It’s not easy to come into work everyday and work with someone who is constantly aggressive. Especially when that someone is your Boss. Here are a few tips which might come in handy for you:
Assess the aggressiveness: Is your Boss aggressive only with you or is it also with other people? This distinction helps you understand if your boss has a problem with you or is in general an aggressive person.When you establish it’s indeed with everyone, one option is to tell your Boss nicely that you’re finding it difficult to concentrate on the subject at hand, when he or she is shouting. You can tell them that you would like to work through issues calmly without the stress. This would rejig the perspectives of your boss and they would have the chance to self-evaluate their actions and also evaluate your boundaries. You’ve just shown your boss that you are not like the rest of those who suffer silently and you stood up for yourself. That takes guts! Irrespective of the change you expect in your boss, you’ve shown yourself that you’re not taking things as they are lying down. When you realise the aggression is only with you, ask for a private meeting with your boss and discuss a specific example of when your boss was aggressive. Ask them if they have a problem with you or the way you are working together, because you felt the aggression from them. Tell them you would like to understand how you can help to achieve a better working relationship.
Reach out to colleagues in a similar situation: Sometimes the greatest thing you can do for yourself and others is to have a cup of coffee with people going through similar hardships. Just building these relationships with them, sharing the burden and letting them know that you are there for them, achieves tangible and intangible benefits in the long term. Humans are social creatures and societies support us through the good times and bad times of our lives. Take full advantage of the society around you at work and establish support structures. Tangible benefits could be supporting each other while addressing aggressiveness and intangible benefits could be building joint efforts to tackle the aggressiveness of your boss.
Going to Human Resources: It’s not uncommon for aggressive people to get into trouble with Human resources (HR)at work. The only question is if your company has a strong Human Resources department. Aggressive Bullies are constantly put into their place by well-oiled powerful HR departments. If you are blessed with a powerful HR department, then, it’s best to follow step 1 and 2 before going to them. Because the first question which would arise in these HR meetings will be, have you discussed your concerns with the person directly. But if your HR is powerless and exists merely to do employment contracts and support the bosses, then this tip isn’t going to fly. So, put the feelers out for how effective HR is at your company before seeking comfort from them.
Switch projects: Are there other projects in your team you can get onto? Higher priority ones which would mean you are busy at work interacting with other people than your aggressive boss? Not a totally bad idea to take on some new work to get a break from the aggression of your boss. It could also help you make new friends. Be careful in handling the project switches though! For example, don’t go and tell your boss, you want to work on a new project because you no longer want to work with them. Your boss is still your boss, the one to whom you would be reporting to, so it would be unavoidable to keep seeing them and working with them. However, switching to a new project will give you a different perspective on your work life and take you out of your Boss’s range. Try to make it seem like you’re genuinely interested in other projects and it’s important for your career development. This will mean that it’s less about your boss’s aggressiveness and more about organising your career.
Finally, make sure you never turn aggressive. Just because they are shouting and unleashing their temper around, doesn’t mean you should turn into them. Don’t cause someone else to read these tips because of you. As life progresses and your career flourishes, you should be someone everyone looks up to, not someone who is hated. Plus you could end up in serious trouble.