How to put the boss or boss in place?
The relationship with the boss plays an important role in the scenario of career growth and business advancement. Dealing with the boss proves to be a difficult psychological challenge for many people. When the supervisor doesn’t hold his or her own, the problem gathers momentum. Not everyone is able to tolerate rudeness, but also a decent response requires strength. What to do if the boss behaves defiantly? How to fight rudeness and arrogance? When it is better to remain silent and what actions are suitable for emergency situations? Answers to questions will give applied psychology of business communication.
What are the bosses?
Leading people – a complex art, requiring a person to a set of certain qualities: self-control, flexibility, ambition, sociability, organization … the list goes on forever. When the work in the team is not working out, it’s worth thinking about the competence of the head.
Destructive leaders – the destroyers of office peace and order. With them you can not make porridge, and do not solve the case. But the problems are always in abundance.
- A reptile is a god of medium order. He is a small leader on the run of a big boss. Today he is pleased with your work, and tomorrow you organize a showdown, received criticism of senior management.
- Dictator – will not allow you to say a word against. Does not accept criticism, advice, does not hear the wishes. He thinks he knows everything better than you. And even if you are a first-class architect, and he does not distinguish load-bearing wall from the non-load-bearing, his authoritarian wishes are undeniable.
Positions often go to the strongest, but not to the most worthy. Assess your strength and capabilities before you enter the fray.
The slightest error will be your defeat and worsen the situation at work.
How do you put the arrogant manager in his place?
- Stay calm. Resist the urge to get emotional. You’re easier to manipulate when you’re agitated. Prepare for the conversation in advance. Allocate a couple of minutes, close your eyes. Breathe evenly: Take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Repeat several times. Don’t get yourself worked up before the conversation. Stay calm, level, try not to show emotion. Calmness in response to aggression will temper the ardor of the boss.
- Politeness . When the supervisor is rude, ask him or her to justify the reasons for the behavior. Speak in a coldly restrained tone, politely. Show that you are well-mannered. Uncultured behavior is a sign of low intellectual development. You are above rudeness. There is no place for unprofessional communication in business ethics. Politeness and restraint are a sign of courage. Controlling your emotions means conquering your fears. Once you have mastered yourself, you become an uninteresting toy for a sadistic boss or an actor.
- Face-to-face conversation. Public outbursts toward the boss are fraught with unpleasant consequences. To avoid them, choose a place and time to talk to your boss in private. Try to find out what he is not satisfied with your work. Take a sheet of paper and a pen and write it down. If any of the above is not true, ask him again. Forcing the boss to repeat the lie, you focus on the illegality and impropriety of his actions, awakening conscience.
Be serious. Women in communication with men at a subconscious level, use a smile to achieve sympathy. In business relationships, this technique may not work.
Smiling awkwardly shows softness and provokes an attack, especially from a sadist, a dictator, and an actor. An unemotional facial expression cools the ardor of the boss.
- Watch your gaze. Make eye contact with your superior. If you find it difficult to maintain eye contact, keep your gaze at nose level. When you lower your eyes, you acknowledge the power of the interlocutor. On a subconscious level, he feels that you have surrendered, and goes on the offensive.
- Control your gestures. Lowering your head, constant nodding, nervous gestures, defensive postures, and movements reveal your insecurity and weakness. Control your behavior:
- Don’t deviate backward in your interactions with your boss;
- Don’t look for extra support in the form of a table or chair when standing in front of your boss;
- Don’t fend him off with your arms and legs crossed;
- Stop blowing off non-existent dust particles and removing imaginary dirt from your clothes;
- Take your hands away from your face and lift your eyes;
- Express agreement with a discreet, solitary nod;
- Articulate phrases and answer questions accurately.
Dealing with the usual nonverbal responses is difficult, but necessary, if you want to show the boss his place.
When choosing your method of response, be guided by your own strength and your boss’s character. The more you take into account individual factors, the more effective your behavior will be.
What should not be done?
- Accept public insults in silence. Thus you risk losing the respect of not only the boss, but also of your colleagues.
- Respond with rudeness. Rudeness breeds further aggression. Do not stoop to the level of a boor, respect your dignity.
