The Harvard Business Review looks at the different reasons why a manager might not connect well with their reports and provides ideas for how to remedy the situation if you feel that your boss doesn’t like you. One suggestion includes looking into a personality assessment such as The Birkman Method® for insight. By looking at the details of your Usual Behavior and your boss’s Needs, you can see where you may be unintentionally irritating them and try to shift your actions to align with what they desire from their coworkers.
It’s possible that you’re a high performer, but that your boss dislikes you because your style doesn’t mesh with his. In this case, you’ll notice that the boss’s corrections and coaching aren’t as much about what you’re doing as they are about how you’re doing it. He might appear to disagree with you in meetings, but actually just restates the same idea in different words. If your styles clash, you’ll know because even the most innocuous interactions will feel tense.
The secret to addressing a style clash is to find two or three small things you can change that will make a big difference. If your team has used a personality assessment tool (e.g., The Birkman Method), dig out your notes and see what you can glean. If not, pay attention and see if you can find the rub. One of the most common friction points is how directly you confront issues. Try adjusting your communication style (either to be a little more direct or a little less) and see if the boss responds. Paying attention to your teammates who are the boss’s favorites might give you clues. Another common source of friction is how structured your thinking is. If your boss is very structured, try to meet her needs with lot of detail and precision. Or, if structure ruins her mojo, dial back the detail and keep your interactions at a more conceptual level.