Yes, if you believe it is difficult, it would be. And if you can learn to manage, you would find it simple! Difficult people, bosses included, are all around the globe and there is definite reason, why the class of bosses is often like that.
What I am sharing below applies to both, who is a boss and who is not. Actually, it applies to difficult people in general, you need to deal with. Many of you must be wearing 2 hats – you are a boss and also have a boss. Observe your behavior under these under 2 hats; most probably you would find that you behave differently as boss and with one, who is your boss! Why? Think it over and ask yourself why your behavioral pattern cannot be same under both hats? And if you are married, you also have your spouse as your boss at home!
Definition of “Being difficult”
People are perceived as difficult, when they put others to difficulty time and again, by raising unreasonable demands, irrational decisions, seeking to find flaws and nag or hurt others emotionally through their actions or expressions.
Most are vocal and vociferous; but some could be surreptitious, while being sweet and smiling from the looks! It is more important to understand the latter!!
Symptoms of Difficult Boss or People
It is a good idea to understand these, as some symptoms could be open and some could be obscure. These could be any combination of the following:
- Stern or Stressed face
- Secretive or Solo (Not open and does not share information)
- Spontaneous to react or Snapping conversations
- Loud or Loose temper
- Finds flaws or not a solution seeker
- Poor listener
- Imposes own views
What makes a Boss Difficult?
It could be a mix of one or more of following factors:
- Blood pressure
A higher blood pressure of a boss would make him (with no gender bias, I would henceforth use he or him) stressed, short temper or impatient.
- Successes getting into his head
If boss does not manage his successes well, these can get into his head, make him high handed and arrogant.
- Failures getting into his heart
If a boss does not want to acknowledge and learn lessons from his failures, he can easily lean to rebellion and reactionary mode and mood.
- Perfection and Passion
These are great qualities of a leader. If a boss imbibes these; but is not conscious of consequential pitfalls, he can turn impatient, indignant or impersonal.
- Ego, Emotions and Envy
If one misunderstands his pride and position, superiority complex would sway him, giving rise to ego and emotions and his emphasis would shift to “I”. Further, if you are a stronger personality and performer, you could well attract your boss’ envy and fury, in case he feels insecure from you.
- Personal Ambitions
Some bosses could be quite ambitious to grow. Therefore, their empathy with employees evaporates and focus on figures boils up.
- Pressure to Perform
Often, a boss may have stretched targets for his management or market scenario could be challenging or he may be new to his role. Under all such cases, heat is in his head to show performance. Reasonable approach and attitude towards people may take back seat.
- Inability to Perform
It is possible that one is prematurely promoted or he is not fit for the job. Rather than being rational to address his weaknesses, a boss can turn belligerent.
11x Golden rules to manage
Our natural tendency is to act difficult against difficult people. Many like to do it, justifying that is the way to deal. They may claim having no patience, may get short term effect and more importantly, it satisfies their ego. That’s it; nothing beyond! I can tell you this approach has helped no one worldwide. It has only made one more miserable.
If you are looking for a sure recipe to give you results and respite, look at the following golden rules. These can only help and never hurt.
- Greet with heart and hand (shake) daily those, who are difficult, including your boss, looking into his/her eyes.
- Offer your understanding and acceptance of what he is.
- Listen attentively and patiently, when he is communicating, with no emotion; but just smile.
- Don’t argue, even when he is wrong or irrational; remain poised and patient. Just tell him that you want to share your thoughts what would work and what would not; but you are willing to do what he wants (as long as it is ethical and does not harm or hurt anyone).
- Ensure that no bias against him bugs you.
- Never break communication with him, get into controversy or be critical of him.
- Reflect on his strengths and weaknesses, pluses and minuses. He is bound to have some good qualities. Learn from those and tell him how you are benefitted from same.
- Use every opportunity to complement him, when he does it right and share your views how it impacts others, when he goes wrong. Also, look for opportune time to give him your candid feedback how his attitude or approach troubles you.
- Leave him alone, when he is erratic or in wrong frame of mind and let go your frustration or pain with him, if any.
- Extend your support and wiser counsel, when he is in trouble or crisis or grappling with issues or falling short in his targets.
- Show your sympathy, dignity and courtesy consistently to him; he has human side too!
If you could follow as many or all of above 11x Golden Rules, you should be able to manage more than 90% of difficult bosses or people in general, you come across. These would give you colossal comfort and confidence. More importantly, these can have impeccable impact to enhance your Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ)!