Hey guys, recently on this same platform, I shared with you The Principle of work and how to find fulfillment in your work place. I do hope the article blessed you tremendously. Today, I want to share with you the same subject matter, but this time around; another subheading that I think would bless you - Managing a hard boss at work. Now, all these articles are borne out of my personal experience in the work place and whatever I write here have been put to work at some point or the other in my own work experience. The truth of the matter is this, hard bosses or difficult bosses, as some would refer to them are everywhere. That your current boss is hard to please, or because he or she is just too difficult should not warrant you quitting that job. You don’t even know how the next one you meet would look like. So, instead of planning to quit, why not just take some time to win your boss? This was the same thing I did when I found myself in that same position sometimes ago. When I eventually left the organization (not because my boss was hard or difficult), my boss never stopped talking about how effective and diligent I was doing my duty with some other new colleagues that came in after me.
One of the secret of getting along with your hard boss is to manage him or her without ever letting them know you are doing so. I was privileged to work with a female boss who would not take a ‘No’ for an answer or even give you few seconds to explain yourself. She shouts you down; say you aren’t doing your job well and so on. She would even go ahead to tell you she can handle all the works that more than ten staffs of the organization put together are doing by herself. That was how hard she was. She makes you feel you are not doing anything, demoralize you to the point that, even when you are putting in your best to do your assigned duties within the organization, thoughts that you are not doing it well or doing enough would constantly runs through your mind. Bosses like this drains you of the enjoyment of what might otherwise have been a rewarding role, leave you feeling unappreciated, and wondering whether you should begin searching for a new job. Research has shown that being overworked at times is not the reason people leave their jobs; some do because of hard and difficult bosses. So, if you currently have a boss that suites the description I just painted above, I do not envy you at all; I can simply relate with what you might be experiencing right now in your work place.
In other to help manage your hard boss effectively, I want to recommend that you take your time to understand the following tips. The first bitter truth is that you cannot change your boss from being hard or difficult, especially if you are not the only person that he or she shows this disposition. But I want to encourage you to do the following things. An understanding of them will guide you in handling how well to relate with your boss. The first thing is this: Understand your boss’ psychological state per time. This is usually the starting point in trying to manage your hard boss. An understanding of the reasons behind his or her difficult behavior would go a long way in helping you deal or relate with him or her. In my own case, I had a boss who in her mid-forties is not married and does not have biological children she can call her own. The thought of this sometimes overwhelms her and makes her behave the way she does. Sometimes she would even utter in her conversations while dealing with older male colleagues that the facts that she is not married does not mean she should be disrespected. Once a statement like this comes out from your boss to you, one can simply deduce where he or she is talking from. When you understand his/her mental state, managing your own negative emotions regarding his or her behavior would not be difficult to do.
The second point I would recommend in managing your difficult boss depends solely on you. It is in showing some professionalism in handling your work. Many at times, the reason bosses scream at employees is when they are not performing or leave out some important issues to attend to in their daily routines. When you do this, you have simply paved the way for your boss to scream or yell at you. Your ability to maintain a calm demeanor when he/she yells at you for your negligence is where the professionalism comes in. In circumstances when your boss becomes unprofessional just because he or she wants to take a swipe at you, don’t use it as an excuse to also become unprofessional. A couple of times, I witnessed how unpleasant my boss was whenever she yells or scream. Usually, those moments makes them uncomfortable especially when you do not respond. Do not use vulgar language or personal attacks, and never be tempted to say anything you would say if you were fighting a close friend. Always remember that you have a professional relationship with your boss, not a personal relationship. Never let your boss’ bad behavior and unprofessionalism be an excuse for yours.
Lastly, you need patience in handling a hard boss. This is sometimes easier said than done when dealing with your difficult boss. I want to believe there are a lot of people who have bad bosses and who probably feel their only option is to resign. There are realistic actions you can take to manage them instead of thinking about quitting to look for a new job. Some hard bosses indirectly are bringing the best out of you. Some of them actually do provide invaluable opportunities for developing executive leadership skills in you. But you may not realize this hard fact when you are not patient with them anyway. A lot of difficult bosses unknowingly are teaching you how not to become a difficult person when managing people who work for you. All you need is to be proactive and patient enough to pick the good behaviors in your hard boss and discard the others. This would help you a great deal in your own self-leadership training skills. Your ability to be patient with him or her would make you better understand what motivates your boss and you can better position yourself to deliver results. In the words of Cato the Elder, patience is the greatest of all virtues. If you want to effectively manage your difficult boss, patience is the key.
Finally, before you exit that organization because of your hard boss, you might want to have a rethink how you can better manage him or her. If you quit this job on the grounds of that, you cannot guarantee what the next organization will look like. In an ideal world, we would all have fantastic bosses, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Your next job might promise you a good boss, but what about difficult co-workers? We would discuss this in our next issue.
Thank you for reading.