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Roadmaps to the TALK2ME© System

Corralling The Bad Boss

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IT’S NOT WHAT PEOPLE CALL YOU BUT WHAT YOU ANSWER TO

What to do with a bad boss who is an ogre? The American Heritage dictionary defines communication as: “To have an interchange, as of thoughts and ideas. The exchange of messages by speech, signals, or writing. A system or network of routes for sending and receiving messages, as by mail, telephone, or television.”

ETHICAL VS. EFFECTIVE LEADERS

A good boss is an ethical and effective communicator. A bad boss is an unethical and effective communicator. Catch the difference? A bad boss is very inclined to be communicative, to readily and forcefully deliver messages to your logic and heart-mind to convince you to do what he or she wants you to.

IS YOUR ENERGY BEING DRAINED BY A BAD BOSS?

So what can you tell yourself or do when your energy is being drained by a bad boss? That “bossy bad boss” can be an in-law, mother or father, teenager or child, ex-spouse, a supervisor at work or your own “inner jerk.” Repeating the inaccurate, fear-driven and negative statements going ’round and ’round in your own skull will defeat you. If your inner chatter agitates you, then say out loud: Change the subject!

TALK BACK NOW TO A BOSSY BULLY?

You may not have much control over stress events at work that nip at the heels of your self-esteem, but you CAN pump up an attitude that has been flattened by stress. You’ve got to talk some sense to yourself, because you may never have the chance to talk to the bad boss, for fear of losing your job. Here’s how to use a few punchy attitudes from the “Talk to Me” communication system:

  • Being rigid about who’s right and who’s wrong IS wrong.
  • I don’t let myself be led around like a goat on a rope.
  • I don’t take whatever you say to me as gospel spoken from on high.
  • I don’t throw bad talk back in someone’s lap.
  • I treat myself to the kindnesses I expect others to treat me to.
  • I am relationship-centered instead of control-centered.
  • The blame and shame game is lame, so I steer clear.
  • I don’t pick up negative emotions that don’t belong to me.
  • I’ll “flip in,” not “flip out,” when I experience intense emotions.
  • I keep it simple by using positive communication skills.
  • I work on myself before trying to change others.
  • I accept 50% co-responsibility for every problem facing me.
  • I plug into a positive attitude to unplug from stress.
  • If you don’t own a problem…you can’t solve a problem.
  • Am I the leader of my own life here, or not?
  • You can hang yourself but I don’t have to hang with you!
  • I understand that producing results is the all of everything.
  • I reserve the right to drive myself crazy, thanks very much.
  • Getting even puts me behind.
  • So, how’s that my problem?
  • It’s not what people call you but what you answer to!
  • I’ll change my “to-do” list to a DO(NE) one.
  • Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can put into today!
  • That’s a road I don’t want to go down with you!
  • I won’t eat the manure sandwich you just handed me!
  • I’m not a control freak but a peace freak.
  • Middle-of-the-road always works better than going to extremes.
  • I won’t suffer from my own knee-jerk, me-jerk reactions.
  • I can say what I mean, and mean what I say, without being mean!
  • The harder I try to control others, the behinder I get.
  • If my word isn’t any good, I feel good for nothing.
  • I tell the truth without casting stones of blame.
  • Often, doing what feels good IS the problem, and choosing to do what makes us feel bad is the solution.
  • Get your nit pickin’ hands off my psychic skin, you dag-blasted guilt tripper!
  • Perhaps the best decision for me is to stay away from nutty people.

You don’t produce a bunch of whiny-baby excuses, now do you?!

BEING COMMUNICATIVE…A GREAT TRAIT OF THE BAD BOSS

As I mentioned earlier, a bad boss is very inclined to be communicative, to readily and forcefully deliver messages to your heart-mind to convince you to do what he or she wants you to. The bad boss feels he or she owns you, and you owe him or her your unwavering allegiance. By “staying on message,” the bad boss controls you by fueling fear, casting stones of blame, and side-stepping the results of their hyped-up programs and plans.

YOU CAN HANG YOURSELF…BUT I DON’T HAVE TO HANG WITH YOU

You may have a “lemon” for a boss, and with any luck, you won’t have one for too long. In any case, most of us have “difficult people” in our life who are teaching us tough life choices and touchy life lessons. Bottom line: You get to choose the road on which you drive your communicator car. Choose your road carefully because some communication trips are more enjoyable than others. So today, make your life your full-time job.

ABOUT DAYTON, OHIO, COMMUNICATIONS PSYCHOLOGIST AND KEYNOTE SPEAKER DR. DENNIS O’GRADY

Empathizers are prone to being follower-types, while Instigators are prone to being leader-types. Both communicator types are needed in the same room to get creative solutions brought to life. Dr. Dennis O’Grady recommends that you choose your road traveled carefully because some communication trips are more enjoyable to go on than others. O’Grady shows you how the two types of communicators, Empathizers and Instigators, have completely different views of what makes the world go ’round or stop spinning altogether. As famous Gestalt psychotherapist Fritz Perls said in his 1969 book called “In and Out the Gargage Pail” that “topdog bossy people” use chickens*it or cliches, bulls*it or excuses, and elephants*it or pontificating to keep people spinning their wheels and stuck in a work rut. Dr. O’Grady is a professional keynote speaker and seminar leader, and author of “Talk to Me: Communication Moves To Get Along With Anyone” available at this site and Amazon now.

8 Comments »

  1. Empathizers are prone to being follower-types, while Instigators are prone to being leader-types. Both communicator types are needed in the same room to get creative solutions brought to life around the communicator table.

    Comment by Dr. Dennis O'Grady — February 19, 2007 @ 6:42 am

  2. Something’s lost in communication with an uptight boss. As an Empathizer, I value emotional comfort in the relationship. When I’m made to feel important, I have better productivity…and better morale…and I pass along these good feelings to my customers.

    Comment by Alyce — February 19, 2007 @ 11:04 am

  3. A bad boss puts his feet up on the desk, leans back in a most relaxed way in the chair, and takes credit for things he hasn’t really done. I should know. I have one.

    Comment by David — February 20, 2007 @ 9:13 am

  4. I come across to “easy-going” to my boss and family. I have the image that nothing much gets to me or bothers me. But that’s not true. When I stand up for myself by saying “No” people act all shocked. Is this a common problem of E-type communicators?

    Comment by Jessica — February 20, 2007 @ 9:16 am

  5. I’m not blaming anybody. I’m an I-type boss. Good employees take a rejection of WHAT is involved vs. a rejection of YOU. Aren’t E-types too prone to feeling rejected?

    Comment by Bill — February 20, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

  6. I’m one of the E-type Empathizer leaders you talk and write about. I used to lack confidence because I was worried about meeting all my obligations. Do E-types have trouble with delegating? I try to do most of the work myself, so I don’t have to worry about somebody else not doing it.

    Comment by John — February 20, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

  7. A bad boss puts his feet up on the desk, leans back in his big chair in the most relaxed way, and takes credit for things he hasn’t really done. I should know. I have one.

    Comment by Paxton — February 20, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

  8. A good leader spends equal time in the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat. Both have jobs, no less important. Our team is a mixture of Empathizers and Instigators, and we’re learning how to capitalize on our unique differences. Neither is the leader of the relationship, because both are, as in “co-leaders” or “co-communicators.”

    Comment by Sarah — February 20, 2007 @ 6:08 pm

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