People who work for themselves often do so because they’re unable to work with others. The amount of compromise involved is not part of their make-up, it’s unnatural and they simply don’t like it. Nor do they think it’s something they should have to do. Ever. But when they’re “the Boss” they can push people around, yell at them, act uncivilly, disrespectfully and pretty much get away with it. Sure they may go through lots of employees, but they don’t care, in their mind those people are “dumb” for not listening and doing as they’re told.
Taking a Stand
Very few people stand up to volatile Boss types, especially Bosses who have a tendency toward temper tantrums. These Bosses also tend to have a low social IQ and don’t “get” turn taking and listening; everyone else is “dumb” except for them. God forbid. So, the smart employee sees very quickly that reasoning won’t work. They either have to stay and take it on the chin or leave and be free of it. Not a great way to manage or retain your employees.
I found this article about Bully Bosses. It points out that the bullying is from deep seated feelings of inadequacy or insecurity. That rings true to my experience with these types. And there’s a tip to survive them in the short term which involves flattery. However, this only reinforces their “delusions of competence”, according to the article. Best suggestion? Go over their head or leave the job.
How Can a Bully Boss Change?
So, where does this leave the Bully Boss who reports to no one and can’t be fired? They will continue to thwart any kind of confrontation and will remain convinced that they know what’s best and everyone else is “stupid”.
Why do I care? You might ask. Well, I have at least two people like this in my life and their Bully Boss tendencies overlap into their personal relationships. Yet they see none of it. No amount of therapy seems to make a difference. To me, it all seems so needless.
10 things Bully Boss types should think about and do:
- Take a good hard look in the mirror, look into your own eyes. Face yourself.
- Be honest: take stock of the turmoil and chaos surrounding you.
- Is this much chaos part of a normal existence?
- Ask yourself: WHY am I so angry?
- Is it about you or is it about them?
- How would you feel if someone screamed at you all day the way you’re screaming at others?
- Try living by the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
- Allow others to speak and really listen to what they say. Don’t talk over them.
- Avoid sarcasm when you’re feeling insecure, tired, or angry.
- Offer empathy and help generously.
Be aware of your tendencies and strive to let go of anger and little things that set you off. Give yourself 30 days of this and see what changes for you. Is life a little more fun? Are people offering to help you now? Are they happy to see you each day? Are they letting you in on office secrets or private matters? How does it feel to have people around you, helping you, who really want to be there?
Think about it. Do you want more of this or do you want it to stop? The goodness can disappear as quickly as your temper can flare. Figure out what works best for you and stick with it. There’s a whole wide world out there.