How To Deal With A Boss With No Emotional Intelligence
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Over the past few months, there have been several reports of senior level executives in large corporations engaging in some very despicable acts towards their underlings. These acts range from screaming at you for no reason, to throwing things or having full-on fights with you.
Some of these people even go as far as harassing and assaulting others outside of work so that they can make an example out of them. All of this is done with zero respect for yourself or anyone else around them.
This is not normal behavior if you are a leader of a company. Being able to control your emotions is an important part of being successful. Having lots of emotional intelligence (EI) makes it easier to regulate your feelings and keep calm in difficult situations.
It may seem like a lot to ask, but EI is something everyone has to start developing when they become leaders. You will probably never be given too much responsibility, so becoming more empathetic now is a must.
Luckily, you don’t need to know how to do all aspects of emotional intelligence to deal with a bully, but there are a couple of tricks you can use to prevent them from hurting you.
Don’t get emotional
Even if your boss makes you really angry, keep your cool. If he or she gets very close to you, don’t back down or give in.
Many people develop feelings for their bosses. Sometimes these feelings are positive like trust and respect, but sometimes they can be negative like resentment or envy.
If you feel negatively about your boss, take some time to think through the reasons why. Is it because of something that person did? Did they make you look bad? Are there other things you’re feeling guilty about?
Thinking about the reasons may help you work through your emotions. Once you have, then you can choose whether to respond with anger, fear, sadness or disgust.
Look on the bright side
It’s impossible to motivate someone who doesn’t care about themselves, so why not focus on what you can do instead of what you cannot?
It may feel like trying to get through pool with no watermelons, but if you keep practicing your strokes, you’ll still be able to swim.
And just because someone else has an emotional intelligence (EI) score that is lower than yours does not mean they are incapable of having empathy.
In fact, there are several studies which show that people with higher EI scores tend to have higher levels of empathy.
So even though their other skills might be weaker, it doesn’t mean that they don’t know how to share others’ feelings.
Understand their behavior
The first step in handling an emotionally absent boss is understanding why they are behaving the way they are. You can’t effectively fix something that you don’t understand!
It takes time to develop empathy for other people, but it is essential if you want to achieve success. When someone else is acting differently than usual, what they normally do, and how they usually behave, signal whether there is an underlying problem.
If you can’t figure out what is going on, chances are very good that you won’t be able to solve the issue.
You will also have to deal with unnecessary stress because of the unknown. This, in turn, may negatively affect your work performance and overall health and wellbeing.
Fortunately, there are some helpful tips that you can use when trying to decode the messages that your colleagues are sending. Here are six ways to help you understand the roots of your leader’s emotional instability.
Look to your peers for guidance
Sometimes, even if you’re not sure what else to do, looking at how others deal with a situation can be helpful. If you have a friend or family member that is similar to the person in question, talk about their strengths and weaknesses, learn from their mistakes, and see what works for them.
Peer pressure often comes down to personal differences, so use of those experiences can help you figure out how to best approach someone.
For example, people who are socially intelligent will know how to draw out more information from other individuals. They may also recognize when someone needs time to process something before speaking, and work around that by changing the topic or asking questions yourself.
On the other hand, people who are emotionally intelligent understand the value of non-verbal communication and tone of voice. These things mean less in social situations, so it is harder to identify whether someone is feeling stressed, angry, or hurt.
Make it clear you’re not happy with their management style
Sometimes, a leader will go too far in the workplace. They may say or do things that make other people feel excluded, undermined, or even hurt their feelings.
If this is the case, then it is important to be honest about how these behaviors made you feel.
It can also help to understand why they said what they did.
Was it because of something you said or done? Or was there no explanation given at all?
By doing so, you give them an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and fix the problem. Hopefully, they are willing to work on themselves if they are able to recognize when they have gone too far.
But before you take any action, remember, it is never okay to threaten someone else in the office or put them down to try and get a job credit.
Look to your team for support
As mentioned earlier, your career will include many different bosses and leadership positions. Some are just not very good at it; they may make no effort to relate to people outside of work or use non-verbal cues to determine moods and emotions.
This can be difficult to deal with as you’ll need their permission to advance or give you feedback about your performance.
Instead of putting up with poor leadership styles, try looking beyond your position to find someone who is more socially skilled than your current boss.
Find out if anyone has recommendations of other leaders in the company that might be able to help you move up. Or even look into getting some informal coaching from those around you who know the organization well.
By stepping away from what makes you feel bad about yourself and your job and seeking out help from others, you take control of your own destiny – and that’s never a bad thing.
Seek the advice of a trusted colleague
Sometimes, even when your boss is doing everything right, you can still feel overwhelmed or stressed out by them. This could be because they don’t seem to have much emotional intelligence (EI).
People with high levels of EI understand how emotions work for others and are able to relate to these people more effectively. They also use their understanding of emotion to help other people deal with their own emotions.
If you think that your manager doesn’t show much empathy, ask a friend to talk to them about their relationships with family members and colleagues. Or if there’s someone in their life who does display some level of empathy, ask whether this person has been helpful in helping them cope with difficult situations at work.
Sometimes, of course, things go wrong that have nothing to do with you as an employee. Your boss may say something unkind or unfair, or he may do something that makes you feel bad.
But before you take any action, try to think about what would help him be happier. Does he need to talk to someone? Would going to another department help him get his work done more quickly?
Would meeting with other people help motivate him? If so, then offer these opportunities to him!
If there’s anything you can do to make him happier, even for a few minutes, you should probably do it. Don’t worry too much about how others are doing their jobs, only care about you and your personal life.
His job is to manage everyone under him, not inspire respect.