How to Cope with Difficult Boss….When applying to work in a particular establishment, especially, the one that we feel would pay so well and the working conditions would be nothing but splendid, it is easy to overlook or dismiss many other hypothetical concerns. Hypothetical in that, since you are not there yet, you cannot be sure of what to expect. One of such concerns is the kind of people you would be working with, and more importantly, the kind of “boss (es)” you are likely to have.
People experience difficulties in their work place all the time; with colleagues, working conditions, and so on. Most of these difficulties are circumvented, almost seamlessly on daily basis; just with a bit of resignation, tolerance and formal relation! But when one’s superior or boss is internationally difficult, tolerance and formal relations’ become inadequate. The question then is “who is a difficult boss and how is a difficult boss and how is one supposed to cope with such?
Description of Who a Difficult Boss
There are so many write-ups on the issue of “difficult bosses” but hardly does any give a description of who a difficult boss is. Human behaviour is in itself a complex phenomenon and the social implication of it, is much more complex. It leaves many with the agreement that behavioural impression is both subjective and relative. So, in a normal world, one could describe a difficult boss as one who does not appreciate, who lacks manners of interrelations; who makes work difficult by creating bottle neck conditions, who reads more into occasional mistakes than the innumerable quality job deliveries; one who is difficult to relate with, and so on. All these definitely, are qualities of a difficult superior.
So how does one cope with someone who possesses these characteristics in disturbing abundance? N/B people from different academic/professional/social backgrounds would all provide different perspectives into ideal human relations. Those from a purely business background, in an issue like this could outline steps towards relating with any kind of people in a workplace. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t; but from my end, human relationships, regardless of how conditioned the environment, is still too dynamic to describe, more so to make prescriptions as to its control or understanding.
Returning to our preoccupation, there are so many actions one can take or not take in a bit to cope with a difficult boss, but I would rather leave that for the councilors and focus on the psychological state which would inform one on the actions or behaviours to exhibit. After all, the psychology between an employer and an employee translate to the sociology between both. So, first, understand the psychology of your boss and your own. A lot of people make the mistake of exhausting themselves on scrutinizing others so much that they even forget who they are themselves. This is exactly what you want to avoid in your work place unless you don’t want to last there. When you understand yourself enough you would definitely understand how others would perceive you, and this arms you just about enough to know how to react to unfavourable or harsh treatment.
Importance of Understanding
There is no over estimating the importance of understanding one’s thinking and that of the fellow (or adversary) right next to you. Such psychological power would certainly help you direct the trajectory and dynamics of your interactions. In context, understanding your boos’s motivations, fears, interests, reasoning, and so on, sets the tone for how you would be interacting with him. With this, if he is unimpressionable, you’d simply give up the expectations of having him look impressed, if he is harsh or abusive, with knowledge of his antecedents, you can cushion the effect his abuses have on you; he feasts on your mistakes while turning a blind eye to your good works, you remember that its already one of the most common attributes of human judgments. Even Robert Greene had said in the “48 laws of power” that you are not perceived as a good person because of how numerous the good things you do, but because of the bad ones you do which people don’t know about.
The moment they find one, that changes. So, understanding this nature of human judgment could empower you to cope with a boss who exhibits this. If there are other negativities around him which your simple understanding of his psychology does not help overcome, then, if possible, take it up with him, but not before accepting that it could spell the end of your working with him. Finally, you could avoid the drama of such confrontational or interactive session by simply handing in your resignation. But whoever you work with or for, like Socrates would say “Man know thyself”, and in this case, know thy boss as well.