What is considered â€˜difficultâ€™ differs with most people. But the bottom line is if there is something your manager is doing that leaves you feeling deflated and demotivated, you should address it. How?
Be clear what â€˜difficultâ€™ is not: When your boss is â€˜pushing youâ€™ to higher performance within reason but you prefer to chill out and do the minimum, they are not being difficult. When the boss holds you to account for agreed targets, thatâ€™s not being difficult, neither is it being difficult when they expect more of you than you would rather give.
Define exactly what makes them difficult: What exact behaviours is your manager displaying that make them â€˜difficultâ€™? What is the impact that these behaviours have on you? It will be helpful to understand what might be driving this behaviour as this might help you on how best to respond. For example, is this a one off or do you see a pattern?
Donâ€™t go over your bossesâ€™ head: Give your boss the chance to know how you are feeling and to rectify it. Donâ€™t rush to their superiors. If you do, your manager is very likely to see this as sabotage and backstabbing which will bring tension between you. It is possible they may be unaware of the impact of their behaviour, so give them a chance to hear you out.
Be constructive in your approach. If you decide to speak to your boss, do not be confrontational. Be specific about where you think the problems lie because simply saying â€˜you are making things difficult for meâ€™ is not exactly helpful. Your aim should be to get agreement on what is going to change and being specific on these issues will help.
Do not expect change immediately: It is rare that you will see a change in your manager overnight, so be patient. Do not make this a â€˜change projectâ€™ for your manager alone. Identify some things you too can do to keep the relationship cordial and professional. With time, this attitude will build a more honest relationship.
Now take action: How can you strengthen your working relationship with your boss?