I am guessing that when you read this title you thought this topic should be more of a two-way street. If you did, you are right. And I am excited to share that later this year I am writing more than an article for your boss, I am publishing a whole book for him or her! It is being published by Bibliomotion
and the title is Ego vs EQ, How Top Business Leaders Beat 8 Ego Traps with Emotional Intelligence
. If you are interested in learning more, see my blog
under "Exciting News" for more details.
Happy New Year!
The Clueless Boss
Think Horrible Bosses. Okay, maybe not that bad, but working with someone with little self-awareness or empathy can make your life miserable. So how do you outsmart a boss that appears to have little to no EQ?
Do frequent check ins. The lower their EQ the more likely they are to be a control freak. Keeping them updated pro-actively prevents them from needing to get deep in the weeds of your work.
Don't give them enough information to be dangerous. When you provide a laundry list of problems or complaints you set yourself up to get a negative response. Keep updates brief and concise and always provide solutions to any problem you share.
Work around them. Use your organizational awareness and network so you have resources around the company happy to help you.
Never go over their head or use the BCC. We know it is tempting but usually backfires and results in a disaster.
Always connect for them how what they are doing is hurting them getting what they want. They probably won't care about you or what is important to you so you have to put everything in context of how they unintentionally impede their own desired results.
The Enlightened Employee
It will also be important for you to maintain your Stress Tolerance so throughout the day take breaks, get some exercise in or be protective of family time on weekends no matter what.
Use your Flexibility to pick your timing well. Pay attention to their moods, are they a morning person or an afternoon person? If they are not a morning person, don't ask for something at 8am on a Monday.
Focus on results. Most bosses won't care as much about how as what. Use your Self-Control to resist the urge to go passive-aggressive and just tell them what they want to hear to get them off your back. A better way is to set polite but firm expectations on what can be accomplished when. Most of the executives we work with that have little EQ respond well to someone who occasionally challenges them in a professional and appropriate way.
Use some Empathy, they likely have a lot on their plate too, and odds are they were promoted for their technical skills, not people skills so don't expect them to be someone they are not. Sometimes lowering your expectations is the best way to stop being perpetually disappointed.
And lastly, take control over what you can - your thoughts, your attitude, your reactions. You are not a victim forced to stay in a miserable situation. If it becomes unbearable to work with the person, make an adult decision and get yourself to a happier place.