Unfortunately we are not all self employed or working in an environment where we are our own boss with nobody else to answer to. In the real world, jobs are usually based around taking instructions from management and sometimes, this is enough to eventually cause a conflict at work.
You may feel you are being taken advantage of, unappreciated or undervalued, but the good thing is that you are not alone; there are usually colleagues, co-workers and deputy managers that also answer to superiors and likely have felt the same way.
Much like in the educational system (or even as a child growing up), these people “above us” have expectations of us and following these expectations are usually rewards and sanctions, for when the task is either completed or not.
Rewards usually refer to the wonderful incentives we will achieve should the task be completed well and sanctions to the “punishments” we may face if we default on the task. Specifically, in the workplace a typical reward might be commission or a bonus for going the extra mile throughout the year.
On the other hand, a typical sanction could be a disciplinary or a warning.
Because of their superiority, these managers can usually make your life miserable if they wish. Employees suffering at the hands of these kinds of people may be bogged down with too many tasks, have a strained working relationship with their boss, or fear losing their job.
It is helpful to identify and distinguish between who these people actually are in the workplace; who are the people that have a say in your working future?
Once you have established this, it is a good idea to try to get to know them by building a rapport. Perhaps you could engage in out of work get-togethers; going for a drink for instance to build a personal relationship.
By doing this you put yourself in a position where you are comfortable enough to explain who you are, and what you feel. If you feel as though there is too much pressure on you at work, or that there is a better way they could communicate instructions, a relaxed non-corporate environment would be the time to make this clear.
It is important for you express yourself to your superiors at work for several reasons; a) so they know what they can expect of you, b) so they know you are dependable and c) so that they believe you are getting the job done; or in short – so they understand that they can trust you.
Often your superiors at work are under just as much pressure as you, they may struggle with keeping deadlines or have to deal with talking to difficult clients – it is even possible they are unaware of any tension they may be causing with you.
Once trust is established you will feel more comfortable at work, and an increase in comfort can lead to all round better productivity. There is also an added bonus of getting to know each other which may even create a new friendship on which to build. All in all, a proficient manager will be able to understand any concerns you may have and if necessary, will adapt to try to create a better working environment his team can thrive in.
License: Creative Commons
This article was lovingly crafted by Rachel Glover, a blogger who loves to share knowledge about effective ways to increase employee engagement in the workplace, business incentives and general people skills.