Let’s face it. Everyone has a boss. Generally, even if you are a boss, you still have a boss. And the word “boss” is not confined to an employee-employer relationship anymore. In the Philippines, the word “boss” or “bossing” has been synonymous to the words like “Mr.” or “Sir”. That is why strangers sometimes call each other “boss” when they address each other. Interestingly, Filipino politicians (in light of the coming elections) have adapted this sort of thing. They too are calling their constituents their “Bosses”. To top all these, the President of the Philippines actually considers the Filipino people as his “Boss”. Pretty cool eh?
Enough with that political and social context. This post is about the real boss. That person that we all work for. If you are working for a number of years, chances are you have encountered different types of bosses already. Some are bad but mostly are good. Getting along with your boss is as important as determining your job success or measuring your job security. We have to know what type of boss we have so we would know how to effectively work with them. I got these ideas from reading books and just by talking to friends and people about their relationships with their bosses. By saying that, these ideas don’t necessarily come from my own experiences. Hence, a bit of a disclaimer on my part.
The Boss From Hell
Let’s start with something strong. The boss from hell or sometimes called the horrible boss popularized by the record breaking Hollywood movie. We can describe this boss as difficult, abusive, insensitive, cruel, intrusive, nagger, power-control-freak, arrogant, evil and so on. And the worst part is, majority of bad bosses are not aware that they are bad. They just make the lives of their employees miserable. Workers wish they don’t have to see this boss on a day in day out drudgery. He comes to the office to work and not to make friends. He doesn’t care about you; all he wants is your results. And if he doesn’t get it, you’re screwed man!
So how do you get along with this type of boss? Is there really a way after all those negative things I just mentioned? Why not try to – empathize. Okay, it may sound silly at first but allow me to explain. Our tendency is to always hate a bad boss. Right? But if you would really think about it, does resentment do you any good? Instead of whining away, sometimes you have to realize that being a boss is tough. Bosses are sandwiched between customers and suppliers, and among lower employees and top management. They take care of the business. Handles hiring and firing people. Imagine all that stress. Empathy is just the first step. Until later on you soon feel a stronger tolerance with this boss. And eventually you will achieve a sense of acceptance. You will no longer quit your job because who knows you might just end up with another bad boss in another company.
The Boss With The Most Likes
If the workplace has a popularity contest, this boss will always win. We can say that this boss is “one of the guys” type of boss. He gets along with everyone. He’s life of the party. He even treats his employees very nicely. Wait a second. It seems there’s nothing wrong with this boss. Well, there is. This type of boss sometimes falls to unproductivity. A sign that you have this kind of boss is when there is little work done or a sense of direction is lacking in your group. The boss is so amiable that his authority now diminishes. Subsequently leading into half-baked results and missed deadlines for the team.
One helpful way to remedy this kind of scenarios is for the employee to STEP UP. If the pilot lacks skills, be the co-pilot. Despite having a boss with no control, you can still rise to the occasion and help him overcome his weakness. Although you can’t take over entirely, you can take charge of some tasks when you know it’s for the benefit of everyone. After all, it always has been a team effort.
I purposely didn’t use the word leader in the previous paragraphs. It’s because the word leader is reserved for the ideal boss. I don’t even wanna call a good boss as boss but as a leader. The leader is a person who has the ability to encourage, motivate, inspire, guide, teach, follow and so forth. He is just the guy you look up to and hope to become someday. He has a balanced approach towards leadership and management. When the going gets tough, you can be sure he is there for the team. Productivity is crucial to him but without sacrificing popularity. Meaning his decisions may not be agreeable to a few because it is best for the many.
Obviously I don’t need to state how to get along with this boss. But it’s important to note that this boss might not be a good leader at first. True leadership proves itself through time. Just like respect, he continually earns his leadership status knowing that his subordinates are right behind him.
How about you?
How do you get along with your boss?