We can all imagine what a Stubborn Boss looks like, but how do they get this way and how does it become a dysfunctional leadership pattern? Most of the time, a Boss becomes stubborn by closing their mind to outside ideas and opinions and facts and clinging to the desire to be right. In effect, they want to win rather than admit that someone or something else might be more correct than they are.
In effect, they has one key problem, their ego. This is a common trap for a few people that want a management title for selfish reasons, rather than for altruistic reasons. They want to lead a team for the prestige of being a boss, which means they want to be above others, rather than for helping people and initiatives to become better.
So essentially, we’re seeing weak emotional intelligence (EI), defined by self-awareness, self management, relationship awareness and relationship management. The Stubborn Boss is unaware of an underlying insecurity. Their position is their security. It’s as if they are saying “I’m the Boss, so I must be right”. They look for respect from others by holding firm to their convictions, even when it seems illogical.
What people can do to survive? Here are several strategies that you can try......
1. Don't try to change them. If you do, you are asking for trouble. When you try to change other people it shows disrespect for them and disrespecting a Stubborn Person is a one-way ticket to a fight that you will not win.
2. Avoid complaining about them behind their back, either to vent or worse, to try to discredit them or get them demoted. Being negative about someone else almost always backfires and it shows poor judgement on your part.
3. Become more resilient. Take care of yourself with the basics, like rest and energy. Get lots of sleep and eat well and you will be physically and mentally prepared.
4. Believe in yourself and feed your need for respect with small but constant reminders of what you are good at, and what you are doing well. Keep an “A-File” with copies of thank you messages that you receive from other people and examples of good work that you have done. When your confidence gets shoved, one peek inside this file reminds yourself of all the great work that you are capable of, and all the self-respect that you deserve.
5. Try to support them. You have to admit that there are some perspectives, opinions or decisions that come from your Boss that are actually valid and well thought out. This means that you are going to have to focus relentlessly on trying to understand your boss's perspectives while remaining highly self aware. If you can do this, others will see you as more controlled and self managed and you will earn the respect of others.
6. Make extra efforts to communicate. Ask your boss what they need and expect and do your absolute best to deliver.
7. Lastly, if it gets too difficult and the Stubborn Boss is creating a toxic workplace, plan your exit. Look around to other departments or companies and get out. Too many people stay in toxic workplaces and they are the ones who end up suffering. Acknowledging the situation and accepting your need for self-preservation needs to be on your list of options.
Pat Lipovski on LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/patlipovski
Pat Lipovski on Twitter https://twitter.com/envisiongroupca
Envision Group’s Website: EnvisionGroup.ca
Terry Lipovski on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/terrylipovski/
Terry Lipovski on Twitter https://twitter.com/TerryLipovski
Ubiquity Leadership’s Website: UbiquityLeadership.com
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