Taking the High Road with Your Boss

Lately the stories about taking revenge on the boss have been getting surreal. You may have read about “boss-napping”, an arrest-worthy sequestering of bosses in France. Having to deal with a Terrible Office Tyrant™ (TOT), especially during tough times, might inspire much less severe responses, like a hidden smirk, or some of the antics recently described in the N.Y. Daily News. Instead, call a timeout. And before you consider shouting “That’s it, buddy” (or “sister!”) – go to your room, NOW!” – consider less career-limiting options.

Here are some techniques to tame your TOT and help keep the corporate schoolyard at bay:

Use humor: Look through a levity lens™ and view work from a distance, seeing its humorous side. That provides a greater sense of career management and control.

Empathize with your managers: Everyone is under more pressure these, which can skew perceptions and magnify less than ideal behavior. Seeing things from another perspective helps ratchets down stress.

Don’t boss-nap, consider taking a nap: Break away from the office politics on your lunch hour for a 20 minute nap in your car – or at least try sitting outside and relaxing quietly or meditating. “Power napping,” popularized in the 1990s, has proven to be one answer to an increased incidence workplace sleep deprivation, according to numerous health organizations. Stay well rested in general and keep in mind that your health comes first.

Remember when you were a kid and your mother said count to 10 when you got angry? Not all clichés have lost their meaning. If you can take the high road, you’ll model good behavior to your Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT™). If your bad boss is untamable, and you’ve communicated and done all you can, then you can always take the highway.