If you’re like most people, chances are you’ve dealt with a powerful boss. For some people the experience of being managed can be an unpleasant one, especially when they do not know how to properly deal with their manager or supervisor. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review states that one’s relationship with their boss is the most important factor contributing to work engagement, satisfaction and commitment. Furthermore, Forbes magazine reports that that 2 million Americans voluntarily quit their job each month, with a third of them reporting that their boss was the reason for leaving. It appears that your relationship with your supervisor is absolutely integral to succeeding and feeling satisfied at work.
To deal with a difficult boss, many industry experts suggest “managing-up,” or what the Wall Street Journal describes as “going above and beyond the tasks assigned to you so that you can enhance your manager’s work.” Writing in Psychology Today, Dr. Beverly Flaxington states that managing-up is a skill that can be developed, and will help you be more successful regardless of the nature of your job. To manage-up effectively, Flaxington recommends observing your boss’s communication style and then using it when conveying information to him/her. Doing this will ensure that they hear what you have to say and will keep them updated. Flaxington also suggests supporting your boss’s weaknesses, which will make them appreciate your efforts, and putting your energy into doing the very best job that you can do, regardless of how you really feel about your boss.
People often ask Sadhguru how they can have successful careers and increase work satisfaction. Below, we’ve featured an excerpt from one of Sadhguru’s live talks where he addresses how you can successfully deal with a powerful boss:
“Someone has become your boss because he or she is in some way more qualified than you. You may believe that you are better than him, but he has gotten to that position because of some qualification, capability or influence – something has delivered him there. Even if he has gotten there by corruption, he is more capable at using corruption. One way or the other, as the social situations may be, he is more capable, which is why he has landed up there.
Just because he has landed up there and he is more capable does not mean he will do everything right. You do not do everything right either. No one in the world does everything right. Generally, he has landed there because he is supposed to do more things right than you do and he is supposed to have a better grasp of the situation than you.
A stenographer in the office can type very well but if the boss sits to type he may be a bad typist. The stenographer may think “That guy cannot even type properly, why is he my boss?” He is not your boss because he types better than you. He may not know a damn thing about typing. He is your boss because he knows many other things which you do not even know. The question of him being a boss has come with certain capability and an overall view.
Most of the time a boss need not be talented for anything in particular, but he has an overview of everything. He has a way of keeping people together and making things happen.
You may be individually good but you may not be capable of holding things together. So if you are really good at organizing and doing things together, you will naturally rise in your life either in this organization or somewhere else. No one can stop you.
If you are in some position, instead of having a grouse about your boss, do your job so well that without you, your boss and your company cannot exist. Make yourself indispensable. With this indispensability, power will come. If you keep yourself busy complaining, you will not do your work because you think “This man is a fool, why should I work fully for him?” Now you are dispensable and the company can drop you or your boss can kick you out at any time. Work in such a way that without you he cannot exist.
Become so useful that without you he cannot function. That is the way to grow. By complaining about someone you will not grow.
People who have reached the top did not grow by having a grouse against someone. They grew because they just did their best. We do our best, but my best and your best may not be on the same levels. We will grow according to our capabilities. If you are constantly looking at someone and comparing yourself, there will be someone above you wherever you go. It does not matter how big you become, there will still be someone above you. So you will always have a grouse and you will always think “That man is not as good as I am, why is he up there.” You will just always make yourself unhappy wherever you are.
You just do 100% of what you can do in that given situation, then you will become indispensable to the company, the boss and the whole situation. In this you grow. If you have more capability than him, naturally the company will make you the boss anyway.”
How will Sadhguru’s wisdom impact your work? Tell us in the comments below!