Why oh why must people test patience on a daily basis? Can we not simply work together without unnecessary attitudes and egos? Sadly, the average job environment will never be free of drama, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rise above it to the best of your ability.
If only you didn’t have to deal with folks on a power trip.
There’s nothing wrong with flexing or puffing out your chest a little because you got a promotion. But that doesn’t give you or anyone else for that matter the right to turn your place of business into a sweatshop because you can’t be kind to others. All of us at some point have been witness to or a victim of — depending on how you look at things — a professional who couldn’t see beyond their own reflection, or in this case, resume. These are the folks who make life during business hours harder than needed because they simply feel like it.
My experiences with bosses who couldn’t handle authority weren’t pleasant but they were eye-opening. For starters, they reiterated something I already knew: Not everyone is management material. I don’t care how many years you’ve put into the game, creating a toxic workplace that belittles the contributions of others just isn’t good for business. Sure no one needs to hold your hand — or even go out of their way to make you feel special — but at the very least, there needs to be a mutual respect. After all, you were hired under the assumption you could do the job.
Whether you’re new to a gig or dealing with the same old mess, here are some pointers on dealing with a boss on a power trip.
Assess the individual. Believe it or not, some people are just really grouchy or super anal. Before you go off the deep end, ask yourself whether or not the person’s micromanaging ways are part of their personality? If so, try not to take things too personal.
Pick and choose your battles. As much as you want to defend yourself, not everything needs to be a drawn out discussion — especially when dealing with a boss like this. Decide what’s worth mentioning and what you can let roll off your shoulders.
Rethink your approach. Don’t like the response you get? Try rephrasing your questions or how you approach your boss. Why give someone who’s already a loaded gun the ammo to act crazy?
Speak with your colleagues. Maybe you aren’t the only victim; that could mean strength in numbers. Talk to your co-workers about the manager in question. You all might decide a sit down is necessary.
Confront, but don’t get crazy. There’s nothing wrong with asking someone to change how they approach or address you, but make sure you’re respectful in doing so. Hopefully they’ll learn from the error of their ways.
Take it up the chain. Should you feel things are entirely way too unbearable, feel free to talk to your manager’s boss. Just know that opens a whole new can of worms, so be prepared for a possible blow back.