I worked with a client whose firm hired a new boss.
After some time together, they were left with one opinion: the new boss was arrogant and ego driven.
We’ve all experienced bosses that we:
- didn’t agree with
- did not like
- have had personality conflicts with
Or, quite simply, maybe you’ve worked with someone who was truly an ass.
If you’ve not encountered such a boss, chances are good you’ll meet up with one. After years in business, I’ve developed some pretty effective strategies for dealing with difficult people.
Separate the Facts from the Opinions
I try hard to separate the facts from opinions or judgments.
First, there are things people have said, words they used, things they have done that all would agree upon. Those are the plain facts.
Then there are our opinions and judgments about those words and actions. When we separate facts from opinions, it helps to reduce the emotion you experience.
You can choose to have an opinion or thought about it that serves you better towards the result that you want to achieve.
Secondly, know what your objective is:
- What do you need to accomplish?
- What support do you need from them, for your team, your department, or for your responsibilities each day?
This is important to evaluate since these things don’t attach to any emotion whatsoever.
It’s much easier to separate things when you know what you need, and it doesn’t matter how you feel or how it will make you feel either way.
Being angry or frustrated clouds you from the facts, input, or feedback you need from your boss so that you can do your job well.
Take a Good Look – at Yourself
How do YOU want to show up each day? Who do YOU want to be?
Who cares how this person acts or treats people? They can be them and you can be you.
When you allow your thoughts and opinions about them affect how you feel and act each day, you will not get the results that you want.
You won’t accomplish your job responsibilities. You won’t look very good to others around you.
Be the person who you want to be.
My guess is that this will not only impact managing yourself, but it will help manage your day and get what you need to meet your objectives more easily.
You may not always like it. That’s OK, too.
You don’t have to like it. Just accepting the simple fact that you may not like it will go a long way to helping you become empowered and reach your goals.
You won’t be fighting the idea that it shouldn’t be this way or that this person shouldn’t be acting like this. Once you can accept that it ‘just is,’ you will no longer feel frustrated or angry AT them or the situation any longer.
You get to be neutral, calm, confident or even peaceful, maybe even entertained as you observe and not judge their behavior.
Take it to the Next Level
After you have accepted the fact of their behavior, you will have accepted the fact you don’t like it. Now ask a thought-provoking question:
What if you could appreciate them?
Becoming appreciative could help you get to the next level of relationship with this person.
They are in their position for some reason- even if you can’t see it. The fact is that very likely, they bring to the table some experience and or some wisdom that you may not have that could help you.
We know we cannot change anyone and have no power over their behaviors, actions, or choices.
Yet the possibilities of improving your relationship with this person and how they operate with you has much more opportunity for potential when you appreciate them than when you are feeling or acting from any place that is negative or even neutral.
When others choose behaviors, words or actions that are perceived by others as negative, many times this comes from a place inside of themselves where they:
- don’t appreciate themselves
- don’t believe they are valued
- are fearful of losing what they have, or of others being a threat to their position, or their needs being met
As a Result of This, You Can Change YOUR Behavior
What kinds of things might you say or do differently with this person if you knew that they were threatened by someone, felt inferior, or didn’t want to be seen as a failure? How would you address them differently?
Attempt to figure out:
- what makes them tick
- what’s their biggest hot button?
- what is the most important thing to them?
- how can you check that off the list for them, so they have the result they need or want so they feel the way they want to feel?
Going through this process gets you to the core of things with this person.
Manage Your Manager…Possible?
You have many choices as to how to handle this person and the situation. There are other options, and all will give you a different result.
You need to know which one you really WANT to have.
Think about these key questions:
- What’s your real goal here?
- How do you want to approach that?
- Could you end up being promoted as a result?
- Would this person allow you the leeway you need to get your job done best?
- What else could be accomplished from this place?
Managing your manager is an incredibly valuable skill, one that many do not have.
Sure, you could just quit your job and get a new one. Here’s what I would suggest to you if you were thinking along that route:
Go through this entire exercise anyway.
Why? Do it for you. You will…
- grow as a person
- gain more insight and information along the way
- learn and gain so much from the experience of it all
And if you choose to leave anyway, you will do it knowing you had that experience, perhaps had an impact on the situation and became a stronger person because of it.
Reality is there will be another person where this may be required of you, and it may not be easy to quit or walk away. You will have already practiced on this person to prepare you for the next.
Consider this arrogant, egotistical boss as a gift – to better yourself!
Managing your manager is as important as knowing how to manage your own team. It is a skill you get to take with you wherever you go,
Here at Strive Coaching Studio, we have many resources, tips, tools available to you. Be sure to check us out to see how you can become better and better in what you do every day!