Tuesday, March 25, 2008

GUEST POST: How to Respond to a Bossy Person

In my efforts to give you all a well-rounded insight into the professional/PR world, I have asked several friends and colleagues to write guest posts for Tactics.

This week’s featured guest blogger is Karen LaVoie. Karen is a successful acting instructor and life coach with more than 18 and 10 years experience in each role, respectively. In addition, she is a published author with her book Life Absolutes: THEE Instruction Manual for L.I.F.E. I have known Karen for many years and she is always a joy to be around, with a positive, motivating and uplifting personality. In the below post, Karen shares tips on how to deal with bossy people, a topic she addressed on AM Northwest just a few days ago. Chances are, if you settle for a career in the corporate world, you will encounter at least one of these people throughout your years as a professional (and only one if you are lucky). Karen’s tips below will help you better prepare to deal difficult people should you encounter them.

How to Respond to a Bossy, Controlling, Button Pushing Person
Karen LaVoie

Are you in a working or personal relationship with a person who is bossy, controlling or a button pusher?

First understand that when you fight a thing it fights you back! So to argue with that person will not resolve the situation. The best option is to defuse it. How do you defuse this type of person? Answer: By not letting them get to you.

That is right. When you let them get to you, you are giving them your power, also known as your energy. Let’s revisit the Laws of Life. What you put out you get back and more of it. So when you fight with the bossy, controlling or button pushing person they fight back even more! By now you have probably already figured this out.

So, you might be thinking, by not fighting with them, then I am giving in. I am being wiped. No, that is not what I am suggesting. What I am suggesting is this:

The key factor to remember with bossy, controlling or button pushing people is they are not happy with themselves. The Laws of Life say give that person compassion. Give them kindness every chance you get! YOU catch more flies with Honey! And be happy you are a happy person and like your life. You like who you are. It is obviously that person does not, when they are taking out their aggression on you by bossing you around. Perhaps they just want some attention…LOVE.

Make sure you are a good listener. We all know what it feels like when a person does not listen to us. It is frustrating. Repeat back what they have told you so they feel reassured you will complete the tasked asked to do or responsibility requested.

Understand your boss does deserve respect. Are you letting your EGO get in the way? Like it or not, they are your boss.

Do you respect yourself? When a person does not have good self-esteem they become a target for bossy, controlling, button pushing people!! Is this you? Perhaps you are surrounded by bossy people as a lesson to take charge of your low self-esteem issues. Please get help. I am more than happy to coach people.

Attempt to understand the person. First ask yourself, is it valid what the bossy person is telling you to do? If it is, then do it and tell your EGO to be quiet. Your EGO loves to have conflict; it is the only way it feels alive. Perhaps the person is under a deadline that is being passed on to you, so empathize…giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Now, you say it is not valid what the bossy person is saying. Then there are options. Explain to them your position on what you are being told in a calm, assertive manner and clear mind….that means free of all anger and frustration. One must keep a level head; otherwise, the bossy person wins. Should this option not work…

Ask the difficult person plenty of questions so you are clear on why they are so frustrated and taking it out on you. Explain to them you want to be a part of the solution and are willing to work with them once you understand the full picture.

You can stay in the relationship you are in and tell yourself that person does not deserve your energy; therefore, I will stay calm and do what I am asked for the sake of my job, the relationship and/or my self-worth.

Perhaps it is your perception that the person is bossy or controlling. Hear them as a friend and you might hear them differently. This is especially true in the parent – child relationship and spouses.

You can choose to move on. Pure and simple. Make sure you are not part of the problem and running from your own issues and right into another job or relationship with the same type of “problem.”

Last but not least…avoid bossy, controlling, button pushing people whenever possible. Sometimes the EGO wants to tango with that person for the QUICK FIX…check in with yourself.

FYI, check out this site for more great tips from Karen on how to work less and play more.


cialis said...

Interesting article, added his blog to Favorites

Anonymous said...

Um.....Nice try, but I don't find any of your ideas constructive. In fact your ideas will only encourage the behavior. Keep researching.

Anonymous said...

Could be you are a bossy person yourself? How would you suggest on this subject?! :)

Anonymous said...

LOL - this article is extremely helpful and full of sound advice - I was looking for something to help a friend get through a difficult situation at her new job. Someone who is not her boss but bossy and negative none-the-less. OH and I would ignore the Um comment above - it seems they need to check in with self and exercise their compassion a little. If this advice doesn't work for them they apparently are a part of the problem for themselves.

DAVE WEST said...

Yes I would advise that the least said, soonest mended. Just avoid that person if possible.

Anonymous said...

"is it valid what the bossy person is telling you to do? If it is, then do it and tell your EGO to be quiet."

This would make them do it more as it works in their favour

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BOB7732 said...

M next door neighbor is deaf & her family [she tells me] tried drowning her when she was little, & her family shows her no love. She has all these disorders + syndromes on top of it. She is very sensitive from her head to toes. She tells me her parents parents were bossy & they boss her around, so she bosses me around. I have little time to myself. I can understand her problems, but she seem to treat me nasty. She does not like me to touch her things or talk to her because I spit, it is like I cannot enjoy myself. She also spies on me on my computer as well as spy on others were we both live [section 811], she even comes to church [later as she does not seem to go, but this is because there is nothing for deaf people. But she comes in & waits for me then orders me to go with her. I feel like selling everything then just being her slave, my sister told me that we can talk to management, but my neighbor is scared is scared. So do not know how to handle it [except praying.

Thanks & God bless you all

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