On the business and family blog today I shared about the impact that treating your employees poorly can have on your business, but here I want to talk about how it feels to be on the losing side of that battle, and what it’s like to be one of those poorly treated employees. Honestly, I think some business owners or managers (depending on who you deal with) are clueless. They have no understanding of what they’re doing and the impact it has on their people. They don’t get the issues you face (and aren’t willing to hear about them), aren’t open to hearing opinions other than their own, think they know best and don’t really seem to care about anyone but themselves. Even scarier are the business owners or managers who simply don’t care about their people or their quality of employment outside of not getting sued or having serious trouble.
If you have one of these bosses or managers, I know how you feel, I’ve dealt with bosses that treat me as brainless, a lemming, or my life and opinions as insignificant and all that matters is them and what they want done. Yes, I get it, they’re running a business and want things done a certain way. But I fully believe that there is a way to get that accomplished without demeaning or demoralizing people. There are companies who have engaged and happy employees who love coming to work and are willing to put in the required effort and then some. Companies, where people’s opinions are listened to, results appreciated and personally respected.
So what happens when you find yourself dealing with someone who sees you as a cog in a machine and you’re not in a position to speak to the manager/owner about the situation in an authoritative manner and all efforts to get things to change that you can do have been tried and failed? You can put your head down and push through for as long as you can, or you can go get a new job, or you can start a business. All of those are options, some better than others, and it’s unfortunate that we have to even consider those options.
If you decide to push through for at least the time being first you should know that you’re not alone. It’s a sad reality that there are lots of miserable people working jobs that could be amazing but aren’t because of the management or leadership. Next, do your best to get your work done in the quickest, most efficient and most complete manner so that you have to deal with your management or leadership as little as possible. One tip I’ve learned in dealing with challenging leadership is to ask lots of questions before starting anything that could have multiple meanings or ways of being done. Get all your facts before starting something so you don’t have to redo or repeat. Finally, do your best to work on your attitude towards the people you work with and even towards the boss(es). It’s not easy to have a positive or kind attitude towards those who treat you with little or no respect or dignity, but you’ll feel better about yourself at the end of the day if you do.
What are your tips for dealing with challenging bosses?