Dear Dr. Mimi: Confrontation Cooperation

Dear Dr. Mimi:

My boss does not like confrontation. He never looks me in the eyes while he is speaking. I cannot get him to tell me what I am doing wrong or right. When I tell him about problems in and around the office, he shrugs and does nothing. I find myself solving some of the issues that come up. He comes off as unintelligent and incapable for the high position he holds. I do not know how to tell my boss he needs to better confront issues. Any suggestions?
—Confrontational

Dear Confrontational:

It seems your personality and your boss’s personality clash. He may confront issues more privately. He may rely on you more to solve problems because he knows you can do it and perhaps is grooming you for a promotion. Instead of telling him the office problems and expecting him to do something about them, try presenting the issues and then ask if he will help solve the problem. A cultural element may be present with regard to the lack of eye contact. While body language and nonverbal cues are important, do not rely on them to be the sole determinant of a person’s communication skills.

—Dr. Mimi

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