- Criticize the boss. No boss likes criticism. If your boss is a dictator, you risk deepening conflict. By condemning your boss in a fit of anger, you provoke a negative outburst at you. A single aggressive outburst will turn into a persistent dislike of the boss.
- Humbly ask for forgiveness and take the blame. This way you humiliate your own dignity and untie the hands of the tyrant. You will be blamed for all the accidents in the office. Especially dangerous is such behavior with a sadist and a slob. If respect in the team doesn’t play a big role for you or the dialogue with the boss takes place in private, you could take the blame for communicating with a dictator or a coward. Aggressive outbursts will stop.
Forewarned is forearmed!
Conflicts with the boss are easier to prevent than to deal with the consequences.
- Strike a balance of interests. Conflicts with the leadership often arise from misunderstanding. Chief does not seek to explain his position and desires subordinates, and employees tolerate and silently perform vague tasks head. The result: the dissatisfaction of both sides. Look for the benefits for yourself and for bosses. Find the optimal balance of interests.
Find a balance of relationships is possible with any boss. Be more attentive and do not be afraid of management.
How to “put in place” pushy boss (Methods of confrontation with heads, stooges).
There are different bosses: smart and stupid, kind and evil, cunning and not very. Unfortunately, there are also real “bad guys”, who for some reason decided that their position and social status allow them to humiliate the dignity of those who depend on them in varying degrees. What can we do, money and power often corrupt people.
Don’t pass up on the big bosses, calling you names, spitting and stomping their feet with rage. You have to know how to talk to them. And do not forget about your own interests. There are strategies of behavior, developed by psychologists specifically for such cases. If kissing the bosses somewhere below the back – is not your style, read this article carefully.
You may become an object of neglect or humiliation for coming to work without a tie; for being inadvertently late; for not understanding an order you were given, etc. The most common situation is that you made a mistake of some kind. Your supervisor discovers it and lets you know that you shouldn’t have done that, that you are no good, etc. This is done in a rude and abusive manner, very often in front of witnesses. Unfortunately, many managers see the opportunity to point out a subordinate’s faults as an excuse to show their superiority. They love to accentuate this, relish the blunders of the employee, thus humiliating him as a person.
Your possible actions: Option 1: Of course, instead of listening to the superior nonsense, you can always be in appropriate expressions to the loudest that you and the boss is not the way. After which, of course, you can only leave the office with your head held high. “Having said this, the earl left with dignity. All in white”, Strugatsky, it seems. But on the way to the labor exchange, you will amuse your ego, remembering how you put in place “this moron. True, a less pleasant version of events can happen: the boss’s guards take over you and you don’t leave the firm on your own, but with the things you leave on the street.
Option 2. You flare up and reply in the “you’re an idiot” style: you say that he has no right to criticize you, because he makes mistakes himself, is late, etc. And generally speaking – you’re qualified and able to get the job done without his instructions.
This is a bad choice. Bosses don’t like it when subordinates point out their shortcomings, especially publicly. Therefore, I can’t predict the result. Most likely it will be the same as in item 1. You will lose your job.
Option 3. You fall to your knees, tear the shirt on his chest, throw ashes on his head, humbly apologize and ask for mercy on you. Then you say that you are sorry, that it was stupid of you and that it will never happen again.
This option is slightly better than the previous one. By exchanging anger for mercy, the boss may grant you his forgiveness. The only bad thing is this. If you have any dignity, you can not get rid of the feeling that you have wiped his feet. In addition, uncomplainingly accepting humiliation in your address, you acknowledge your own insignificance. Demonstrating a lack of pride and self-esteem, you risk that not only the head, but your colleagues and co-workers eventually stop counting with you. The fact that organizations are very developed phenomenon of imitation. And if an authoritative leader or boss chooses you as a “boy (girl) for beating”, sooner or later his behavior will be copied by the rest of the employees. A pack follows its leader – the ancients knew that.
I am convinced that you deserve better. After all, you came to the firm to sell your expertise, experience and skills, not your own. Therefore, a display of self-respect is appropriate. You can defend your interests and keep your job.
