Success Wizard: Dealing with a Bully Boss

By Jordan Willy Patente

(Originally published on July 13, 2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)

You are being offered your dream job: a generous compensation package, terrific benefits, and supportive office colleagues. It’s almost the perfect opportunity, except that your future boss is a tyrant and a bully. Are you taking it?

You can only hope to get this offer every time you sign up for a new job. In most cases, it’s already too late to back out and you will have to face your worst nightmare.

Who would have thought that juvenile bullying will reach the corporate world? The truth is that bully bosses can be found in abundance.

It’s becoming common in almost every industry. There are bosses who are mind-controlling abusers, demanding perfectionists and slave drivers. There are obnoxious bully bosses who rule by intimidation, insisting on achieving goals their way. They treat subordinates like children and seldom ask for anyone’s input.

Studies indicate that bullies are clumsy people with such rage against themselves that they express this outward, toward people they see as being better than they are. It’s from a point of weakness that they express violence toward others.

Life with a bully boss is dreadful. You need to continuously motivate yourself to perform and your health will go down the drain. If you are in this situation, I have two options for you: work it out with your boss or leave.

I’ll start with the easiest option: leave. If you can’t bear the situation, just leave and look for a new company. It’s that easy. Millions of companies are waiting for you to be part of their elite team. You’ve worked hard to be where you are now and you don’t deserve to be maltreated.

However, the drawback of moving on as soon as you’ve recognized that your boss is a tyrant and that he’s picking on you is that you don’t get to learn life’s valued lessons.

Your second option is to work it out with your boss. One of life’s goals is to achieve mastery of one’s Self; and this will only occur if you allow yourself to learn from every event presented to you. Working with your boss to improve the situation will benefit you more than him. Helping your boss improve his life is just one of the many effects of your personal development.

Walking away from a bully boss does not guarantee you won’t meet another just like him. Turning your back is just a band-aid solution to the situation. To get the most out of the odd situation, consider the following strategies in dealing with a tyrant boss:

Bullying will only happen if you allow it. No one else is responsible for your life and all the things that happen to it. You can’t blame your boss for giving you that treatment. Who gave him the authority to treat you like that? Analyze your responses—Sam Horn, author of “Take the Bully by the horns,” says that bullies prey on the easiest targets.

“Bullies will pick on the nice people,” Horn says. “They throw their stuff out there and test to see if they can knock you off balance, fluster you. If you are weak or just swallow it, the bully owns you,” he says.

The second strategy could help you avoid becoming a target:

Be confident. Having the right amount of self-esteem will push him away. Send signals that you will not tolerate lunacy from him. Your appearance plays an important role, so dress up and broadcast a positive attitude. Rhonda Byrne, author of “The Secret” says: “like attracts like.” If you are feeling good about yourself, you will only attract good things to happen to you.

Be logical in your approach. Be methodical in how you behave, perform, and strategize. Stay unemotional. Even though he is trying to make you think the opposite, it is the bully who has a serious personal and professional problem, not you.

Your boss is sure to have soft spots, and you may want to touch on that. Your boss has set standards that if met, will spare you from bullying. He’ll consider you an asset rather than a liability.

Communication is key. Everything happens for a reason. Your boss’ actions have stories behind it. Understanding and respecting his past will give you a clearer picture of the situation.

Some bosses think that it’s lonely up there; they feel that no one supports and encourages them. They, too, are humans and hungry for recognition. If your boss has moments of sanity, try to talk with him about the effect his actions and verbal abuse have on you and your work. Keep the focus of your comments on the boss’ behavior and its effects, not on the boss personally.

Some bosses like spreading rumors in the workplace. Tell bullies as little as possible about your life, family, friends, hobbies, interests, religion, and so on. Information about you gives them power. Being friends with a bully boss should be the least of your priorities, but having a professional relationship with him is desirable.

If you feel that you have exerted all efforts to reach out but your situation has not improved, then consider the first option and look for a new job. Life is a choice and we could only do so much to help the people around us. Your physical and mental health should not be sacrificed to keep the boss and the company happy.

Jordan Willy Patente is the president of Dynamic Empowerment Philippines and has been a success coach for five years. He has also conducted motivational talks and directed musical and theatrical productions.

(All rights reserved. Copyright Manila Bulletin. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.)

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Posted on September 1, 2011, in Business Agenda Classifieds Columns, Success Wizard and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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