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Saturday, April 13, 2024

‘The boss is not always right’ – How To Manage A Difficult Boss

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by Avinash Iyer

One of the most interesting relationships in your lives is the one that you share with your boss. Be it reporting late to office or performance at the workplace, nothing escapes the employer’s attention. It would be quite apt to say then, that the ‘boss’ is perhaps one of the most discussed persons in any corporate organisation. The places of discussion may vary though. It could be in the boardroom, in the cafeteria or near the water cooler.

Someone once said that there are no bad bosses, just difficult ones. And whichever way you perceive your boss – as the all encompassing authority or as the monster in pinstripes – you must try not to strain the employer-employee symbiosis.

Who’s the boss
Often, the chinks in the workplace relationships begin to show because ego issues start creeping up. Software professional Ashok Velluswamy says, “There are times when I get very annoyed with my boss. But it is important not to lose one’s cool and let things pass. At the end of the day what is important is that the work should not suffer.” Given the norms at your workplace, you may call your boss with his/ her first name but you must take care that the lines don’t blur too much. After all, every organisation has its own hierarchy that needs to be strictly adhered to.

Dealing with it
The corporate world is a microcosm of the real world. You meet different types of people and you should learn to deal with them differently. Hence, even when it comes to dealing with a difficult boss you should exercise prudence. Here are just some of the ways to go about it:

1. Temper tales:

Work pressure and the urgency to meet deadlines, at times, compel one to lose his/ her temper. The same is the case with bosses. This does not mean that as an employee, you should retaliate in equal measure. It would be a good idea to take stock of the situation and act accordingly. At the same time, you should not tolerate verbally or physically abusive behaviour of any kind. Information technology engineer Paramita states, “Yes, there are times when my seniors scold me. But as long as it does not get personal, I take it in my stride.”

2. Appraisal woes:

Sometimes, despite all your genuine efforts and persuasive skills, your employer may act tough when it comes to grading you during the appraisal period. In such situations, discuss the issue with him/ her in order to get a satisfactory explanation. If things still don’t work, then you must follow your organisation’s protocol and report the matter to the authorities concerned.

3. Beat the bias:

It cannot be denied that each one of us has biases. How much ever you try to conceal it, it does reflect somewhere. So, there are chances of you being at the receiving end of biases. It is here that personal discretion comes into play. You must be mature enough to understand the rationale behind certain decisions but at the same time stand up to what you think is unfair or unjust.

Handling prejudices is a twoway process. If you expect the employer to be fair, you too should be fair in your conduct. Female bosses or bosses younger to you should not be treated any differently. There is a reason they are higher on the corporate grid and you should understand it.

Final frontier
Their tales may make for anecdotal phone messages or jokes but when it comes to actual work they should be taken seriously. However, in case of grave concerns you can make use of your organisation’s policies and find a solution to the problem. It is essential to maintain harmony at the workplace and it is possible only if you don’t take others for granted and respect them for the skills and experience they possess.

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