Get to grips with bullying

Get to grips with bullying

SINGAPORE - When Jerry informed his boss Sally (not their real names) of his intention to transfer to another department in the company, he was promptly told that he was not good enough for the new position.

How to deal with a crazy boss

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    The first step is to quit whining and decide if you can continue staying on in the company.
    If you want to stay, you need to make some adaptations or come up with some strategies to deal with the stress that a crazy boss will give you.
    You should not be suffering in silence either - be prepared to make some changes to improve your situation.

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    If you want to continue working in the same company, stay optimistic about your situation because it does not help to wake up every morning dreading work.
    Staying positive can help you stay out of the negative zone, and help improve the way you work, despite what your boss says about you.

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    Learn what your boss values and what he expects of you, then use this to your advantage.
    However, some bosses may demand things which are not morally right, or just simply impossible. If this is so, you need to re-evaluate if you want to continue working for such a superior.

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    If your boss is rude and simply unpleasant, make extra effort not to treat him/her the same way.
    Instead, if your boss is agitated in an unreasonable manner, respond in a calm manner. The situation can only worsen if you get agitated as well.

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    Take note of your boss' weaknesses and offer (subtly) to help fill the gaps he/she is finding hard filling.
    For example, if you know your boss hates doing presentation slides, offer to help out. This way, you gain his/her trust and improve your boss' impression of you.

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    Set the boundaries for your own autonomy.
    Although you want your boss to trust you, setting yourself up for too much will put you - and your mistakes- in your boss' radar.

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    Keep track of the work you have done and note down how it has helped your team or organisation.
    Also, note the difficulties you encountered and how you overcame them.
    Keep this information so that you have a way of defending yourself in times of trouble.

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    Learn from experiences with your boss, what ticks him off and what does not. This way, you know your boundaries and what you can do to show you have improved.

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    Keeping your sense of humour can help lighten the tension for you and your colleagues.
    It can also keep you optimistic and help you to bond with your colleagues so that your team produces good results at work.

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    If you ever get the chance to talk to your boss' boss privately, do not talk bad about your boss even if you are tempted to.
    Instead, you can talk about problems you face like 'unclear priorities' or 'hectic timeline', instead of blaming your boss directly.

During a lengthy talk with Sally, Jerry said he was told - in a "motherly tone" - that he would never make it in the job because he lacked certain skills, and would not be able to live up to the standards of the superiors there.

"(Sally) will tell you that you are no good in your work. She crushes your confidence," said Jerry, 34.

"I never once felt that she was trying to retain me. Instead, I felt her aim was to make me feel small about myself and my work," he added.

10 types of Singapore bosses

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    Like it or not, most people spend the entire day interacting with their colleagues and managers. Many times, these groups of people end up becoming integral parts of one's success as well as the bane of one's existence.

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    While bosses are (part of) the reason most working folk are able to achieve our hopes and aspirations, they can also be the reason 'work sometimes' seems like a dirty word.

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    Catchphrase: "I don't know?"

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    Her only answer to all questions are: "I don't know?"

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    He is your "office best friend".

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    The bross likes to appear more like a friend rather than an authority to his subordinates.

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    He often asks his subordinates out for leisure.

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    This boss is usually described as 'two-faced', meaning she appears to be a polite person toward everyone except her staff.

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    She often downplays her subordinates' efforts and demoralises them with unkind comments.

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    Most people wonder how this boss was promoted.

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    This boss is typically very proud of her position but her ability to perform high-management duties is constantly under the scrutiny of those who work for her.

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    The boss who is always around.

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    This is the boss seems to appear at the least expected times

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    She often pops up just as others are talking about her.

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    The boss who does not want anyone else to be better.

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    This is the boss who does not like others to do better than him.

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    These are the bosses from hell who demand a million things to be done within a short time, with little resources provided.

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What Jerry went through was office bullying, which is not uncommon in today's workplace and is often tolerated, said human-resource (HR) experts.

Said Mr Josh Goh, assistant director of corporate services at HR consultancy The GMP Group: "Workplace bullying is the inclination of individuals or groups to use persistent hostile and unreasonable behaviour against a colleague.

"It encompasses verbal, non-verbal, psychological and physical abuse, and humiliation tactics."

Jerry said a similar fate befell a colleague, who had been working in the department for around three years, when she asked for a transfer.

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