Option 4. First, it’s best to let the boss talk, that is, “blow off steam,” before trying to respond. Wait until he is capable of listening to you. Next, you admit that you made a mistake, that you regret it and that you will be more careful next time. Then you add that your boss (supervisor) speaks in a rather harsh tone, and you don’t see the need for it. Secondly, it is best to clarify your relationship with your boss in a confidential setting.
And one more thing: don’t try to give your boss ultimatums like, “If this happens again, I’m quitting your firm right away. Bosses can’t stand it when subordinates set them conditions. After all, you can always write a letter of resignation without Chinese warnings. Better simply say that this style of behavior prevents you from concentrating on your job duties. Then politely, but firmly ask the boss to moderate his ardor.
Of course, there is a risk that you will be fired, even if you raise objections in the correct form. There are psychopathic bosses who do not tolerate any manifestations of self-respect from their subordinates. They require a slightly different approach. (But most bosses respect employees who honestly express their opinions in an appropriate – confident and correct – manner without hurting their bosses’ self-esteem.
*** Humiliation may not only take verbally aggressive form. No less insulting is the so-called passive-deprecating behavior. It includes offensive jokes, ironic remarks to your address, sarcastic smiles, politely disparaging tone of orders, and contemptuous notes in your boss’s voice. All this is done in order to humiliate you, but it is done in a veiled manner and as if in passing.
In such cases, you should not pretend not to notice the humiliation. If you remain silent, it is as if you are agreeing to be treated in the same way in the future, acknowledging your boss’s right to regard you as something unimportant, not worthy of special attention and, even less so, of respect.
The following strategy helps in such situations. Do not try to suppress your feelings. Tell him that you are concerned about the boss’s behavior, that you don’t like the jokes about you at all. Ask him directly what it means.
When you seek clarification, you have an opportunity to “put your vis-a-vis in his or her place.” That is, you caught him (her) on not entirely fair game, demand an explanation and make it clear that you should be treated as an equal. And you do it in a correct and confident manner, so a good relationship between you and the boss may well get better.
*** However, there are bosses for whom applying the above strategies is not only ineffective but also dangerous. Usually these are bosses with extremely unbalanced temperament and excessive excitability, which regularly finds an outlet in outbursts of uncontrollable emotions: from “quiet arrogance” to wild seizures. To quarrel with them at such moments means to bring great misfortune upon your head.
Oddly enough, such bosses are often loved and respected by their subordinates. This is the classic “father-director” type. Everyone believes in him. He is the indisputable leader. Employees treat him as a benefactor. And there’s a reason for that. He punishes and rewards at his discretion, usually does not like to dismiss on reduction of the staff (“better to be poor, but together”), everyone can appeal to him with a personal problem. Many things are forgiven him for that: mistakes, bad habits, rudeness.
But when he is agitated – it is better to stay away from him. If his nerves are at their limit, he organizes a reprimand to everyone who gets under his hot hand. And at the same time is not particularly ceremonious in language. True, he quickly forgets about it. So at such moments, it’s useful to remember the old soldiers’ wisdom: “away from the bosses – closer to the kitchen. Try not to see him for a while, and the conflict will resolve itself.
Much more dangerous another type of bosses – sadistic psychopaths, the same “classic” stooges. Unlike the previous ones, these humiliate the subordinates not in a burst of uncontrollable anger, but consciously and purposefully, for their own pleasure. And if such a boss chooses you as his victim, you will not be able to sit quietly in a corner.
There are enough social psychopaths in leadership positions today. Unfortunately, the current life in our country disposes to that in every possible way. They are characterized by excellent “fighting” qualities, a complete lack of remorse, vanity and uncritical assessment of their own actions. Plus constantly present syndrome of suspicion of all and sundry in all sorts of intrigues. The insolence inherent in such types (a strong type of nervous system!) combined with infallible self-confidence usually paralyzes the victim’s will and ability to resist. In addition, they have a well-developed intuition for people who are psychologically weaker than they are. And a well-developed intuition makes it possible to avoid real fighters capable of responding with dignity to such a style of “leadership. All these qualities allow social psychopaths to reach significant career heights.
