Learn How to Stand up to your boss (and Force Her to See What You’re Really Worth)

2 August 07, 2017 By Dang

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

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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….

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…Until I had to resign to go do my own thing. She went back to hating me


2 comments on “Learn How to Stand up to your boss (and Force Her to See What You’re Really Worth)

  1. Sherifah

    After having read these and even implemeted some of the highligted at some point in my career; I still hate my Boss. The part I dissent (not with your write up but in general) is where I cant voice my opinions because I didnt tweak them to suit the Boss’s tempraments, moods etc or just because I am a junior staff my stances are less than good enough. The biggest problem we have in our society is lack of mutual respect and an empowered/functional HR. When these are restored/made available, no one would have to worry about learning to stand up to a Boss. We would all simply do our jobs and go home. And those who do not comply get what they deserve.
    I’m sorry I come across as antagonistic of your write up , its a more than a good one; but I can tell you, one size dont fit all when it comes to handling Bosses.


  2. Rollie

    It’s worse when the so called Boss is a ruthless liar and will stop at nothing to look good and make you look like the devil before other people.



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