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Don't confront, discuss

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I am an Electronics engineer. I worked for a year in a small company earlier. Recently I joined an MNC. The workload is more here and we have a lot man...

I am an Electronics engineer. I worked for a year in a small company earlier. Recently I joined an MNC. The workload is more here and we have a lot many processes to follow, to which I'm new. In this backdrop, when I approach my project lead to clarify some doubts, he impatiently shouts and says that I'm inefficient and useless. So now I am worried, how to manage & sync with him. Please advise me. n radhika acharya-Arun, Hyderabad.

Dealing with a new & stressful work environment and a hostile boss is not an easy event. On many occasions, we have sleepless nights, get depressed, raise our blood pressure, have constant migraines, lose or gain weight and our friends think we whine too much, because all we talk about is the job and our boss. Our self-esteem gets eroded and we are just so frustrated. Since this is a situation to deal with everyday, we start to feel helpless. This whole thing with work and the boss consume our life and it start taking a toll on our health!

Dealing with a difficult boss is always a challenge, for unless they cross a legal line, and you can prove it, they have all the power. Since it is your boss who decides whether your career graph takes an upward or downward swing, it would be worthwhile to pick up a few tips on how to deal with such boss.

Don't confront, discuss. When criticized by your boss, it's easy to go into attack mode. But confrontation only adds fuel to the fire and when you're in a work environment, you need to learn how to control your emotions.

  • Discuss how you can approach things differently in the future � even ask your boss for their advice.
  • Don't react to verbal abuse. Instead acknowledge it and move on.

While dealing with boss 1. Create a plan of personal action. Before you approach your boss, settle up with yourself. Figure out a way that you can personally deal with the environment. Talk privately - You can try to communicate with the boss to tell him the impact that his actions or words are having on you or your performance. In a rare blue moon, the bad boss might care enough to work to modify his behaviour. If he does decide to work on his behaviour, hold him to his commitments. If you allow him to yell at you, even just a little bit, you are training him that he can get away with his former behaviour. Don't go to war publicly, but draw his behaviour to his attention as soon as you have the opportunity, privately. Let him know that your intention is not to hurt him, but the aim is to do only the job well. Be assertive.

2. Make a plan of public action. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with your boss. No one, especially power-tripping bosses, likes to be surprised. Give your boss some clue about the details of the meeting when you make arrangements. You might say, "I'd just like a few minutes of your time this afternoon to talk about some things that have concerned me. In this, you are giving your boss fair warning without going into detail about what you want to discuss.

3. Take criticism in a positive way - as a means to improve your performance. Taking it personally could cause you a lot of heartache and ruin the quality of your work. It would work well for you if you could respond to situations instead of reacting to them. Take deep breath and relax.

4. Be proactive: Be proactive by approaching the situation with a positive mental attitude. Display confidence and stay poised.

5. Be Prepared. You likely know the boss's pattern of behaviour, so anticipate and prepare your responses beforehand. Write them on index cards, and practice delivering them.

6. Be Professional. This is critically important. Follow proper procedures for registering complaints with Human Resources, or higher-level superiors. Maintain a calm and professional demeanor in dealing with your difficult boss, and don't get into a shouting match or let your emotions get out of hand. Be straightforward and professional.

7. Use humour to cope:Humour is a great way to deal with unpleasant situations for comic relief following a tense scene. Rather than be upset about a past encounter, try laughing about it.

8. Consider your boss from a human angle, praise the good qualities in him or her. Everyone loves to be appreciated, everyone loves to hear that they are good at something; your boss is no exception. You do not have to flatter and fawn but speak the truth as it appears to you.

9. Ignore your boss- but not to his face. When all else fails and you can't or won't leave your job, the best course of action is to pretend your boss is merely a pesky mosquito buzzing at your ear. Keep your focus on the quality of your work and stay positive. Show your boss that his or her rampages and bullying moods don't affect you.

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