It has been established that the psychotype of a self-styled boss is, oddly enough, almost identical to that of a serial killer. They are the same kind of people. Only one gets the highest pleasure, shedding rivers of blood, while the other is eager to “drink” it drop by drop, torturing and humiliating his subordinates day after day. In both of them the primary motivations are sexual lust, morbid aggression, or a desire for revenge, which are intricately transformed into a desire for power and the desire to rule over people. In everyday life, however, both are often gray and unremarkable people. One cannot think of the quiet teacher Chikatilo or the “simple worker” Onoprienko. And the office monsters, at work terrorizing the entire team, in everyday life are often “henchmen” to his wife or mistress.
Even to come to the firm, where the boss-psychopath, sometimes difficult. The terrorized workers jump up like automatic machines, and quickly rambled memorized text. Like, our firm is the best firm in the world, etc. Though, it makes a great impression on people who are prone to be timid in front of the strong power. (“A real leader! And what a team he has!”) Such a boss is masterful at finding exactly the way that applies to a particular employee. He blames them, frightens them. Everything is used – an ironic smile at the right moment, and a rude shout.
The ideal employee for such a boss is a slave, whose knees should tremble at the mere sight of the boss. And such bosses start intimidating their employees as early as the hiring process, at the interview. Therefore you will always have time to weigh the pros and cons, to decide for yourself whether to work in such a company. I am not urging you to slam the door loudly and to give up all attempts to get the position you want. Just prepare yourself for a certain style of behavior with your future boss.
The most important thing is to learn how to shake off the gooey fear they will try to smear you with. A sadistic boss is always trying to put his subordinate not just into a dependency, but into an anxious dependency, and if he succeeds, this anxiety he brings to a cramp. Don’t give in. And be less likely to get into verbal altercations with him. Such bosses – experienced demagogues and brilliant orators, brazenly and skillfully throwing his opponent off. They have a well-developed technique of conducting a conversation. They are able to confuse the interlocutor with a single remark, to prevent the development of an idea, if that idea, for some reason, they do not like. In addition, such bosses have a very twisted logic of thinking: “If an employee contradicts me, it means he’s not afraid. If he’s not afraid, then he doesn’t respect me. That is why those who are not afraid to openly contradict their bosses, do not stay at such a company for a long time.
And it’s easy to protect yourself from the heads of psychopaths. If you are too annoying intimidating “dancing” your boss, you need only mentally put a wall between him and yourself. Create a screen between you. To do this, imagine an impenetrable wall. What you build it is a matter of your imagination. Brick, steel, armored glass, just dense air, a magnetic field. Suddenly you’ll see the big boss spitting and stomping his feet and becoming completely indifferent to you.
In this case, the change is stark. They suddenly become polite and calm. Even benevolent. More often than not, they have a feeling of respect for the person they can not “break through”.
Psychologists also advise to cover such bosses with an imaginary glass. But it’s not quite humane – they begin to feel very uncomfortable, nervous and feeling their impotence in front of you, begin to take out the anger on other employees.
Learn to call in your feelings of calm indifference and include it when you need it. At least with this technique you are guaranteed against uninvited pressure on your personality.
*** Finally, I will tell you how to “saddle up” an overly enterprising boss. There are bosses who seem to be not bloodthirsty, but are quite capable of driving their subordinates into a silent frenzy with their idiotic initiatives and “valuable” instructions. For example, you are a qualified specialist and six months to develop a project. Finally, elated, you take it to the big boss for approval. What follows is a typical situation. The big boss, who understands the specifics of your work as well as a hare in geometry, nevertheless considers it his duty to point out your mistakes and demand to make corrections. You understand that this is a disaster for the project, that the proposed changes put an end to it. You understand, but you can do nothing. It is useless to argue with your boss: you enter your boss’s office with your opinion, but you leave with your own opinion.
In this case the golden rule of the subordinate will help you. It is well known to all experienced bureaucrats. Firstly, even the most idiotic undertakings of the superiors you should meet with visible enthusiasm and demonstrate irrepressible zeal. Secondly, you must systematically inform the bosses about the successes in the case. The most difficult and responsible third stage: here it is necessary to wait for the moment when the bosses’ ardor subsides a little, and only then start microscopic “injections of truth. The highest skill is to turn the matter around so that the bosses themselves forget about their idiotic initiatives.