It was February 2007. My new job was going so well that I had been promoted on my third day there. So, on day 20, when my boss called me into her office, I was excited to hear what she had to say.
“Nora,” she said, as I settled into the chair across from her, “everybody HATES you.”
I felt a shooting pain in the pit of my stomach. Don’t cry, don’t cry, I thought to myself.
“You’re childish, IMMATURE, and disorganized. My 15-year-old daughter is more organized than you.”
Gulp. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.
“AND, you’re SO NEEDY! You’re constantly interrupting me and demanding my attention. Don’t you know I have a job to do? I run this company! I am not at your beck and call!”
I could barely breathe. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.
“You obviously need therapy.”
After this talk, I would think so.
“And if you don’t shape up by next Friday, YOU’RE OUT!”
I felt a thud in the base of my gut as my enthusiasm for this new job sank into rejection and despair. The year before had been horrible for my career — I had been fired from three jobs in six months. Would this be just another failure in my increasingly checkered career path?
That night, I resolved that if this job were going to be different, then I had to be different. I began the most ambitious, intense, and (let’s face it) desperate effort of my life to completely re-program my brain around my boss, my job and my career. Within a few days, I was getting along so well with my crazy boss that everyone in the company asked me for tips on how to deal with her—even though at some point, supposedly, they had all hated me. In fact, I didn’t just keep my job, I got promoted two more times in the next eight months.
The things I discovered about my brain helped me achieve so much success in such a short time that I left my successful corporate career and started a full-time business teaching companies and individuals to use the science of their brains to create radical breakthroughs in success, productivity, and collaboration. In the last five years, I’ve worked with more than 100 companies in 40 industries.
Now, for the first time, I’ve put some of my favorite breakthrough tools into a book called Get Ahead and Stay Ahead: Use Your OWN Brain to Blast Through the 9 Lies Blocking Your Success At Work.
I can’t wait for you to read the book and find out how you can blast through the 9 Lies. In the meantime, here are four juicy tips from the chapter, “Lie #5: My Boss is Crazy.”
Find the Parent-Boss Connection:
Does your boss’s disturbing behavior remind you of anything that happened when you were a kid? Our brains are designed to use our experiences in childhood as the basis for developing perceptions that will help us survive throughout adulthood. As kids, we develop a large number of survival perceptions around how to relate to authority figures (like your mom, dad, teacher, etc.). Without realizing it, we carry these perceptions into adulthood and right into our jobs.
Break the Parent-Boss Connection:
When you feel you are getting annoyed with your boss, say to yourself, “This boss has no power over me. I’m not a defenseless child the way I was long ago. I can take care of myself. I don’t need this boss to take care of me or be different to be OK.”Our survival perceptions are often designed so that we see our bosses as the owners of our work destiny. The only people who’ve ever had that power over you were your parents or caretakers when you were small. You have permission to be peaceful and productive whether your boss is being a weirdo or not.
See Your Boss as the Terrified Child They Once Were:
Underhanded behaviors are the tools of a vulnerable child, not a healthy, peaceful adult. If your boss is picking up those tools, it’s because there’s a trigger for them in the environment that throws them back to their childhood vulnerability.When your boss is behaving childishly, they need what all children need: a healthy adult who can remain calm and help them get their needs met safely. You can be that healthy adult when you use Tip #1 and Tip #2.
Remember that Your Boss is More Afraid of You:
If your boss is behaving childishly, it’s often because they see you as the master of their work destiny. Think about it – your boss depends on your work in order to be successful. What if you remind them of their difficult childhood issues? Bring compassion to your boss’s fear. It’s only human. Remember, you’ll be creating enormous safety for your boss (and probably the entire team) when you stay calm, help them get what they need and take good care of yourself. You have the right to be your happy, healthy, mature self whether your boss is acting out or not.
For guidance on how to turn these tips into your next promotion, order your copy of the book today at www.getaheadandstayahead.com.
By Nora Simpson. Nora Simpson has successfully implemented her groundbreaking neuroscience-based business tools with more than 100 companies in 40+ industries and over 10,000 individuals to create radical breakthroughs in revenue, profit, productivity and fulfillment.