The Queen of Hearts

Jun 3rd, 2012 | By | Category: career challenges, challenges, difficult boss, negativity, tactics

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There are few jobs where there is not someone in a supervisory capacity overseeing the work. Even if you are a supervisor you have someone supervising you. More often than not the supervisor the supervisor’s role is to represent the company’s interests and ensure assigned tasks are accomplished as efficiently as possible.

The idea of a supervisor seems reasonable. There should be someone who knows the game plan, and quarterback the team to accomplish its goals. Few take issue with the need for someone to be in charge, it is the way most supervisors inter act with employees that causes the problem.

Too many supervisors act as if they are ordained to be infallible leaders with authority to demand compliance from all their loyal subjects. Like the Queen of Hearts there is a streak of dominance, no matter how artfully concealed, to order vengeance on all those who do not meet expectations. “Off with their heads” is the familiar cry of the Queen of Hearts for the slightest infraction –real or imagined. Lucky for all of us there is no one to carry out their orders. Although there are supervisors who have characters much like the Queen of Hearts most keep their ranting hidden, and even manage a smile while the thoughts revenge rattle around in their brains. The ideas of revenge once formed take on a life of their own.

Did you ever make a mistake at work and then find that your boss’s attitude toward you seemed to change. Even though there was a smile on her face, and forgiveness in her words, there was hint of vengeance in her tone? I once worked for a boss who portrayed the essence of the most understanding boss on the planet. She would publicly put on a display that would convince even the most skeptical. No harm done, everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect. All the time with a smile on her face. Then in private she would go on at length on how this was a deliberate act to discredit her, or to make her life miserable. The event was filed away in her mental data base for future action. In the five years I worked for her I witnessed her reap her vengeance with an invisible hand.

Not all bosses are consciously out to get even, but there is a human quality that makes us view random mistakes and remarks as personal affronts. Did you ever notice your first reaction when a cashier rings up the wrong price, or short changes you? Most of the time it is an honest mistake, but the first thoughts that flash through most of our minds is we are being cheated. The same holds true in most situations when events seem to go counter to our interests. Usually these are random events and we do not store the feelings they produce. Or do we?

Have you ever had an acquaintance who seemed to always be innocently causing you inconvenience? After a while you start avoiding this person, or worse yet you decide to cause them some inconvenience in return? This is what we have to guard against when dealing with a boss. Over time even small infractions can build into a resentment. So be mindful of how you interact with your boss. It is worth the trouble to placate your boss, even when things are not your fault to keep your working relationship on an even keel. How would you handle the Queen of Hearts?
Apply the same strategy to your boss.

The PracticaL Mentor’s Guide On How To Cope With A Difficult Boss has something for everyone. Go to Buy Now

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