Is your boss trying to sabotage your career . . . and what you can do about it! (Part 4 of 4)
In this 4-Part series on toxic bosses I have attempted to shed both a needed and unique light on a challenge many of us face but few actually talk about beyond quiet grumblings.
For some, the present day job market and the resulting lack of alternate prospect seem to force us to tolerate the at times insufferable behavior of a boss who appears to be bent on making our lives miserable for no other reason than having questionable personality traits.
In other instances, we remain with the same organization even though options might exist elsewhere, simply because we have been with the company for a long time.
Regardless of how we might find ourselves in the unenviable position of having to directly report to a superior who has the uncanny ability to upset and disrupt our work lives – sometimes even spilling over into our personal lives, there are options other than quitting in a fit of frustrated rage. As difficult as it might seem, we do have the ability to lessen the impact these individuals have on our sense of professional well-being.
Once again, in Parts 1 through 3, I have provided an in-depth look at the question of toxic bosses from a number of important angles, including what you can do to limit the impact of bad boss behavior.
In today’s 4th and final post I will zero in on the 5 key tips that will empower you to take back the reigns of your career aspirations whatever they may be.
1. While you do not want be seen as inciting rebellious behavior amongst co-workers or against the corporate culture, you’re probably not alone in your experiences in dealing with a toxic boss. In this regard, it’s important to seek feedback from fellow employees whom you trust (emphasis on the word trust), to confirm that the strain in your relationship with your boss is not limited to an isolated personality conflict but an overall management style.
2. If there appears to be a pattern of behavior on the part of your boss that extends to his or her relationship with other employees, then the next step would be to try and understand why they are compelled to act in a manner that is having a negative impact on those who report to them. As I had indicated in Part 2 of this series, there are some bosses who truly do not know that their behavior is problematic (The Reasonable Toxic Boss), or believes that this is in fact the most effective way to lead or manage people (The Rational Toxic Boss). Regardless of what personality type with whom you are dealing, gaining this much needed perspective will help you to determine the next course of action you can take to resolve issues with the boss.
3. Also covered in Part 2 is the manner in which you should approach your boss in terms of attempting to have a meaningful and productive dialogue. For example, with the Rational Toxic Boss, a conciliatory approach in which you seek his or her guidance on helping to improve relations makes the most sense, while with the Reasonable Toxic Boss merely creating constructive awareness may be the ticket to better days ahead.
4. Depending on how the discussion goes, you can perhaps schedule regular meetings in an effort to ensure that you are through your efforts, helping your boss to achieve their objectives or goals. By establishing a line of communication you can then build a rapport through which both you and your boss can both benefit.
5. Finally, and no matter what happens, “never” as Mark Twain so aptly put it “argue with stupid people,” as “they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” Or to put it another way, and following the edict that two wrongs never make a right, always be both professional and courteous in your interactions with your boss no matter how unreasonable they may become. This rationale will help you to best showcase your true character as well as speak volumes to those watching. You never know who might be watching who might be considering another opportunity for you!
In conclusion, manage your attitude on a daily basis. How you view challenging situations will determine the outcomes you create, whether consciously or unconsciously. To quote Sid Ridgley, a pragmatic strategist, how you see the world, how you handle stress and how you manage relationships are all linked to your thinking patterns. You don’t have to change who you are but you must be flexible in communicating with all types of people. You ability to think differently will help you to identify solutions that can weather the storm with challenging bosses. See your boss as a difficult customer which will depersonalize the situation. Showcasing your resiliency and adaptability will allow you to coast in tough situations.
I’d like to leave you with the following saying that is very meaningful to me.
You sow a thought and reap an act.
You sow an act and reap a habit.
You sow a habit and reap a character.
You sow a character and reap your destiny.