Handling tough bosses

By Julia Fernandes

August 8, 2011


Just the other day my colleague gota dressing down from our boss regarding work. The entire day he was withdrawnand sulking. Next day, the mood of the boss was ok and he began talking to himin his usual self. My colleague, too, started speaking in a friendly way. I wasjust observing his behaviour. Your boss comes along, shreds your work and yourself-confidence in pieces and the next day you talk to the same person asthough nothing has happened.


Each person has a unique mechanismto cope up with the hurt feelings inflicted by the boss. Some pretend as thoughit makes no difference to them though deep inside they are hurt badly. Somelike me resort to crying while some grow such a thick skin that it really doesnot affect them. They sort of get themselves immune to the scolding andshouting.


What distinguishes a boss from youis the power that is given to them. Power is intoxicating. Not many bossesunderstand that with power comes responsibility. One of my friends had a femaleboss who was a tyrant in every sense of the word. Right from restricting hergirls from interacting with the other employees, to playing subtle politics, totalking arrogantly and rudely, she did everything that would bring the team ofgirls to tears. Life was hell under her leadership.


Then one fine day she got a tasteof her own medicine when her new immediate higher boss used the same tacticsagainst her. It was only when her powers were taken away that she was finally cutdown to size. What goes around eventually comes around. Nobody really gets awaywith anything.


Hats off to all those people whohave to daily engage with tough bosses. I really admire such people for I am achicken. I cannot bring myself to face and handle such kind of people. It takesnerves of steel to put up with difficult bosses. I remember the first day I hadre-joined my ex-orgnisation, the person whom I had to report do not only carriedout unethical journalistic practices, but challenged my own knowledge and randown my work.


I did not know what to do. I wasnot mentally and emotionally equipped in any way to handle nastiness of suchmagnitude. I cried and left the same day. I just could not deal with somebodyengaging in wrongful practices and creating a hostile work environment for me.


Handle to the extent that you can.If you can put up with their antics, and yet retain your sense of self-worth, welland good. If you are a chicken like me, then look for a better workenvironment. Not every boss will be from hell. When I left companies with suchkind of bosses, it took a while, but each time I got a job, I got excellent peopleto report to -- people who treated me with immense respect.


Some bosses are good at heart butthey could just be having a bad day or an off day. Some are inept in dealingwith the pressure that they get from their higher ups, so their next besttarget is their juniors. But remember to identify those bosses that are reallybad. Such people can be very nasty and mean. Period. There is no justificationfor their behaviour. Be wary of such bosses for they can really break you mentally.Don’t allow it to happen.


We are all working for money, yes. But do not forget yourself-worth, which is equally important as the money you are earning and forwhich you sometimes have to face the music from tough bosses!