Blog: The Boss's Syndrome


The Boss's Syndrome

Even in today’s globalized world most of the leaders exhibit pseudo leadership traits. Let's find out how to deal with such bosses.
The Boss's Syndrome

Are the bosses and their team members from a different planet, we all know they aren’t but most of the times they seem to be. The most popular saying, “Boss is always right”; still exist in practice. It reflects the truth that even in today’s globalized world most of the leaders exhibit pseudo leadership traits. Today, we address such bosses as having low Emotional Intelligence as they have no understanding of social dynamics involved in an office environment and the damage they could create by killing the culture of the organization.

In our career journey, we would have definitely come across bosses from Hell; dealing with boss’s syndrome would have been nerve-racking experience. The psychological impact of bad boss behavior on you is anxiety, stress, psychosomatic disorders, emotional exhaustion, cynicism, personal relationships on stake leading to reduce efficacy and to an extreme of decision to quit job…Is Job hopping the right solution?  

Being successful in finding a new job, made your life brighter; only to find few months later, the green pastures turned pale because only the boss has change but dealing with obnoxious behaviour continues. Job change is definitely not the right solution just because you have difficult boss to handle. Apt reason to look for a job change - if you are looking for more responsibility or if you are seeking for opportunities that just doesn't exist for you in your current organization or if life situation has changed or if your values are at odds with the corporate culture.

Everyday battling with a difficult boss can be daunting and intimidating due to which one is forced to take extreme decision. Let’s hold on for a while before taking a decision by trying out few strategies mentioned below, which may help you to deal with difficult bosses and supervisors.

Strategy #1: Get to know you Boss’s Expectation

Relationship with your boss is almost like a marriage, which develops in 4 stages…(1) Dating (Interview): Getting to know each other and expectation (2) Wedding (Job Agreement): Agreeing to work together (3) Honeymoon (Probation period): Mistakes are forgiven and given chances for improvement (4) Post Honeymoon (Period of Reality on Confirmation): Performance pressure, fulfilling expectation and dealing with the behavior. Arrange to meet with your boss in regular intervals especially during your probation period to understand his personality traits, working style and expectation from you.

Strategy #2: Keep your Goals Secondary

At the initial stages of your interaction/working with your boss and until (and if ever) you can win your boss’s trust you need to keep the goals of your boss as priority.

Strategy #3: Keep your Boss in Loop

Keeping him posted about your work is vital for winning the trust of your boss; this will help you in the time of controversies with other functions, colleagues or client.

Strategy #4: Be an Observer

Try to observe the boss's behavior to determine what exactly is making you unhappy. Just observe your boss’s behaviour with your colleagues. Identifying what exactly is making you feel unsatisfied is the first step in helping yourself.

Strategy #5: Document Problematic Incidences

When did it happen? What did your boss say to you? How did you respond? What happened next? This will help you to keep a check on your Boss’s behavior and your reaction to it.

Strategy #6: Avoid Being Impulsive

Don't get agitated and aggressive; keep your calm. Proper control over your temper makes you look like you have control over your emotions. Never make a mistake of walking away; you would look totally unprofessional and also as if you have no respect for your superiors.

Strategy #7: Awareness by Mirroring Technique

Look for a right opportunity to talk to your boss about his negatively presented behavior in a more objective manner. While communicating; frame your conversation appropriately to ensure that his “EGO” has not been hampered especially if your boss exhibits narcissistic personality traits from time to time.

Strategy #8: Be Articulate

If you're often accused on no fault of yours, threatened, or being treated abusively, e-mail the unprofessional event to both your company's HR department with a copy to your boss's manager.

Strategy #9: Head Off Confrontation

Just because your boss keeps on sending you emails on your vacation doesn't mean you need to respond while water skiing. Take a breath and when you write back, keep it professional.

Strategy #10: Performance Evidence Tracking

Keep a written record of your accomplishments weekly, monthly and yearly so when you have a performance review, you could give specific reasons for deserving increment or promotion.

Strategy #11: Get a Third Party Perception

Discuss with someone you trust outside of your workplace.  They might have dealt with a boss similar to yours and could give you some great advice or in more critical cases seek for a professional advice by consulting a psychologist or a counselor

Strategy #12: Focus on the Big Picture

Never give up by small disappointments or failures in your workplace; just consider it as a stone in your career journey; which you need to cross over to reach your final destination. Long-term goals will help you to get away from all hurdles on your way to success.

If you are unconformtable with your boss’s behaviour; don’t hate him; be neutral and deal with it. Quitting is an easy solution to the problem but what if you find a similar kind of boss in your next job. Try to deal with the situation which will make you more stronger and emotionally competent for rest of your career journey….. 

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Topics: Culture, Watercooler

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