“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder”Ā āĀ Rumi
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing a foreign national, and discussing a variety of things, including jobs in Cyprus, as well as bosses in Cyprus. Amongst other things, āJā (who has worked in many different jobs) told Ergodotisi that the chances of having a hard headed boss, especially when working in a family business, are quite high. So how do you deal with it? Or, if you prefer, how do you deal with it successfully?
Donāt let emotion drive your decision. Donāt approach the situation only through your point of view, but have a look at it from your bossās perspective. Furthermore, take a look at it from the shareholderās point of view. This will help you see the big-picture.
Listen respectfully, then encourage a discussion
Instead of reflexively arguing point by point, first listen āand pay attention- to what the boss has to say. Listen to the whole announcement. The whole speech. Donāt interrupt. When the speech is over and there is nothing more to say, it will be easier for both of you to engage in a fruitful conversation about why you think itās wrong.Ā
Ask the right questions
Ask about the reasoning behind the decision. Ask about the desired outcome. Ask whether the decision is based upon solid evidence or āeducatedā assumptions. Discuss the possible side effects and the chance of backfiring. Deploy your concerns in a way that will make you look like the bossās most useful employee.
Donāt ask about the rationale. Donāt lose your temper. Donāt disagree publicly.Who knows, you might even agree with the bossās objectives. Then ask for a meeting, where you will get a chance to present your own plan that meets the bossās objectives, whilst avoiding all the problems.
Donāt start from scratch. Identify all the good parts from your bossās plan and merge them into your own. This will help you save precious time, and increase your chances of convincing your boss as you share āownershipā of the plan. Then build on that basis. Get creative. Ask people from your company to give you some feedback, as you may not be aware of all the procedures that are needed in order for your plan to work properly. Then check if your plan can practically work with trusted advisors, or any mentors you might have. They might be able to improve it by cutting expenses, by informing you about other more effective ways, or give you a feedback about your revenue timeline.
Present your plan
You only have one shot, so make it count. Be prepared for any possible questions and have precise answers. Know everything you need to know, donāt get caught off guard. Donāt fill your presentation with minor and boring details. Instead, hand a hard copy of your presentation including more analysis and all needed information. While presenting, mind your body language and the tone of your voice, as these are far more important for the delivery of your message, than your verbal communication. Remember; your boss will first ābuyā into you, and then your plan, so be enthusiastic.Ā
Donāt get frustrated if you donāt succeed
Agree on following the bossās plan on a test basis. Remember; be objective. Write down your comments for every part of the procedure. Ask other employees from your company that are not directly affected by your bossās plan, and donāt have anything to gain from your plan, to help you with the evaluation. Ā At the end of your evaluation, if you still believe that the plan is not adequate enough, have a word with your boss, informing about the results of your testing. If you still canāt be persuasive enough, and if your bossās plan is not somehow violating law or ethics, at least you will feel good about making a strong case against a decision you donāt believe in.
Donāt forget that everybody is judged by the results so your case is not a lost cause yet!
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