In my work as a Breakthrough Energy Expert, I have found this is a problem that’s more prevalent than you might think. A recent article in Inc. Magazine reported that “3 out of every 4 employees report that their boss is the worst and most stressful part of their job.” They also mentioned it is estimated that “bad bosses cost the economy $360 billion per year in lost productivity.”
Even organizations that have Employee Engagement and Wellness programs are not immune. Here are just some examples that I’ve heard about recently:
- Taking credit for someone else’s work
You have a great idea or you do a great job, and instead of being acknowledged or rewarded for it, your boss takes all the credit. This makes him/her look good and leaves you frustrated and fuming.
- Criticizing in front of others
You’re in a meeting and your boss shoots down everything you say, or has a joke at your expense, or makes some kind of critical comment(s). It’s bad enough that they do this at all, but to do it in front of your co-workers makes you feel stupid and attacked.
- Not letting you do your job
You’re trying to get your job done but your boss keeps adding more and more work, making it impossible to complete anything. Or perhaps they consistently pull you away from what you’re doing or interrupt you regularly. It’s frustrating, overwhelming and once again, you may feel powerless.
- Changing your job
When you took on this position you were excited about what you were supposed to be doing, but now your boss has you doing different things – things you never signed up for. Perhaps you enjoy travelling and meeting with customers, but your boss has suspended travel and now has you cooped up in the office behind the computer every day. This isn’t what you signed up for.
You may take some training on how to handle difficult people, or you may just decide to leave and find another job, but you just might find yourself in a similar situation again.
The approach I’m recommending is quite different and you probably won’t find it in any Employee Engagement or Employee Relations program.
My recommendation is not to focus on the boss and what he/she is or is not doing. Rather, it’s to put the focus on you and your role in this situation. I would ask you to explore:
- How does the situation make you feel?
What emotions does it trigger in you? Does it make you feel disrespected? Do you feel unheard or unseen or are you made to feel that you are not important?
- Why did you attract this situation?
It’s much more empowering to think of the situation in this way, rather than thinking of it as something that is happening to you, which would make you the victim.
If you are an employee with a difficult boss situation, you can download a free special report with specific tips and strategies here: http://powerfulbreakthroughs.com/badbossreport
Or, if you are a small business owner or H.R. professional, you may want to start with a simple employee engagement assessment which you can find at: http://powerfulbreakthroughs.com/employeeengagement