As I mentioned last week, I recently gave a talk to an audience of mid-level managers of Fortune 1500 companies and offered all the attendees a free, one hour coaching session to discuss any business related issue. Last week I reported on one of the issues on the minds of so many peoplewho have management responsibilities in corporate America, namely: how to motivate people to be the best they can be and do the best job they can do?
This week I want to respond to another burning issue: how to deal most effectively with a boss who is difficult to get along with, for any one of a number of reasons? Either he or she is a bit of a bully, doesn’t listen, won’t take the time for you or doesn’t express care or concern for you and/or the people in your department.
Again, I have a standard answer: the moment you label someone “difficult to get along with,” the game is over. I’ll go back and explain my answer in a moment but there is a principle I talk about in my book and it says: people show up in your conversation about who you believe them to be. So if you believe a person to be difficult to get along with, that is how they will show up for you.
Here’s the back story: like everything else in life, we have choices. With regard to the people in our life, we can either have judgments about them or we can choose to see the gold in them. When you go looking for gold, you don’t find it lying on the ground. You have to dig in the dirt for it. Same with people. Inside of every human being is a bar of solid gold wanting to shine, no matter how tough life has been for them and no matter how deeply it is covered up.
Don’t you notice around some people you show up great and around others you don’t? It’s all about energy. Everything in the Universe is energy meaning you and everyone else is too. So you literally create an energetic field around you that others step into whenever they are in your presence. So if your field is kind, compassionate and loving, that is what others will step into in your presence and they will behave accordingly. But if your field is angry or resentful because you have bought into your judgments about them, watch out.
I have had numerous opportunities to test this out. I have gone into companies where I was told many negative things about someone who, when I met them, found none of those things to be true. I didn’t buy into whatever I was told and treated the person like solid gold. Now I had the advantage of not being personally at the affect of their supposed negative behavior, but it didn’t really matter.
So if you have a “difficult” boss, or anyone else in your life who you label “difficult,” all you need to do is to be willing to let go of all of your stories and judgments about them, as difficult as that might be, and start relating to them as the most gracious, kind, understanding and compassionate human being you have ever met. Look for the gold. Expect them to be great around you, even if they are not so great around others who insist on their stories. And if you’re saying something like: I can’t do that, I’d be lying, that’s not the truth about them! Just consider: your story isn’t the truth about them either. Then decide if you want to be right or happy and choose again.