People want a supervisor who is kind, encouraging of new ideas, and interested in their careers. This kind of boss shouldn’t be confused with one who’s too nice – who shies away from conflict, avoids sharing negative feedback, and gives in too easily.
Conflict-averse managers can hurt your performance and career, so you must mitigate the potential damage.
- Directly address the issue. Make clear what you need and be concrete. Express concern if you don’t have the resources you need, ask for insight if your boss is being too hands off, and make it easy for him to give feedback.
- Make the costs clear. Help your boss understand the costs of his behavior. Make the downsides evident, so he’ll be incented to change. Point to direct evidence, such as a team member’s disengagement.
- Tap your network. You may need to go above your boss and use your network to get feedback or resources – but don’t sneak around, bring your boss into those discussions.
Adapted from “When Your Boss Is Too Nice” by Amy Gallo.