by Ilio Masprone – Publisher – Knight of the Principality of Monaco for cultural merits
MONACO. Last November we wrote something about embarking on a new professional adventure. Various researches have found that almost half of those who leave a position do it because of problems with their managers or because bad management of a team makes losing enthusiasm. Before making the definitive step and look for another job try the “manage up method”. Empathy can be useful to neutralize a narcissistic boss. The secret is to activate a management technique from the bottom of the situation, to smooth angles and defuse crises before they happen. Anticipate events and critical issues: is your boss a difficult person? Try to think of him as a very tough customer instead of your manager. What would you do in that case? In the short term, an implicit alliance with the enemy may be useful, pending the planning of subsequent moves. If your boss is disorganized, organize the work for him too; if he is always late, arrive early to the meetings he must attend; if he tends to forget things, write notes for him to help him remember what was agreed. This method will push the interlocutor to lower the defenses and, therefore, the level of conflict. However, to handle the situation, you must be untouchable. If the situation worsens, start documenting and keeping track of everything: emails, communications, instructions, results. Everything that happens must be documented and proven. The fluid, constant and natural feedback that there is in a healthy relationship with a superior must be transformed into a more rigid structure of precise and punctual requests. And it is important to maintain a strategic and long-term vision about things. The right choice is to continue with commitment, even if your goal is a job change or exit from the company. Being flawless gives you the ability to negotiate from a strong point and makes you stronger in finding a new job. If the relationship with the boss is conflicting, you should not expose yourself, accumulate weaknesses and reasons to be criticized or rebuked. Conflict is the time to raise the standard. In case you are dealing with aggressive people who raise their voices or try to intimidate you react with your head held high, without emotional overload, but keeping the point and trying never to turn the conflict into a personal matter. This is the most difficult part, because in a toxic professional relationship it is easy to fall into this trap. Stick to the facts, replying soberly and dryly. Bad management feeds on fear, if you manage to defuse it, you are already halfway through the task. Even in situations of greater isolation, remember that you are not alone in a company. What is happening is under the eyes of your and his colleagues. So look for allies, carry on your version of the facts and share it, because if it happens to you, it is probably happening to someone else. Create a network with your colleagues or strengthen it. At the same time, limit unnecessary gossip: only tell people who are able to offer help and support. Unnecessary chatter can be a momentary outburst, but it increases your exposure to problems. Finally, it may be that a bad boss be pushing you to look for a different target of your career. This could be an opportunity for change and growth, so do not underestimate it.