How to deal with an abusive boss
In an online chat with readers on August 30, HR expert Varda Pendse, director, Cerebrus Consultants answered questions on how to deal with various workplace issues.
For those who missed the live chat, here's the unedited transcript:
manish kamble: If our boss does not give approval in writing.. how to react?
Varda Pendse: Hi. Please make a note on the document stating your boss's feedback, put time / date. This will help you incase your boss doesnot remember !!!
alex: Working late seems to be the norm in my office. I don't like doing that. I also cannot be seen as someone who leaves 'early'. I have brought this up with my boss but he seems to think it is ok to work long hours and sacrifice family time
Varda Pendse: Dear Alex, Go discuss with your boss / take targets in terms of what needs to be delivered for the week / plan your schedule so that you can deliver. Focus on your delivery.
kaushal: Madam, my targets are ridiculous. I cannot meet them. Perhaps it is me and my inefficiency. Should I quit?
Varda Pendse: Kaushal - are you in sales ? Targets are always expected to be stretched ...work towards them - plan / look at what you can do differently / build your own skills and competencies and give your best effort. If you have 'Targets that are kite flying' - then look for a another job, after giving a shot towards acheivement !
ganesh-nadar: how do you deal with a boss who taunts, insults?
Varda Pendse: Ganesh, There are couple of options - one - go and share with your boss that his comments impact you negatively and discuss with him the reason why he is saying so, second learn to ignore the taunts, show no reaction and they may just stop, third also think whether you are over sensitive
hitansh: I think I can do a better job of managing the team than my boss. But I also know superseding him will also lead to bad blood. I want to rise above him but don't want to upset the apple card
Varda Pendse: Hey Hitansh....be a great team player and support the team actively !! You will be made the captain pretty soon. Focus on what you can do and do it.
tushar: i REALLY feel awkward asking for a day off. how do i get over this issue. (it is not a workplace issue it is a problem with me. please help)
Varda Pendse: Tushar...be brave and self confident. Go ask for the leave and take the day off. Dont think too much.
dananjaypuri: Madam, my suggestions are often treated with scant attention. How do i deal with this?
Varda Pendse: Dear Dananjay - Discuss your ideas with a friend and check out his feedback / write out your ideas on a paper and then share them with others. How well do you communicate? If you are not a confident speaker, it would also be important for you to build your communication skill
Illustration by Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com
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jinny: I have a crush on my colleague. She is junior to me, so I am not sure how this will reflect on me. There is no HR policy against dating colleagues but I have been extremely wary about office romances since Phaneesh Murthy scandal broke out
Varda Pendse : Dear Jinny, First be a friend and get to understand / know her. Take it one step at a time. Only if she reciprocates can you think of dating, my friend !!!
vijay: I have just been put in charge of a team that was loyal to its previous manager. How do I get them to work for me...
Varda Pendse: Dear Vijay...well you have inherited a great team that shows loyalty to the boss. So learn to appreciate this aspect of the team. Refrain fro saying anything negative about the previous manager. Focus on work to be done. Listen / Share ideas and focus on your own leadership style. Dont even in your mind compete with the earlier manager !!
appa: What to do if i miss a deadline and have to answer my strict boss?
Varda Pendse :Dear Hezal ...you would always pre warn / inform your boss in advance your boss when you are going to miss a deadline. Apologise and go recommitt to a new deadline!!
nikunj keshvani: My team is not following as per my directions...I feel they are mature enough, so I will not chasing them behind for any task..How to manage such situation?
Varda Pendse: Dear Nikunj, Do a team meeting where you share the targets / what needs to be achieved, share details of deliverable about each team members, put in a review mechanism too. If you think your team is matured / competent, then focus on delivery rather than task.
sudaram: madam how to deal with a layoff? my friend just called to say he got a pink slip
Varda Pendse: Dear Sundaram, Being asked to leave from a job is a very difficult. Tell your friend to prepare his resume and start looking for another job. Start a enterprise if he wants. When one door closes, another is waiting to be opened
romil: How do I reach out to my colleagues? I am new here and I want to feel part of the organisation
Varda Pendse: Dear Romil, go and make friends. Start by wishing your office colleagues 'good morning / smile / compliment them. Share / support. Be alert to whats happening in and around you. But don't gossip or say anything negative !! Believe me over a period you will have lots of friends
ganesh-nadar: thanks, and Madam how should I deal with compartmentalisation of my office, you know sales, ads, editorial, no one talks to each other
Varda Pendse: Dear Ganesh, Compartmentalisation will eventually impact organizational performance and efficiency. Team working will happen at two levels - one thru networking and informal gathering and the other through organisational initiatives viz. goal setting..
Illustration by Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com