One of the most disheartening things that can happen at the work place is having a boss who makes life difficult for you. The scenario where youve got the perfect job that aligns with your notion of an ideal work profile. You have a smooth arrangement of a bunch of co-operative colleagues and also receive satisfying compensation. Everything is simply great. However, youre doomed with an immediate supervisor or boss who is patronizing in his ways. This one aspect makes everything else thats going great go for a complete toss.
It breeds negativity, derails performance and once it escalates to insufferable levels, ends with you wanting to file your resignation letter. However, reaching that point and exiting the job is not at all a wise call since finding an ideal mix of all other factors is not that straight forward. It makes sense to rather take steps to mend the issue and re-establish a professional work environment.
In case youre suffering from this problem, let go of the stress since youre not the only one. This is a very rampant workplace issue and the good part is that it can be fixed with little effort and tact. Its just important to recognize and take control of this before it gets out of hand.
Here are the two best ways to handle the above workplace commonality.
Introspect & Empathize
Anuj Tiwari, a bestselling novelist, TedX Speaker and receiver of several national and international awards shared from his early corporate experience, a great thought on overcoming work place condescension. He emphasized on the importance of practicing empathy for seniors at the workplace.
“Sometimes the problem is not necessarily with the other individual, but something that we might have unknowingly created or caused. So its very important to introspect and analyze our own behavior and see if were making a fundamental mistake, such as not meeting the expected targets, which the boss on the other side of the table has the right to be annoyed by,” says Tiwari and further suggests, “Leadership and Management always look for figures and numbers because they have multiple tasks to work on. So as an individual, you have to be good with justifying with the data and think with respect to the organization.”
We need to put the organizational interests on the highest pedestal and judge the bosss behavior & expectations from that perspective.
He adds, “You will get millions of reasons to complain about your boss but you need to find one reason to push yourself a little to do more. Youll be happy. You just need to understand their perspective. “
So looking inward should be the first step. In case one still feels that his/ her bosss behavior is not justified, direct communication should be the way forward.
Be Open to Communication
One of the best ways to handle the condescension of a boss is to tactfully engage in direct communication. Silence and frustration only aggravates the problem. Systematic and planned communication instead resolves it.
Entrepreneur India also spoke to Farzana Suri, victory coach for senior management and individuals across reputed companies. Suri points out, “Workplace bullying can be handled in different ways depending on your personality type. The assertive type may want to get confrontational and the timid may prefer to take a milder route.
According to her, there are 3 ways one can handle this depending on his/ her personality type.
1. “If you are the assertive type, when the boss belittles you, you can ask sweetly, "Hey is something Im doing bothering you? I notice you seem to be picking on most of the tasks Im assigned. Do tell me, so I know."
She says shes applied this herself and realized that doing so puts the boss in a very awkward position and most of the times, they end up toning down their behavior.
2. “If you are the timid sort, reach out to the higher ups or the human resource department, but be sure to keep a record of all your achievements and testimonials from co-workers and clients as evidence of your work.”
It is important to note the need to lay out ones own credibility before pointing out anybody elses mistake.
3. Lastly, incase this behavior still continues, she recommends,“Seek a private meeting and tell your boss that in no uncertain terms will you tolerate the specific behavior. Assert that you have a right to a professional environment at work. Make sure to specify the change in behavior you desire from him/her. Let them know that bullying and belittling you displays their weakness. Sometimes, they may not be aware of their own behavior.”
Initiating small steps consistently towards building relations can sometimes mend the most difficult dynamics with ease, undo any damage of the past and ensure continued harmony.