A Difficult Boss By Any Other Name…Is More Difficult.
What do you do when you have a boss that is almost unbearable? Do you feel trapped in your current job because you hate your boss but you must support yourself and your family? How do you deal with them in a way that improves your job satisfaction and power to perform? Well, the first thing I can say is that it is not easy. That’s the biggest challenge in the workforce today. Over 80% of workers quit their manager and not their job. True that they may wait to get fired, but they quit and it shows in all sorts of ways even beyond job performance.So maybe you are in a situation where you are ready to quit your job but financial needs keep you trapped with an unbearable boss. Or maybe you have already quit but haven’t left your job yet. You show up, but your best is no where to be found. Or maybe you don’t like your boss but you just put up with him or her because you like what you do and the people around you enough to put up with the mild annoyance.
Whatever situation you are in (even if you love your boss, job and co-workers), maybe there are some people that you must interact with that are less than easy for you to deal with. This article will share 4 tips with you to help you feel better about the person or situation.
It’s important that you embrace the truth about the situation. The truth is that it’s your situation or difficulty, not their fault. You might want to read that a few times before moving on. I’ll call it YOUR reality that you are living in that is making YOUR experience difficult. I’m not saying that your boss isn’t doing what they are doing. I’m not saying that others don’t agree with your reality. I’m not saying that you don’t experience all the pain, frustration and anxiety that you feel. I’m just asserting that it is ALL YOURS.
Whether you believe me or not, the difficulty and impact of your reality is still the same; work sucks and you are drained, tired and frustrated.
The good news is that because it’s your reality, you can do something about it. The GREAT news is that if you do something about it, your experience of your boss can shift from difficult to dynamic; from passive aggressive to powerful; from draining to…alright, you get it.
I’m going to give you some simple and powerful tools to get your power back and restore your experience of your work (or any area of your life) to one that empowers you and that enriches your experience of life.
First, take responsibility for your experience of your difficult boss. How you react to their behavior is your reaction and your experience.
Second, stop blaming them for how you feel or experience them. See step one.
Third, stop calling your boss by any other name. You know the little nickname that you and the others you commiserate with use when you’re at the water cooler or at lunch. Those names only serve to reinforce the reality that you created, and makes the situation worse.
Finally, ask a better question. My guess is that if you’re frustrated by your boss’ behavior, you’re asking yourself the wrong questions about the situation.
You’re probably asking questions like “Why are they so mean?”, “How come they don’t care about me?”, “Why can’t they do things differently?” All of these questions lead you to a path of frustration and pain. They have you focus on what you cannot control and therefore you feel worse and your experience deteriorates.
Instead ask a better question that helps you focus on your reaction or one that expands your view of the situation that allows you to alter your point of view. Here are 4 examples of “better” questions to ask yourself:
- “What’s good about my boss that I haven’t noticed yet?”
- “What are they struggling with that I haven’t addressed?”
- “What else could I make that mean so that I am empowered by that?”
- “How could I make my boss win today?”
No boss is perfect and for that matter neither are you. That’s good news. You can lower your expectations of them and yourself to be perfect. If you can do that, then you can be supportive of each other.
- Being supportive would mean accepting the flaws of each other and working around the limitations you each bring to the job.
- Being supportive would mean learning what each other does that works and working with that.
- Being supportive helps you experience your part of the relationship in a way that you feel good about yourself, your job and your performance.
Put yourself in control of your reality, not your boss. When you start to take responsibility for your reality, your reactions are different, your experience is different and your life is different.
You now have 4 keys to a better job and 4 questions to create a better life.