When I started working for my not-so-great boss back in 2010, I had certain expectations for how she would “BE” as my boss, and what she would “DO.”
As my leader, and the leader of the larger community, I considered that in many ways, she had made a PROMISE to all of us. MANY PROMISES, in fact.
She had promised to treat us well and with respect.
She had promised to fulfill her duties and delegate when necessary.
She had promised to be honest and truthful.
She had promised to care about our needs, not just professionally, but personally.
She had promised to to be ethical and operate with the highest degree of integrity.
She had promised to support us and help us grow.
She had promised to collaborate often and with an open mind.
For almost 2 years, I struggled with the fact that she was consistently breaking her promises.
And when people break a promise you feel frustrated, angry, betrayed, etc, so for almost 2 years, I felt frustrated, angry, and betrayed (and more) whenever I interacted with her.
She had broken her promise.
But here’s the thing.
She had NEVER made that promise--at least not to me.
I had assumed that as my manager, and as our leader, she had promised to do all those things, but she hadn’t.
As our leader, she had promised a WHAT, but not necessarily a HOW. I was expecting a different HOW.
With those false assumptions, and hidden expectations, I had set myself up to be disappointed.
It was a major contributing factor in our conflict.
Broken promises easily lead to broken relationships.
If you are feeling frustrated, angry or betrayed by your boss or colleague because they broke a promise, I urge you to question whether they did in fact PROMISE you anything.