I’ve written here before about working for and with difficult people. I wish my 52 year old self could have told my 25 year old self, none of this will matter.
What REALLY matters? How can you partner with this difficult boss/person instead of working against them? I know, I know. But, that’s so hard! Bare with me. Let’s say you’re working as a server, and you have a difficult customer. Maybe they complain their food has too much salt or not enough. So are you nasty to them? Heck no! The customer is always right, we all know that. And they are your difficult boss. So you work closely with them and act nice, even if it kills you, so you get your tip (at least that makes sense to me)! It’s the same thing in any work setting.
Remember the old saying, “you get more with honey, than with vinegar?”. You can snarl back at your difficult boss or you can lift the sides of your mouth up, keep your trap shut, and do the work requested of you. You could also ask if you’ve done something wrong that offended them too.
There are definitely those managers, that no matter how syrupy nice you are, how helpful you are, how smiley you are, they are going to suck the life right out of you.
This article recently caught my eye. “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers”. How true that is! I once walked right out of a great paying gig (at age 24) after I was belittled for the upteenth time. But later in life, I found that to be one of the most valuable experiences in my young career life. Not the leaving, but the way I was managed. I didn’t know it, but my boss had some serious baggage, divulged to me later, when I decided to reach out to her to make amends.
That old saying by Plato, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. We can’t know what someone else is going through on a particular day. But we can find peace by forgiving them anyway.
What’s your worst boss story? I won’t tell 😉