Monday Motivation: Positively Handling Unclear Supervisors


Today’s Monday Motivation is all about a common problem: unclear supervisors. Certainly, people talk about their bosses in a negative way, but I rarely encounter truly unpleasant bosses. Instead, I find bosses, or sometimes editorial supervisors when I’m writing, have trouble making their expectations clear.

I worry because I want my bosses AND myself to shine, and lack of clarity wastes time, exhausts both of us, and results in bad work. So when I don’t understand what a boss wants, I try to process a little first: certainly, my impatient self wants to run in and demand a clearer response, or (too often) a better project or writing design. Instead, it is important for me to clear away my initial impatience and rebellion and look at what will really help the situation?

9 times out of 10, giving my boss the benefit of the doubt and asking for clarification in a way that respects their vision of the project is the best way to go. I will only be really blunt with a boss who has persistently not answered my questions or made the work take much longer than necessary; otherwise, I want to avoid burning bridges.

So if you are dealing with a supervisor who isn’t clearly expressing what he or she wants, know you are in good company – we have all been there! Anyone who has also BEEN a supervisor knows how challenging it is to express what you want from a project before you’ve seen the final project. Respect, patience, and kindness can go a long way on both sides, and by giving each other the best you have to offer, you are more likely to power through your Monday and the rest of the week to come!

What do you do when faced with an unclear supervisor’s needs? Share your best strategies for remaining positive in the comments!

One Comment, RSS

  1. Cindy November 14, 2017 @ 1:09 am

    I am retired so thankfully my only supervisors are my two cats and my dog. They are pretty good at communicating their wishes so I don’t struggle with too much misunderstanding. 🙂 When I did work outside the home I was a boss so I didn’t have supervisors to contend with.

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