Overcome Bad Supervisors

One approach is to alter your perception of your boss or manager. Try thinking of your boss as a drill sergeant. You, unfortunately, are the new recruit in the boot camp that constitutes the work domain under this personís control. Like a drill sergeant, this sort of boss will use any tactic available to reshape you into an employee that fits a model determined by company policy or maybe one that serves his/her own ego.

As a new military recruit you would have come to expect that your personal traits and individual work habits could be treated as weaknesses. Encouragement and praise would no longer exist as such but would become your interpretation of criticism that happens to be at an uncharacteristically low level. Unless you have evidence that you are being singled out, you need to think like a private would and not take it personally.

This sort of boss is someone who has the authority, based on position in the company hierarchy, to order you around and push your buttons. None of the interpersonal skills you possess that help you develop relationships with others are of any value when dealing with higher-ranking soldiers who view their role as one of giving orders. These people are obstacles to overcome and, in the long run, to survive.

The respect you give to your boss must follow that same sort of no-questions-asked, military mindset. Sarcasm and cynicism toward such bosses only fuel their nasty dispositions and theyíll spew the smoke and heat back at you. React to their orders, comments, and cruelty, as much as you can, without emotion and such people often lose their edge. Behave on such a highly professional level toward them that theyíll confuse your passivity with loyal obedience. Enjoy your time off like a soldier on leave would. In other words, donít waste your time venting over the sergeantís words and behaviors.

I had a terrible supervisor in a retail job shortly after graduation. Appropriately, his hygiene was equally repulsive. This was only one way he showed indifference to the needs and comfort of others. He was negative, thoughtless, and sometimes even cruel to his employees. I used him as a motivating force to get a different position. The more he pushed, the more places I applied. The more he ranted the more I polished my resume and the better I studied the needs of prospective employers. Eventually I did get a much better job and was it ever sweet giving him my two weeks notice. Like most with his drill sergeant approach, he still hasnít risen in rank.

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About The Author / Credits: D.C. Morrow is the author of Survival After College available from Selfhelpbooks.com. (c) Copyright 2003 DC Morrow / Selfhelpbooks.com.

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