If you are wondering how to circumvent your boss, we have prepared several career tips and info to consider before taking the super-duper risky step.
It’s a problem that most people end up encountering no matter what their job is. How do you go over your boss’s head without committing career suicide?
A person with micromanaging boss characteristics can be incredibly difficult to deal with.
Before bypassing your boss, I recommend you go through this checklist first. And then, if you still decide to take the calculated risk, we have some ideas on how to disrupt the hierarchy without getting the boot. Here is how to circumvent your boss and live to tell the story.
Step 1: Question your motivation.
Drill down to the specifics of why you want to go over your boss’s head. Is it because you feel your ideas are dying on the cutting room floor? Are your concepts and successes being hijacked as your supervisor’s own? Are you looking to exact revenge for an incident or circumstance? Simple tired of hearing ‘no’ or feeling stagnate? The point here is that if your reasons are entirely self-serving, circumventing a boss can come across as selfish. And that is not going to resonate well.
TIP: If you decide to go around your boss, be sure that your points are rooted in what’s best for the organization.
bypassing your boss
Step 2: Have you tackled your grievances directly with your boss?
One way to potentially soften the blow back of bypassing your boss is to take your issues directly to the source. There is a good chance that if and when you get the opportunity to make a case to your boss’s boss, you will be asked if you have approached him/her regarding the issue(s).
We live in our heads so much more than we recognize or would like to believe. You won’t know how your boss will react until you tackle the issue. Bosses are not mind readers. Also, are you sure you need to go to your boss’s boss? Perhaps you have just been avoiding a difficult situation because you are scared to address your supervisor.
TIP: Address your boss more than once, preferably using various channels (in-person, email, phone) to communicate your feelings. Different communication mechanisms resonate differently with each person. However, sadly, once something is in “writing,” you are more likely to get a response.
Step 3: Put yourself in your boss’s position.
How would you feel if someone went around you to speak with your boss about an issue they have with you? Ouch, right? Change your lens and view the situation from other perspectives before circumventing your boss.
TIP: Play out all of the scenarios that can potentially occur after you bypass your boss. List the fallout that is possible and the action(s) that you are prepared to take. Don’t make a move until you are prepared for anything and everything.
If you have completed our mini checklist and still want to approach your boss’s boss, it is time to determine how you plan to do it. Options include:
– Use planned face-to-face time
– Take advantage of the grapevine (a well-placed and trusted source!)
Aside from being done with great tact, it is also imperative to weigh the risk versus the reward. Sometimes, going around your boss, can lead you quickly to a dead end — or worse. To avoid the reputation of a person with undermining employee behavior, a few precautionary measures to take include:
Network/Committee. Entrenching yourself into the organization makes you better known. It also might make it a tad more forgivable for going around the chain. Participating in extracurriculars show that you are part of the teams.
Sell yourself, regularly. This is super hard for people who don’t like talking about themselves. Something I personally hate, but have honed the skill via repetition. Achieving your goals is one thing, but if the decision makers aren’t aware of your successes, then you’re not bound to get very far at the office. Be smart about using the collective “team” and “we.” But get in the habit of talking about what you have done, what you are currently doing and what you plan to do in the future.
Bypassing your boss is not for the faint of heart, but with a little business acumen and a dash of luck, it could work out to your benefit. If you enjoyed our article on how to circumvent your boss, please consider sharing it.
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