How to Spot a Manipulative Boss
The line between influence and manipulation is intention. Manipulators seek their own interests. Ethical influencers seek your best interest.
A boss with puppy dog eyes:
Manipulators say you’re too good to promote and then promote the people you trained.
A boss who looks at you with puppy dog eyes and says, “I need you. I can’t promote you…”
- Doesn’t have your best interest in mind.
- Seeks their own comfort.
- Is manipulative.
“We can’t live if you’re promoted,” is baloney with a capital ‘B’. Don’t fall for their bull. They’re self-serving and manipulative.
3 goals of manipulative bosses:
- Keep you where you are.
- Give you more responsibility.
- Keep your salary the same.
Listen for these messages:
When you’re consistently passed over for promotion manipulative bosses …
- Give new job titles with little or no pay increase.
- Add responsibility but don’t deliver the promotion.
- Keep dangling the carrot. Dangling carrots are daggers.
- Move the targets. “You’re almost there.”
- Nitpick your skill set. One month it’s one problem; the next month it’s another.
Why you stay after being passed over:
- You need a paycheck and you’re afraid to rock the boat.
- You enjoy your job even though being passed over is painful.
- You’re gullible and naïve. Find an outside viewpoint.
- You are fear-driven rather than opportunity-driven.
- You aren’t as good as you think you are and your boss won’t tell you.
5 things to do when you aren’t promoted:
- Take responsibility for your trajectory.
- Move laterally out of your department.
- Sharpen your resume’ and start looking.
- Stay positive; avoid bitterness and complaining.
- Never give an ultimatum.
Bonus: Don’t manipulate a manipulator by saying you’re looking for a new job.
What suggestions do you have for people who are too good to be promoted?
Thanks to everyone who made last night’s Leadership Freak Family Gathering a wonderful success. This post is inspired by one of the topics that came up.