Monday, October 21, 2013

Bad Bosses And the Phoniness of National Boss Day

National Boss Day was October 16—the day you had to paste a smile on your face and pretend that your bad boss was a great boss. The day may have been frustrating because of the phoniness of your outward emotions, but it can be used as motivation to take charge of your work life and career.

Most employees think they are powerless in their relationship with their bad boss and that they just have to put up with bad boss behavior. That’s not true. We’re all human and we all have secret fears and desires. Your boss is no different. Say you have a screamer boss. Screamer bosses usually yell at others because they fear they can’t pull it together when hit with something unexpected, no matter how large or small. Their yelling is a sign of their insecurity. They are just paper tigers. Once you realize why your bad boss behaves the way he does, you hold the power.

There are all types of bad boss types with their own set of remedies. For a screamer boss, be his compass. Take the initiative to stop problems before they start and provide solutions to fix problems when they occur. He looks competent, which is what he desires, and you become invaluable. The screaming will stop, at least at you.

In a 2012 survey by talent management expert DDI, 60 percent of those surveyed reported their boss had damaged their self-esteem, while nearly one-third of employees said their supervisor did not remain calm and constructive when discussing problems. These numbers are unacceptable. There is a solution. Quit looking at your bad boss as some monolithic horror keeping you in misery, and instead look at your boss as a person with fears and desires that you can help resolve. Your importance within the company will rise and the workplace will be a lot quieter. 

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