I’m lucky: I always know where I stand with my boss. He’s
effusive with praise and candid with criticism—the way it should be. And yet, a
recent survey conducted by workplace expert Lynn Taylor found that employees
spend more than 19 hours a week worrying about what their boss thinks, including 6 hours on weekends!
Make no mistake: You need to know what your boss thinks of you. Not only for your productivity, but for your sanity as well. How so? According to a study in Organizational Behavior and Human
Decision Processes, people who think their bosses (or coworkers) dislike them seek out information through eavesdropping. This will just annoy your colleagues, causing them to reject you faster than a deer tick at a dermatologists' convention.
How can you find out what your boss thinks? Well, you could ask. As Aristotle (or was it Trump?) once said, you have to deal with the boss. But if you're too afraid of that
awkward talk, look for these subtle signs that your boss hates you.
1) He Doesn't Move His Coffee Cup When You Sit Down
If your boss respects you, he or she won’t want anything between
you when sitting across the table. He'll unconsciously move his cellphone,
coffee cup, or pen to the side. “If something else is
more important than you, or if they don’t want to engage with you, bosses will put
up barriers,” says Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Snap:
Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma.
2) He Doesn't Seek You Out
If your boss calls,
texts, and stops by your cube often,
that’s a good sign. Same goes if he or she sends you a lot of
emails—without copying others. He’s interested enough in what you have
to say to seek you out. An employer who likes you is more likely to
through all media platforms, says Wood.
3) His Gestures Seem Mismatched
"If your boss’s hand motions don’t match what he’s saying, he or she could be trying to cover something," says Marc Salem, the Men's Health Mentalist and one of the world's foremost authorities on non-verbal communication. For example, the boss says, “I think you’re doing a good job,” but points at you after he says it.
4) His Tone Shifts Mid-Sentence
speak steadily," says Salem. "Pitch changes quickly corrected signal
truth-stretching. Same goes for voice cracks or changes in rhythm."
The hands and mouth are windows into a person’s brain, says
Wood. If your boss trusts you, he’ll keep his hands on the desk, and let his
mouth slightly open. If not, the hands will disappear behind the desk and his
lips will parse. You can use this trick to assess how a job interview is going as well. Hidden hands mean you're not getting the gig. Next time, don't bring up any of the 5 Questions You Should Never Ask in a Job Interview.
6) He Won't Stand Beside You
This one is specific to male bosses: If he likes you, he’ll be willing to stand by your
side to talk—even about serious work stuff. "That's where guys feel the most comfortable and the safest," says Wood. This means he trusts you. If the trust isn't there, he'll stay directly in front of you.