How many hours a week do you spend at work? Are those hours spent in a healthy work environment? Do you like your job, but dislike your boss’ management style?
Recently, I read an article by Andrew Hudson. It is entitled, “Do You Have a Bully for a Boss?”
Below is an excerpt from the article by Andrew Hudson.
“Do You Have a Bully for a Boss?
While often our ideas of bullies are of the schoolyard kind, actually, bully bosses are more common than you think.
Their management style is to establish a blanket of fear, intimidation and terror amongst those they manage. They might be screamers. They may be harassers. They are mean and usually loathe to compliment good work but are quick to find errors and to criticize even the slightest mistake. Bully bosses play favorites and pit their employees against each other to create an unhealthy political environment of unwinnable competition.
Bully bosses are quick to threaten their employees about being fired. While making ridiculous demands on their employees and offering no clear direction, the work that is produced is never good enough and they do what they can to dampen any type of confidence, self-esteem or pride.
Employees who work under bully bosses are constantly fearful for their jobs. They feel targeted for unfair treatment, bad assignments and are not given opportunities. Often, they tell me they dread going to work and many become physically ill from the stress and abuse. Yet, employees who work under bully bosses are hesitant to quit their jobs.
You’d think enough people would complain that a bully boss would be eventually discovered by HR or by upper management; but in actuality, through their tactics of fear and intimidation, bully boss management styles often produce results. In addition, bully bosses are masters of office politics and know how to suppress any complaints or uprisings among their ranks.
In other instances, the bully boss is simply part of a larger environment of bully bosses. The leadership of the company all the way to the top operates and encourages a culture of fear. One person told me their company uses intimidation as a way to “…keep the employees on their toes.”
Victims of bully bosses have been completely demoralized. They have been constantly told they’re not doing a good job and have lost a tremendous amount of self-esteem, self-respect, confidence and courage.
They are afraid they can’t find another job or that the bully will try to prevent them from working in their chosen industry. It’s hard for them to talk about themselves in positive ways or recognize the value their experiences and skills would be to another employer. They are angry. They feel powerless. They feel as if there’s nothing they can do.”
Andrew Hudson offers ideas if you find yourself in this type of work situation. The entire article can be found at: http://andrewhudsonsjobslist.com/index.cfm?PID=805&ID=9875,31730,0 I recommend reading the entire article. His website is quite informative and interesting especially if you are job searching.
For survivors of trauma, it can be even more challenging to deal with a work environment that includes a boss who is a bully. Many domestic violence and childhood abuse survivors already have low self-esteem. It may be difficult to stand up to a manager who acts like a bully. When the bully management style is accepted by the hierarchy in the company or corporation, your choices are less in number.
Many survivors may freeze or think to flee. Old messages of you are not good enough or you will never amount to anything or you never do anything right may return to your mind with more frequency. You may be healed enough to know those thoughts are not true; yet, day by day, your confidence erodes. Sometimes a person is not even aware that the demoralization is occurring in such intensity and depth until they experience health or emotional problems.
What if you are in the position where you need the job? How do you cope? Do you strategize and plan an exit? Do you stay stuck, minimize the reality of the situation, and/or dread each day?
When victims survive, part of the healing process is realizing and internalizing your self-worth. Here you are – finding yourself in a work environment that reminds you of the abusive situations of your past. The work situation does not include sexual or physical abuse; but, the emotional and intellectual abuse is apparent. This abuse is passed off under acceptable work-related terms and lingo. The putdowns, the unfair workloads, the lack of acknowledgement of work performed well, little freedom to ask questions or to give input, etc. add to your stress level, to the stress level of your coworkers, and lowers your self-confidence and self-esteem. You know that you are good at your job. Inside you also know that you deserve a healthy work environment.
There are people who are trying to bring attention to the idea of decent workplaces. Liz Ryan is one of them. See: http://www.humanworkplace.com/
Recently I read a book called, “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi. (See: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25614898-when-breath-becomes-air) The book is written by and is about Paul Kalanithi, a young neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with cancer. He shares his thoughts on life and dying. The book made me think about what I want to do with my life now. Am I doing it? What would I miss if I never did it? What is my passion? None of us know how long we have to live on this earth. What do you truly want to accomplish – not necessarily on the material level? I recommend “When Breath Becomes Air”. Paul Kalanithi’s words and journey are thought-provoking and real.
As a life coach, I recommend making time for reflection.
Sit ….. Breathe …. Let your mind clear … truly let yourself relax ….
After time has passed, and I mean a decent amount of time, get a piece of paper and pen (or your laptop). Let your ideas flow … Let your imagination run free …
What are the possibilities? Sure, let the realistic ones flow with the “unrealistic” ideas.
If you are in a bad work environment, do you want to stay with the company?
Can you transfer?
Is the negative work environment throughout the corporation? If you don’t know, research.
Would you rather leave?
Do you want to perform the same type of work?
Do you want to start your own business,
Do you want to be your own boss?
If you have family responsibilities (such as children, a spouse, elderly parents), how do you proceed?
This brainstorming is a beginning. As a life coach, I would help you explore your options and your dreams. Knowing a life coach is holding you accountable does help you to move forward.
A huge amount of our time and of our lives are spent at work. Remember: you are worthy of a work environment that is beneficial to you. Think about it.
Call me! I am here to be your life coach!