Pain is Inevitable, but Suffering is Optional
I am new to the organization I work for, joined 2 months ago. My boss is a director and I am working directly under him. There are no intermediate managers. My challenge is that whenever I need to consult him or take help about something, I am unable to find a proper answer. Instead, I am threateningly spoken to. He either says that I am supposed to know it, or I have been informed about it earlier, still worse that I am wasting his time. I began keeping a very detailed record of all information received so that I can reduce my interactions where I seek help or information. Obviously, I cannot do without speaking to him. I am feeling scared by his ever so irritable mood and bullying behaviour. He looks at me in extreme frustration as though I am a bad hire. I am really afraid to speak to my boss. This is lowering my confidence because I feel incapable as well as intimidated. It is making it very hard for me to work with him.
The chances are very high, that the director is not ill tempered with you alone but with others also. Presuming that your director is generally ill tempered,( in case if he is ill tempered with you only, the situation can be remedied much faster, as you can identify what you could do to improve the relationship.) take it as a learning phase in your life, on how to deal with ill tempered people.
There is a story which I heard from my father, Dr. Promod K. Batra:
Once a son and his father boarded a bus. As the father approached the bus conductor, who was visibly rude to passengers, the conductor snapped at the father. The father requested the conductor to speak in a more pleasant tone. The conductor, instead of sobering down, became more and more aggravated, and through out the 20 minute journey in the bus, he kept on jabbing at the father. Even when the father and son got off the bus, the conductor stuck his head out and kept on hurling snide remarks at the father as they were walking away. The son asked the father, why he didn’t talk back to the conductor? The father replied, “perhaps the conductor is always rude and disturbed, and if he could take the burden for so long, I am strong to take it for the brief time.”
Take on the challenge to influence your director. Before you engage with him remind yourself and prepare yourself. Always remember, it is not you in person that he is shouting at, but it is his nature.
Make sure that you carry your note pad whenever you enter his office, and as he is giving you instruction, start writing down the instructions on the note pad. There is a greater probability that if you wrote down what he had to say, he would feel more assured that you would be doing it the right way.
In case he starts snapping, reduce your eye contact, sit erect, and relaxed and ensure that you take deep breaths – it will calm you down.
On occasions, when he does interact in a calm manner, always reward his behaviour with a smile and a warm thank you. Naturally, he will start wanting more of the positive strokes and may alter his behaviour.
Please remember the words of Masushita Konosuke, founder of Panasonic, “any experience which does not kill you makes you stronger”, provided you learn from it.
There is a saying that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Choose to convert the energy of pain into gain, by building up your patience.
Tags: building confidence, challenges at work, challenges in job, leadership, new job challenges, pain and suffering, self confidence, suffering from, suffering is optional, the challenge, the leader, the suffering
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