist for Forbes and CEO of Human Workplace, Liz Ryan, had this advice for dealing with an insecure boss.
- Don’t tell your insecure boss how other executives praise you and seek your opinion. Why shake your insecure boss’s cage?
- Don’t tell your insecure boss how well-prepared and ready you are to stand in for them when they go on vacation or are otherwise unavailable. Let them ask you if they want you to back them up.
- Don’t tell your boss about your grand plans for the department. They don’t want you to have big plans, even if you think your plans will make them look good. They cannot accept your help at the moment.
- Don’t tell your insecure manager about industry leaders who want you to speak at conferences or write blog posts or white papers. Grow your thought leadership flame all you want, but don’t rub it in your fearful boss’s face.
- Don’t tell your fearful boss your long-term career plans. Keep them to yourself. Your boss, sadly, is not your champion right now and anything you say can only hurt you.
At the end of the day, no-one likes to be upstaged by their junior so try your best without rubbing it in your boss’s face.
Let your work speak for itself. Play the long game, but don’t let anyone hold you back, and that might mean applying for that promotion or moving to a leadership position somewhere else.
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