How to deal with a difficult boss? - ep. 2


Empowerment Coaching Blog-How to deal with a difficult boss 2

In the previous episode, we explained decision-making styles as well as highlighted the importance of detail preferences. You will find there some interesting hints. They can be useful in particular when it comes to convincing your boss.

In today's article, you will find another set of pragmatic solutions. I will elaborate on the principle of “cats and dogs”, seemingly infantile and simple, but extremely effective. And didn’t Robin Sharma say that “simplicity is a trademark of genius”? 😀


Dogs and cats at work

Let’s start with “cats”. They are people focused on maintaining good relations with other people. This is what they care most about. This is of paramount importance for them. As a rule, these people are easily accessible. Their tone of voice fluctuates depending on the situation. Body language is quite lively in most cases.

“Dogs” are goal-oriented, results-oriented, problem-solving people. For them, efficiency and the fact that you can rely on someone are of paramount importance. They are perceived as dry, sometimes even sharp. Their tone of voice usually does not change. Body language is rather frugal.

Let’s see what happens when the boss is “dog” and the subordinate is “cat”.

The boss wants to get a solution to the problem as soon as possible. The subordinate focuses on the relation with the boss and thinks that the nicer he is to the boss, the easier it will be to win the boss’s favor.

And here’s a surprise. Not true!

In a situation where we have an obvious “dog” as the boss, let’s not try to be nice at all costs. Let’s rather be as specific and firm as possible.

Such a boss wants a quick solution to a problem — not a nice atmosphere. If we answer softly, he will consider us weak. We will not be an equal (or worthy of interest) partner for him. A boss with such characteristics also likes to check how “strong” we are. Such a test of strength raises his adrenaline. He loves this game.

Therefore, sometimes you have to endure this test of strength. Oftentimes, after our first firm response, the boss may react just as strongly. This is a really good sign. Let us not withdraw and stay at his level. The bad signal will be a situation in which the boss “dog” completely ignores our opinion.

Of course, I omit situations when the boss is having a bad day, or is emotionally unstable at all, and is looking for a victim to vent his frustration on. Then it’s best to get out of the way of such an unhappy person.


Preferred ways of acquiring information

Each of us has preferences related to how we acquire information. According to research*, the statistical distribution of these preferences among people is as follows:

  • 55% are “visual learners”, ie those whose leading sense is the sight

  • 30% are “auditory”, that is, those who like to listen above all

  • 12% of people focus on action. They won’t believe, they won’t learn, if they don’t check something in practice

  • 3% are “readers”. They love detailed printed reports

By recognizing these preferences in the boss, we can more effectively influence his decisions and his perception of us.

Here are examples of how each type responds to a question: How do you know, boss, if someone is a good worker?


Empowerment Coaching Blog-Boss Modalities

Coaching, mentoring, and talking to an experienced career counselor can be very helpful in becoming aware of your own preferences as well as the style of your current boss. This, in turn, allows you to consciously and flexibly choose the method of presenting the information. Enables skillful choice of words as well as reactions appropriate to the situation. The change in your behavior will not happen overnight and undoubtedly requires work. The prize, however, is worth the effort.


Tension Reduction Technique for Entangled

And finally, one technique that can be useful at work (and not only). Especially when you feel that tension is building inside, and if it continues like this, you are about to explode. If you cannot change your place, for example, you are sitting in some hopeless meeting and a load of negative emotions starts to approach the critical mass, try… dropping your jaw 😁 Yes. Just do the “jaw drop” as loosely as possible. I know it sounds incredible, but try it. You will see what will happen 😀

*Shelle Rose Charvet, “Words that Change Minds”


See also:

How to deal with a difficult boss? - ep. 1

How to provide feedback at work

The fear of making mistakes at work

What is your next career move?


#work #communication #conflict #stress #coaching #coachingonline #mentoring

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