We live in a world where women are making greater strides and bridging several gaps. Unfortunately, things tend to take a turn for the worst when there’s a large perception of women in powerful roles or even clusters becoming catty. Instead of mentoring and collectively pushing for more cracks in the formidable glass ceiling we often times dig a ditch for one another. And we’re known for doing it.
So it came as no surprise when I started voicing workplaces woes about a bad boss the first question I was asked (by women) was “Is she a she?” My story is no different from the stories of countless others I read about in my quest to resolve my case of bad boss.
Here are some tips on how you can educate yourself and hopefully become empowered to create a better working environment.
STEP ONE: Seek To Understand
Most people don’t wake up every morning devising ways to unleash hell on your life. Most of the times a lack of communication or understanding prolongs an issue that could otherwise be quickly resolved. Document your concerns and professionally address them with the offender. State the facts only and how their behavior made you feel. Ask if they’re ok and if there’s something you can do to help. This approach often puts a dent in a hard exterior so it may catch them off guard. It will help them become better self-aware. It takes courage and a rare sort of strength to pull this off, but you can do it when you focus on the bigger picture; creating a change that will bring about a positive, productive environment.
STEP TWO: Do Your Homework
Once you’ve made the effort to make your boss aware of the issue if the problem persists see if there is a union or support services offered by your company or profession. Often times employers don’t advertise these, but it’s your responsibility to know your rights. Do some research and find out what your options are. If it comes to finding another job, consider starting your own business in the transition.
STEP THREE: Exercise Your Options
We spend so much time working that it’s like a second family, love’em or hate’em. No one should have to work in a hostile workplace. You should stand up for yourself if you feel you are being bullied and be prepared for a backlash. Speak to the next level of management or start a support group that encourages others to share their experiences. Having a title or position doesn’t make a leader. Be the change you want to see and get the support of your peers. Changing the perception starts with individuals standing up and saying “No” to bullying.
It may come with a high price tag but you can’t place a value on standing up for yourself. Sometimes toxic people just need to become more self-aware of the perception of their actions and it may take a focus group or more than one person to speak up.
No one should have to deal with being disrespected or belittled. Together I believe we can change the perception of catty female bosses, one woman at a time.
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