The unhappy subordinate Survival Kit

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STOP and THINK! Who is in an ‘unhappy’ situation now? You think you are relieved and you feel so much better about your career when you quit your job because your manager is giving you a hard time? I beg to differ! Let’s state the facts in here: How many times have you heard subordinates speak about how much they are totally in love with their managers? I think not too often! If you leave your job simply because you have had enough before being able to find another job, who is in a bad place now? You!



How about some statistics from employees who really dislike their managers? A study from Florida State University has quantified subordinates’ feedback on their managers below:

39 % said their managers failed to keep promises.

37 % said their bosses did not give them the credit they deserved.

31 % indicated their supervisor gave them “the silent treatment”.

27 % reported negative comments from their management

24 % claimed their bosses invaded their privacy.

23 % said that their supervisor blamed them or other workers to cover up personal mistakes.

Now let’s state in a nutshell the 5 types of bad managers that you may meet in the Egyptian job market (just so you can categorize your own manager as you read!):

The Micro-Manager: Ever had a conversation with your boss where the help they offer is at the wrong time and a level of detail that is too low for you to learn anything? Hello, you are being micro-managed! Rather than giving general instructions on smaller tasks and then devoting time to supervising larger concerns, the micromanager monitors and assesses every step of a business process and avoids delegation of decisions. Micromanagers are usually irritated when a subordinate makes decisions without consulting them, even if the decisions are totally within the subordinate’s level of authority. This is the most common management style in Egypt.

The Prosecutor: Prosecutors tend to only focus on the negative, and look continually for faults. They tend to intimidate you rather than, encourage and mentor you. Prosecutors tend to be aggressive perfectionists, who may not recognize imperfection within themselves.

De-motivator Manager. This manager has mastered the art of tearing down every good suggestion from his staff. He will only accept a suggestion if it’s compatible with his taste.

Credit Grabber Manager: This type of manager is no different from a thief. They maliciously steal the ideas of their staff and repackage it to create an impression that the initiative came from them. But if the idea fails, they will easily point their fingers to their staff.

Pretender Manager: This type of manager probably earned an acting degree before they became a manager. They have the talent to imagine that they know what they are doing but in reality they are just simulating the actions of an ideal manager. They made their way up the corporate ladder by “being close” to the decision makers of the organization or sometimes even to the owners of the corporation.

Believe it or not: One study found that almost 80 % of the employees surveyed identified their boss as a lousy manager!

Now let me tell you the most interesting part in here: There are MANY benefits that you experience from working with a manager that you dislike:

It teaches you what not to be when you are a manager yourself. How would we know a good, fair, reasonable, supportive manager if we haven’t seen a low profile, irrational, unfair manager?

We learn the most by working with people we don’t necessarily agree with or who aggravate us! Why is that? Because you are always tempted to take the negative energy you have towards their requests to do extra research and work to find a way out of their dilemma.

Always remember you CAN learn something, even from the most challenging managers! Every manager will probably be good in at least one thing. Look at it, examine it and see how you can benefit from this single attribute.

Think of artists and when they are most creative? Was it when they were insanely happy and so filled with joy? Or was it when they were going through tough times in their lives? The secret is in always taking the negative unhappy energy inside you and creating something that is beneficial to you from it.

Being unhappy with your manager encourages you to find a mentor for your career within the company. This enriches your career experience and adds value to what you learn when it comes from diverse sources.

Think of it this way: are you investing your energy and your life in the right places? More often than not, we always incline towards putting too much emphasis on the things that we dislike. The bottom line is: Either follow some of the advice above or double your search for a new job. However, if you recognize other ways to live a happy life that does not depend on work only, start growing them now! There are surely other people who feel the same way that you do. They might even be working for the same manager you are working for!

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