Archive for December, 2013

Most of us have done it, we have worked for a person who is brash, overly demanding and seems to shove off all sense of responsibility for the outcome of things or projects onto others. I’m talking about the bully boss. These types of boss’ are more like school yard bullies and for the sake of argument, there is a difference between a boss and a leader.

Leaders are out front in the lead position guiding, teaching, inspiring and encouraging their team to move forward and accomplish goals and tasks. A good leader hits their sweet spot when the team is highly inspired to achieve. A boss, no pun intended, is in the rear trying to push and this serves as a mental picture of where the pressure is coming from. Physics tells us that when force is applied resistance occurs. The bully boss knows this and when they push and get resistance they use more force. It follows an old cliche, “Brute force, if it’s not working you’re just not using enough.” Everything can be a nail if you have a big enough hammer to drive it through.

Except there is a problem with this concept, and it’s from the employee’s perspective and it usually comes from the employee’s point of view. “If I don’t comply then I have a bigger problem…no job!” So where does this leave the employee? What options do they have and how can they work with a boss who is acting like a shark in a minnow pond?

Stop! Before you sign that reprimand lets put first things first. Ask for a copy of it and read it carefully as if you are buying a house or car. Take your time and read the fine print and details of the demands of the letter. If you cannot get a copy let that be a red flag that this is not met to end well, for the employee anyway. The bully boss is the type of person who is looking for compliance and may get short fused when you don’t sign it right away. They may say things like it’s confidential, company property and cannot leave the room etc. to prevent you for taking this information. There is a reason for that, it’s called a lawsuit. Hint: if the result of signing a document affects your livelihood then you have a greater problem beyond your boss. It’s called loss of income and it will be the tipping point of losing a lot more than your paycheck. This is where people get stuck, fear of loss. If you sign off and you now have a performance record issue on file with a company that may go on a future resume. Here are a few tips that can help.

  1. Evaluate responsibility and situation of the claim, read it carefully, listen closely. Take notes if needed for your own documentation.
  2. Keep the perspective that no boss is perfect, keep your own power.
  3. Ask for a copy of the letter before you sign it.
  4. Ask why a letter is needed (if it’s not okay to ask questions then we have a bigger underlying issue called Tyranny)
  5. Ask if you can take the copy and bring it back at a later time. Do some consulting regarding the letter before signing off.
  6. If necessary, because red flags and bullying are evident, update your resume, refuse to sign the document. Turn in your resignation and look for other work.

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Depression or feeling down and blue can often be countered with some everyday techniques that can lift the mood. The way we think about our lives and what we experience often has a tremendous impact on how we view the world around us. When this processing of information is put into a negative frame of mind then the world itself begins to look negative leading to negative emotions such as anxiety and depression.

So how does a person stop from being exposed to too much negativity? An effective was is to stop supplying the negative stimulus. When a person takes an active approach to stop negative input into the mind then the mind is no longer feeding itself with negativity. Sounds simple right? Here are some everyday changes that a person can do to reduce negative input leading to depressive symptoms.

1. Stop watching the news. Often nothing can be accomplished sitting in your living room listening to a clanging reporter dramatizing death, destruction and political discord. Much of our culture is based on news reporting and wanting the next fix on current events. Sometimes watching news can even turn into an addiction. Turn it off for a few days and stop feeding the mind with information that is rarely, if ever, good. Having trouble not watching the news? Next time you watch the news, sit down with pen and paper and make a list of the things that were reported. Look at the list and see what the topics were about. Chances are there are no shiny happy stories.

2. Stop worrying and take action. Sitting around and worrying about things beyond our control gets us nowhere. Worry is about trying to make something that is uncertain a certainty. This falls under the 90/10 rule where 90% of the things we worry about are beyond our control, therefore worry about the 10% that are within our control and do something about it. Practice self acceptance, if there is something that you want to change then change it.

3. Practice gratitude. Coming from a place of thanks instead of thinking about what you don’t have creates positive feelings. Take a look around and think of 3 things you have to be thankful for. Do this everyday picking 3 new things each day. Practice being thankful for doing your best instead of focusing on perfection or trying to achieve unrealistic goals. Sometimes practicing positive affirmations are difficult in the beginning when caught in a web of negative thinking, but with practice it gets better and easier with time.


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