Unrealistic expectations and what to do about them

If you feel you've reached a spot in your workplace where there is a lack of respect for your input, or a culture of toxicity, then it may be time to explore other options. In the many years I've been in business, I've been faced with this at one time or another. Sometimes, these people are recognized and flushed out before it truly affects you. Other times, it may be advisable to ask senior management for a change of venue/manager - if they value you, they may make that work. There are a few things you can do when in this situation. First, make sure your objection to the goal is documented with specific, measurable reasons. Second, ask for a meeting to discuss alternate means for achieving this goal - perhaps with an additional team member to help or additional time. Third, assess your situation as to why you feel this way - do you need further education to achieve what's being asked? Do you have an inter-personal conflict with your boss? Is there someone or something you can do or recruit to help you meet this goal? Have you discussed this with someone else to get a second point of view to make sure yours is clear and focused? The greater tragedy of these situations is they can very often lead to good, valuable employees leaving without upper management ever understanding why (which is why exit interviews can be very telling). Bad bosses cause a host of problems. They equate to anxiety, sleepless nights, frustration, and depression - all of those things seep over into your personal life. Don't let it. There are many other opportunities out there, and if you feel pigeon- holed in your specific job - consider studying at night and weekends for something else. The hard work you put into finding the right career with the right company with the right boss will make a huge difference in your life.

Lynne Schultz

CEO, Tri-State Marketing

I'm a generally optimistic, can-do attitude person. I love a challenge and, even better, love the feeling of accomplishment when I meet it. But if you ask me to climb Mt. Everest (I'm deathly afraid of heights) or scuba the Santa Rosa Wall in Cozumel (I guess I don't like depths either) - I'm going to disappoint. So, how do we make winners out of our employees? We want to challenge them, but we don't want to set them up for failure - and that's where the balancing act comes in. And I should interject and say some failure is okay. We want people to learn that if they don't succeed, they can try again. That is very different than blatantly setting someone up for failure. There are lots of reasons bosses set employees up in situations where they know they won't succeed. Some do it to make themselves look better. Others do it to employees they feel threatened by in a way to eliminate them. And there's the totally incompetent boss that is oblivious to what is going on in the company or their industry to even understand what they are asking for is unachievable.


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