``I'm not a touchy-feely manager, never been, not gonna be. I want to get the job done and move on to the next one. If people don't like it, they'll have to get over it.'
In the old days, you got away with that kind of thinking. If you got the job done on time and under budget, you were a keeper. In today's workplace and with that attitude, you're as likely to be considered a loser.What options do you have when your boss wants you to do a 180-degree shift in personality and you don't think you can? Do you get a different boss? Get a different job? Get different subordinates? Get a different attitude?
Get a different boss: You'll be rewarded for your efforts if you work for a boss who believes as you do and behaves the same way. Figure out what you do best and where you can be effective. Check out the reputations of managers in those departments. Ask for a meeting and clearly indicate your interest in working for them. Less is more, so stick with the positives and stay away from anything that sounds negative.
Explain your motivations; for example, you're looking for a cross-functional move that broadens your ability to contribute to the company while enabling you to develop new skill sets. If the chemistry feels right, do what it takes to make it work.
Get a different job: If your priorities are different from those of your company, and the gap is so great it's difficult for you to do your job as you believe it ought to be done, it makes sense to part company. How will you know that you've found a good match in another organization? Talk with friends and acquaintances about the places that they work. Be sure that you're asking people who see the world as you do before beginning the exercise. Find out what they like about their company's culture, structure and work ethic. Describe your transferable skills and abilities and your desire to work for an organization that values them. Find out what it takes to make that happen.
Get different subordinates: You may be managing a department of like-minded people who, regrettably, are unlike you. You'll be more effective without each other. Uncouple. Go shopping. What departments are likely to have individuals who would not only benefit from your style but would appreciate it? Talk to decision makers who can advance your position.
Get a different attitude: Sure, it could be the boss, the job, the subordinates, and it could be you. Before you pack your bags along with your attitude, take stock. What can you change about your perspective without having to change who you are?
For example: Change your negative comments to positive statements. Instead of saying what you don't want employees to do, tell them what you do want. Instead of telling them what's broken, ask them what needs fixing. Catch people doing something right instead of telling them when they're doing it wrong.
Give yourself a break. The most critical people are typically the most demanding and unforgiving of themselves. There's more to life than the job. No matter how dedicated you are to your profession, you'll be better at what you do if you take time away from work for some R&R.
Get away on the weekends; take walks at lunch. When you do, leave your beeper, cell phoneand lap top in the office. You'll return refreshed, more productive and more open to others' perspectives and ways of getting the job done. If you want to change how others see you, change your opinion of them. If you want to think differently about them, work on thinking differently about yourself.