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Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers/What to do before the end of your term?


Dear Sir,
Could you pls advise?
My term as a senior consultant will end next year and so far people in my office just assume that I will apply for the extension when the term ends. However, now I decide that I will not apply and return to my old position as a lesser staff. The main reason is that I don't think my boss trusts me enough so it will be very stressful to work at that position.
What I want to know is whether I should let other colleagues know now, as a way to say I am not greedy for that job.
So far I've just indicated my intention to a colleague. And if my impression is correct, he turned to become more friendly with another person, who is likely to get my position next year.
So I was wondering what I should do now.
Thank you.

Dear Mick,

Many thanks for writing to me.

Working for someone that doesn't trust you is a problem. I had a boss like that one time, and it left me on edge. I was just waiting for him to fire me (which he did eventually) even for the smallest infraction.

You can never really let your guard down. It erodes your confidence and can be very demotivating.

You didn't say when next year your contract ends. So I don't know if that means January 2014 or in twelve months time.

But I'm inclined to say that even if you only have a couple of months before your contract runs out, you ought to see what you can do between now and then to make your situation better.

Before I tell you how to do that, let me just say one thing.

You can't always trust your feelings. Sometimes you can, but other times you can't.

The problem is that if you "listen" to your feelings, then you'll begin to think thoughts that are consistent with them. Your thoughts will affect your actions.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Let's say for the sake of argument that your boss does trust you. How do you think you will act towards him if you're convinced that he doesn't?

I can tell you. You'll doubt his word. You'll increasingly be looking over your shoulder to make sure that you're "covered." You'll withdraw your trust in him.

What do you think that will look like to him?

He will notice. You can be sure of that.

So if your feelings are incorrect, it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy because of how your behavior changes just by thinking about it incorrectly.

Now let's think about your situation if your feelings are correct.

My guess is that you've already started doing the things that I mentioned.

And you need to turn that around.

What I'm going to suggest is not easy, but it's simple. But if you do it, then it will change your feelings, your thoughts, and your actions.

And it probably will change your bosses attitude as well.

So here we go.

Focus - concentrate - every day, all day long, whether you are at work or not, on what you can do in your job.

Focus on all that you can do.

Do not think at all about your limitations.

That's what most people do. They think about what is outside of their reach. They think about what they want, rather than what they have.

And all that leads to negative feelings, negative thoughts, and negative behavior. And then, of course, when that happens, other people react negatively to you.

So you can avoid all that and really turn this situation around by consciously focusing on what you can do in your job.

If you do that, you'll find that your sphere of influence will grow. You'll be able to do more.

You can learn more about this by reading the first few pages of Stephen Covey's book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

In it, he talks about the Sphere of Influence and the Sphere of Concern.

As for your colleagues, it's really none of their business what you do.

That may sound cold and callous, but the truth is that you don't really know.

You think that you do, but I've just given you a technique that's known to work in any situation.

You have a least two months left on your contract, assuming that it ends on December 31st.

If you have more time than that, then that's great. That means that you have even longer to turn this situation around.

You don't know the future and neither does your boss. And whatever you may think about how friendly someone is and that person's friend may get the job is conjecture. Nothing more.

Most of the negative things that people think will happen to them, never do.

What I can tell you, however, is that if you dwell on your impressions, it will affect your thoughts, as well as your standard of work. And if it turns out that your boss really doesn't trust you, by then he will have ample reason.

I hope that what I've said hasn't seemed harsh.

I can assure you that that has not been my intention.

But I felt that I needed to motivate you to take positive steps to turn your situation around.

I'm confident that you can do this if you focus on what you can do, and stop listening to your feelings.

It's the only way that you can make things change for the better.

Cheers, Bruce

Bruce Hoag, PhD CPsychol AFBPsS
Business Coach

Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers

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Dr Bruce Hoag, CPsychol AFBPsS


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Co-wrote (with Professor Cary L Cooper, CBE) Managing Value-Based Organizations: It's Not What You Think, published in 2006.

Academy of Management, British Psychological Society

Leadership & Organization Development Journal,

PhD, Organizational Psychology, Manchester Business School

Awards and Honors
Chartered Occupational Psychologist & Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society; Ezines Expert Author

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