It’s Nice to be Important, But it’s Most Important to be Nice

A friend sent me an article that ran last month in The New York Times about stress in the workplace.

I think we can all agree that one of the biggest factors in someone’s emotional well-being, aside from your home life, is your work life. With that, it’s easy to venture a guess that the cause of most workplace stress has to do with one’s boss; your direct superior.

Bosses know that power can force compliance. That’s why so many people in management positions will go by any means necessary to get what they want out of their employees’ and they won’t even blink at the question of what that could mean to their employees’ emotional health, let alone their productivity. Some things they do:

These are the rude behaviors by bosses most often cited in a recent survey, in descending order of frequency.

·     Interrupts people

·     Is judgmental of those who are different

·     Pays little attention to or shows little interest in others’ opinions

·     Takes the best and leaves the worst tasks for others

·     Fails to pass along necessary information

·     Neglects saying please or thank you

·     Talks down to people

·     Takes too much credit for things

·     Swears

·     Puts others down

These are the rude behaviors people most often admit to seeing in themselves.

·     Hibernates into e-gadgets

·     Uses jargon even when it excludes others

·     Ignores invitations

·     Is judgmental of those who are different

·     Grabs easy tasks while leaving difficult ones for others

·     Does not listen

·     Emails/texts during meetings

·     Pays little attention to others

·     Takes others’ contributions for granted

·     Belittles others nonverbally

·     Neglects saying please or thank you

So, how do you combat the stress your boss gives you? Well, first I think we all have to look at ourselves. At the end of the day, we’re all probably guilty of this type of behavior on some level or another. Like the author of the article says, in every interaction with someone you have a choice: do you want to lift people up or hold them down?


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