The title of this article already says it all. Most of us, if not all of us, have experienced working with or for a boss who just keeps on giving tasks to us but fails, or just doesn’t care, to consider whether we can still finish the task or not, are already overwhelmed, or already lack the motivation and the inspiration to perform our job well. In other words, a demanding boss.
There’s a saying that goes,
People don’t usually leave their companies. Mostly, they leave their bosses.
True, isn’t it? One of the root causes employees don’t have a good working relationship with their own bosses or just decide to leave the company is supervisors or managers who forget that we, their employees, are also human beings who get tired and feel pain.
So, when we already experience a situation where our boss already gives us more than we can manage, how do we deal with him? How do we deal with the situation?
One very specific communication necessity that we must realize, appreciate, and learn is Asserting. Not because our boss is superior to us and is in the position to delegate responsibilities to us, that it’s okay for them to bombard us with tasks that are already beyond our capacities.
When we’re assertive, we can openly share our thoughts regarding our predicament without antagonizing our bosses and without, more importantly, ruining our professional relationship with them.
But what is assertiveness though? How is it done? When we’re assertive, how do we say what needs to be said?
Let’s study the key word ‘assert’ then.
Merriam-Webster says that to assert is to state or declare something positively. It’s to speak or act in a manner that compels recognition of one’s rights.
Now, let’s focus our attention on ‘positively’. When we say something assertively or we assert something, we’re able to say what we must say without offending the other person or without violating his/her rights.
Asserting is, therefore, framing our words positively without losing the respect to the recipient of our message.
If we just know how to assert our rights, voice out our thoughts, and share our feelings with our boss without the need to argue, whine, or sever ties, then we can let him know that there’s already a concern that needs to be addressed – that we’re already overwhelmed with too many tasks beyond what we’re capable of and that he’s already becoming annoyingly demanding.
This, simply said, is how we can better deal with our bosses when he already overloads us with too many tasks that we can’t handle anymore.
But of course, first things first. We must gather enough confidence to request a one-on-one with our boss to let him know of our side and then when we get that opportunity, we must prepare how we can deliver what we say, how we say it, and of course, how we look when we say what we must say to be assertive.
Another thing to keep in mind, just like with any conflict resolution process, is that we need to meet halfway and reconcile everything with our boss as soon as we have given feedback about our situation.
This way, we share expectations about how many tasks we can only accommodate based on our limitations and the boss, just to be fair, can also negotiate deliverables and their corresponding standards with us.
Now, we could just imagine that if all employees are equipped with Assertiveness and given our boss in turn is open-minded, mature, and professional enough to receive feedback even from his staff and to work on it to become a better leader, then we wouldn’t have difficulties handling situations like this and there would be a healthier employer-employee relationship in the workplace.
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