How to Work for a Boss Who Has Unrealistic Expectations

Whether your manager is a front-line supervisor or the CEO, every leader occasionally has unrealistic expectations. But some bosses are unrealistic most of the time. They don’t take into account the facts on the ground, or they habitually refer to their past experiences at other companies rather than to the people and events in the current organization, or perhaps they report to someone who’s even more aggressive or overly optimistic than they are.

When you work for one of these folks, you can feel like you’re being set up to fail. It can be dangerous to defy a superior, and even arguing your point can feel unsafe. You may have relevant data or experience that counters the validity of your boss’s directions, yet there can still be a lot of pressure to comply with every demand.

Instead of just caving in or deciding it’s time to update your resume, try these approaches to gain better balance for yourself and strengthen your relationship with a demanding boss.

Manage your body to manage yourself.
If the pressure of your boss’s demands has put you into fight-flight-freeze mode, first calm yourself so you can gather your thoughts and take measured, appropriate action. One of the best ways to quiet your agitation and escape what’s called the “defense cascade” is through “sensorimotor” or grounding interventions which bring the overly reactive mind back to the body. Using a simple anchoring practice will calm the body and signal to your brain that you’re not actually in immediate physical danger. An unobtrusive technique I teach my clients is to feel their feet in their shoes. Whether they’re sitting or standing, they can use this grounding mechanism quickly and unnoticed by others, just by pressing their feet against the floor, noticing their heels and toes in contact with the hard surface, reminding themselves to exhale fully and to inhale again, and then to think about what they want to say or do.

Read the full article @ Harvard Business Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *