Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Are you Dealing with an Impossible Boss?

Is your boss impossible to deal with? Is managing their moods and expectations stressing you out? Let’s talk about some solutions.

I’ve had my fair share of impossible people to work for. Sometimes dealing with a difficult superior can be upsetting, even depressing. Many people find themselves in a job they like, but can’t seem to get along with the person they report to.

The first step is figuring out what you are contributing to the situation. How do you make the situation as good as it can be? How do you make matters worse? While you may be dealing with a completely unreasonable person, you are still in control of your reactions.

Are you letting your fear control you? I used to do that. When asked to meet a completely impossible deadline I would say yes because I was afraid I might get in trouble, or even fired. Dealing with your fear is an important step to improving any relationship.

Consider the type of person that you’re boss is. They may be very different from you. Try to understand their perspective. What would It be like to be in their shoes? You may resist this. It is easier to complain.

Your boss is another human being with pressures, and faults, of their own. Understanding their shortcomings and issues will build empathy and compassion. It will make it easier to tolerate their not so good behaviour. It will also help you to relate to, and communicate with, them better.

Improving communication is the best way to work on a relationship.  Pay attention to the types of words your boss uses.  If they use a lot of visual words do the same. If they express more through emotional words, do that. They may talk more about sounds, “Do you hear what I’m saying?” or through logic “That doesn’t make sense to me”. You will find it easier to understand them, and to be understood by them, if you communicate like them.

These are just preliminary steps. Taking responsibility for improving your relationship is the point. Have you had some success in managing a difficult boss? I’d love to hear why or why not.

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