I have never had a problem standing up for myself, even when I’m crazy in love, my brain still rejects bullying. As an employee, I had to learn how to stand up to my boss. So, when I encountered a very difficult boss whose sole purpose was to put me down and make my life miserable, this is what I did:
I knew this was a business I wanted to learn and do on my own in future, I also knew my boss was extremely good at her job. Knowing all these gave me an incentive to work harder and put my ego aside. How did I stand up to a woman who could fire me from a job I loved and wanted?
Empower yourself: First, I learnt how to become really good at my job. I envisaged questions before they were asked and wrote down answers in anticipation. I would read up in my spare time and give intelligent contributions during staff meetings. I made myself smart, handy and invaluable. Initially she didn’t like that she deferred to me, but I was working harder than anyone else and producing results, so she didn’t have a choice. When I became assured of my competence, I moved to the next step
Plan what you’re going to say: I started to write down the things I wanted to say to her. It wasn’t for lack of confidence, it was a strategic way to get it all out without talking too much. So, I wrote things down, cancelled and re-wrote. I needed to say everything on my mind in few words so as not to bore her or look like I was rambling. This was a tough woman I was dealing with, I had to hold her attention or lose my chance. So, when I was satisfied with my complaints and how I would present them, I moved on to the next phase
Choose the right moment: Because I had become closer to her, I began to study her mood and her down times. I also made sure to find out the visitors that put her in a good mood, news that elated her…I knew there was a time and place for everything so I watched and studied her until I knew the time was right
Be Confident and keep your emotions under control: When I eventually got her in a good mood and presented my case, I spoke confidently and looked her straight in the eye. I smiled a lot too. I told her how much I loved my job and how desperately I wanted to learn from her. But, as much as she inspires me to work harder, I would also like her to inspire me to want to come to work too. I explained that I felt used sometimes even though that may not have been her intention, and she talked down at me especially in the presence of visitors which dampens my morale. I finished off by saying “ I hope someday my hard work will be acknowledged and you will find it in your heart to treat me with respect”
Never Criticize or Sound Bitter: I told her how I felt, not what she did. So this made the situation seem more about me and less about her
Needless to say that was the turning point for me. Although after airing my thoughts, she said “I have heard you, leave my office”, things got way better and we became friends. I was able to be my best and I looked forward to going to work….
…Until I had to resign to go do my own thing. She went back to hating me