HOW TO DEAL WITH AN OVERBEARING BOSS

Irrespective of your field of endeavour, job location or type of firm, if you are familiar with the world of work, then surely you have had a boss or two during the course of your career or work life that has influenced your work experience by a great deal. You would agree with me that having a good boss promotes ideas generation, a healthy work environment and better commitment on the side of an employee. While no one desires to work in an abusive environment or for a boss who is everything but a good leader, it is wiser to learn how to thrive in your career in spite of the unfavourable work conditions than quitting on every job you do not like.

Knowing how to deal with difficult and insatiable employers is a very useful skill if you desire steady and consistent growth in your career. Instead of quitting on every job whose boss proves difficult, it is good to know how to handle overbearing bosses, that is, bosses who always seem not to be on the same page with you.

Before we go further to learn a few useful tips, there are some important points to note;

Everyone may not share the same perspective with you: life offers us all an opportunity to meet people of different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. The best similarity for identical twins may be their physical appearance alone, asides from that, it is very unlikely for any two persons to agree about every thing every time. One very vital understanding to have is to first understand that your boss, just like every other person may not always see things the way you do. While it is very easy to argue your perspective with colleagues or friends, it is quite different when your boss fail to see things like you do. However, first acknowledging the that different people see things differently may help you handle such situations in a productive way.

Your boss is your leader. You may disagree but you should always honor: Remember king David from scriptures? Well, way before he became king, he had a boss who a few persons can relate to as envious, erring, overbearing, etc. David had an opportunity to overthrow his boss and dishonor him but he didn’t. Why? Honor. Many at times we expect so much from leaders that we often forget that they too can make mistakes, and they too can be wrong sometimes. It is good to always bear in mind that you should not seize the opportunity of your boss’s shortcomings as reason to disrespect him/her. So while some bosses may have serious character flaws, it is quite helpful to note that yours is to honor them while working towards achieving set goals in your firm/organization.


Okay, let’s head to it, here are three quick tips for dealing with an overwhelming boss, they are very practical, and I hope you find them applicable.

1. Pray: Hey, don’t write this point off as one of those Christian things to say. It’s very much practical and I bet to say more effective than other points listed. Scriptures give us clear instructions to pray for our leaders and all those in authority, your boss very much inclusive, and while your prayer point must not be that your boss develop a soft spot for you, you can pray direct and and more selfless prayers like direction for him as s/he leads your organisation, his/ her welfare etc. One of the reasons why praying for your boss is vital is because it helps to alleviate feelings of resentment for him/her. You would find it very easy to relate professionally with a boss for whom you have no feeling of resentment.

Communicate value: Not just being valuable, you must be willing and intentional about communicating your value to your boss. You are paid for the value you create, and while in your mind, you may be doing this for your organization, you must be intentional in helping your boss see what you bring to the table. Your boss is more likely to micromanage you and disagree with your ideas everytime when if s/he sees you as incompetent. When I first resumed work at an organization about a year ago, I was quick to notice my boss was always keen on hearing the ideas of one of my colleagues while he always questioned and analysed the loopholes with mine. The reasons: I was new, yet to understand fully the organization’s operations or provide tangible value. Few months down the line, the same boss was confident in giving me autonomy over a few projects. What had changed? I had built a work culture admirable by my boss, always early to work, usually the first on most days, I had taken up challenging tasks he too doubted I could accomplish, I had made myself reliable and dependable when urgent tasks where needed to be completed.

The whole venture of communicating your value in dealing with an overbearing boss is in itself a long term approach. Some bosses only find it difficult to receive your input without negative critique because you are yet to provide a track record of consistent value creation.

Well, the fact remains that some bosses are just insatiable and hard to please, always finding a fault or two in anything you do. This brings me to my next point.

3. Master emotional intelligence: If you have a verbally abusive boss or one that never see good in what you do, or is never on the same page with you, then you would see how useful emotional intelligence is. If your case is always one of a boss with a big character flaw, who could get petty in relating with staff of the organisation, then you must grow to that level of maturity and intelligence, to learn how to only internalize corrective and productive feedbacks from him/her while disregarding every other comment that s/he must have spewed out of one agitation or the other. I’ve heard of instances where an employee exchange words with their hot tempered boss. In trying to communicate your perspective to your boss, you must take caution to do so I a way that would be receptive.

These are only three tips, let me know in the comment section below other practical ways an employee could handle overbearing boss.

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