Hello SOTGC community,
We’ve all had a terrible boss. They make your work day wretched which often bleeds into your home life. A wise person once told me, “People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.”
My phone would start buzzing around 4:00 am. One, two, three, four, five emails. Both my husband and I would wake up. I would sleepily roll over to stop the buzzing. Each day it was the same: “What’s on your schedule today? Send me a list of conference attendees. How many sales calls did you make yesterday and what was the result?” Being young and inexperienced, I assumed this behavior was normal, so I would immediately answer each email.
When my boss was working with me, he would gossip about other team members, telling me how they were “on the chopping block.” It was frightening. He would call me on Saturdays to ask about numbers or sales forecasting. If I didn’t immediately answer one of his emails, whether it was midnight or dinner time, he would call and message me incessantly until I answered. He stalked the entire team on social media, and brought up compromising photos of us during meetings. He asked that I cheat, and work unethically.
Then, I had a life changing experience. I was given the opportunity to work with a leader in my company, who was well respected and loved by all. He asked me directly about my boss, because he had heard rumors about his behavior. I decided to be honest. I told him everything, because I was miserable both at home and at work.
Once I was finished, he looked at me thoughtfully and gave me some of the best advice I have ever received. He said that I had to teach my boss how to manage me. I had to create boundaries. I had to shut him down when he gossiped about my co-workers. I had to stop taking his calls on the weekend.
Even though I was nervous, I started immediately. What did I have to lose? My boss was never really fond of my new behavior, but I became a happier and healthier person. It was a feeling of freedom which I hadn’t had in a very long time.
Have you ever stopped to think about what you are teaching your boss? Every reaction we have teaches them what to expect from our future behavior. What can you do this week to show your boss how you want to be treated?