Saturday, July 18, 2015

Is Your Stress At Work Out of Control? Keep Your Boss From Pushing You To The Brink

All people experience some stress at work. It's normal. But is your boss so demanding, demeaning and dysfunctional that your stress level is reaching the danger point?

People who work in the land of bad bosses are hyper-stressed to volcanic proportions, ready to implode or explode at any moment. Your strong work ethic convinces you that you want to hang in there, hoping your boss will be fired or quits. Unfortunately, you could be hanging on forever, losing whatever sanity you have left. You're going to need more than the mantra 'At least I have a job' to deal with the stress more effectively.

A study was conducted with members of the surgical intensive care unit at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The nurses went through an eight-week mindfulness-based program that included stretching, yoga, meditation and music in the workplace. Stress level indicators went down by 40 percent.

"Our study shows that this type of mindfulness-based intervention in the workplace could decrease stress levels and the risk of burnout," reports Dr. Maryanna Klatt, professor of family medicine at Ohio State and one of the study's lead authors. "What's stressful about the work environment is never going to change. But what we were interested in changing was the nursing personnel's reaction to those stresses."

Your job itself may not have the life-or-death immediacy of a surgical intensive care unit, but if relaxation techniques could cut stress levels in that environment, surely the same techniques can help you cut the stress level of your bad boss environment.

You don't have to go into trance-like meditation to achieve mindfulness. All you need to do is look at whatever is going on, like your bad boss yelling at you, or demanding a totally impossible deadline, or vanishing just when you desperately need him or her to sign off on something--as neither good nor bad, just something that is. You’ve just released a whole load of stress. Now you can move forward into the problem-solution phase far more effectively and easily.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How to Put Your Sexist Horny Pig Boss in His Place and Still Keep Your Job (Maybe)

Most people experience bad bosses in their career but the most dangerous is the sexist horny pig type.

Like all other bad bosses, a sexist horny boss has a secret fear. In his case, that he's impotent, and that holds true whether the sexist horny boss is a man or a woman. He fears that he’s powerless, both in and out of the bedroom. They are bullies and bullies are nothing more than cowards in disguise. They pick on women or men they think would be too ashamed or embarrassed to speak up.

Here are tactics to keep a sexist horny pig boss at arm’s length.

            --Be Bold. Abuse thrives in secret. Counter it with overt, direct and loud action. Say you’re sitting in your chair, working on your computer. When he leans over and gets too close, back up abruptly, stand up and step away. If you run over his toe in the process, fine. Then say something like, "Oh, sorry, I wanted to give you plenty of room." Use this technique whenever he invades your space. Be loud with your reaction. You will no longer be the docile prey he or she prefers.

            --Document Everything. If the behavior continues, take your documentation of the abuse to the highest company higher-up you can. Understand your rights and sexual harassment laws before making this move. Be prepared to say you will take the matter up with the EEOC if you are not moved to another department and away from your tormentor. Often, this is enough for a company to agree to your wishes, however, the company could refuse and find an excuse to fire you, but in this case, it’s worth the risk.

            --Third Line of Defense: Quit. Sometimes, quitting is the only option. Then, consider reporting your employer if your complaints were ignored. IIt may be hard, but you'll be in the right and you will be helping others who are also undoubtedly suffering. Remember, there is nothing honorable about a boss who is a sexist horny pig or the people who defend him.

For tips on working with specific bad boss types, go to, on Facebook at or at

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Free "Working Your Bad Boss" Webinar

I had the pleasure of conducting a webinar last night for Talent Marks, a company that offers career resources to students, recent graduates and alumni of some of the top universities in the country. The topic was, of course, bad bosses—and how to succeed in spite of them. To access the free, one-hour webinar, go to:

I hope it’s helpful!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Don’t Let A "Misery Loves Company" Mindset Sabotage Your Career Success

A bad boss breeds low morale, poor motivation, performance and productivity that usually produces grumbling and complaining among co-workers. Don't fall into this “misery loves company” mindset or else your bad boss and your co-workers will sabotage your chances for a rewarding career.

A department afflicted with a bad boss is a sorry sight. It's dismal and depressing. It can prevent your from rising to the top of the heap, and instead, you will be buried beneath it.

Employees who find themselves trying to deal with a bad boss as well as not being caught up in the office malaise, are up against a double whammy. Not only do you have a bad boss, but everyone else in your department is suffering from the same unsupportive situation--and dragging you down with them.

Recent research by Scott E. Carrell of the University of California-Davis shows that people may adopt the diet and exercise patterns of the least fit within a peer group. They don't tend to emulate the most fit, rather they gravitate toward those who don't make the grade. This is especially true of the lesser fit individuals.

How does that apply to your bad boss situation? If you don’t exert extra effort, you’ll be influenced by your equally unhappy co-workers to be even more unmotivated and unproductive than you already are.

Don't join in the water-cooler complaining sessions. Walk away. Instead, surround yourself with friends outside of the office who are happy and successful in their work. Always look for ways to succeed, to do your work more efficiently, to advance your skill set—anything to keep yourself on an upward career track. By doing so, you can counteract the "peer group effect." You'll find, that no matter how bad work becomes or how often your bad boss throws a screaming fit, staying above the fray will help you step up the career ladder faster.