Career Coaching:What to do when your boss is driving you crazy?

Many people have issues with their boss. Below are some ideas about how to (and how not to) handle things when you have an issue with your boss.

A boss will often do things that push your buttons. If you’re like many of us we either react, or we suppress. Reacting usually will put your boss on the defensive and will not lead to a productive conversation while suppressing another upset under the rug will at some point manifest as some combination of you being unhappy, drained, unmotivated or victimized and complaining. So what to do?

Suggestions to try when you feel upset:

Take a few deep breaths (or a day or two) to take enough time to make sure you have gotten over the emotional upset of being mad, frustrated or upset. The conversation will go much better if you are coming from a place of workability or partnership rather than upset/frustration, right vs. wrong, good vs. bad or oppressor vs. victim.

In your communication, make sure both parties get heard. Your boss may have some thoughts or feelings on the matter too, and his/her thoughts are important also. Then, make sure if it is appropriate, that you make an actual request. For example “…in the future when x,y,z happens, can you please do _________________. “ It may be a request like instead of yell at me in front of everybody else, can you pull me aside after the meeting, etc. Your boss will say yes, no or say something else. You need to be ready for any of it. And you need to be willing to find solutions that will satisfy both of you. And know that it is your boss’s right to say yes, no or anything else. Your job is to communicate clearly, respectfully and from a place of partnership without getting attached to how it all goes.

Another tip, before you start the conversation, bring your awareness to what you do like/respect about this boss. Often we make our bosses into these dreadful monsters and speaking to them while you think they are dreadful is another recipe for an unproductive conversation. You can even start the conversation by acknowledging your boss for all the great things and ways he/she supports you. And then let him/her know that when she did this or that the other day it upset you…

You may be saying to yourself…”this will never work with my boss…I can’t do this.” I can hear it already. You have a good few choices if you feel that way, 1) try it because you are accountable for creating your life as you want it and you need to learn to communicate and make requests powerfully…and not communicating is not resolving the situation 2) leave the job, which may make sense or 3) stay and accept that this is the way he/she is and learn to be happy in spite of it (to truly accept it means to stop complaining about it…and you will know you have accepted if it no longer bothers you.) Any of these seem good?

Hope you found something useful in here. Good luck making your relationship with your boss a great partnership!

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