Josef loved his job but could barely tolerate his boss, who was either missing in action, or overcompensating and micromanaging. He came to me wanting to know how to handle his boss, so he could continue to work at the company he had grown to love. His stress level had increased and was on the verge of quitting.
Let’s look at a few strategies that will help you (or someone you know) get through this situation successfully. First, you are not alone! Researchers have found between 50 and 70% of employees have quit their job because of problems with their boss. Problem bosses can be bullies, micromanagers, or the opposite, refuse to handle problems with a “wait and see” approach. Meanwhile you stuck with the hassles and can’t get your work done. Your stress level mounts changing your overall perspective.
Shift your perspective. Working day in and day out under pressure to perform, without the right tools or resources can be frustrating and even stressful. In situations like this, there can be a tendency to feel powerless. This perspective is not going to help you see potential and possibilities.
One way to shift perspective is to use the Freeze Frame® technique to move out of the survival instinct of the stress reaction and into a mindset that is open. This will help you to feel empathy for your boss. Could they be dealing with a tough challenge? By extending empathy to them, they are more likely to reciprocate with you. You are closer to finding common ground.
Now that you are open, ask yourself, “Am I part of the problem?” I understand this can be difficult to consider, yet, when you learn to first evaluate you, confidence increases, as will your credibility. Check in with you and reflect on how you interact and respond to your boss. Are you doing (or not doing) something that is sending mixed signals to your boss?
This suggestion is at the heart of emotional intelligence; one of the most important skill sets leaders need to be effective. These skill sets include self-awareness and self-regulation and are skills you can learn.
Self awareness increases your effectiveness. This helps, especially when someone else is the problem. You learn to navigate, maintaining your cool and demonstrating your ability to lead despite challenges.
Check out our assessments, including the EQi 2.0 - the most widely used assessment for emotional intelligence. This is the start of building a strong and effective leadership brand.
Performance Consultant. Unleashing potential in leaders and organizations through innovative performance development.