Monday, May 23, 2016

When to Draw the Line With Your Boss

Workplace politics can be really daunting especially when you are the new kid on the block, and you are unaware of the political dynamics and mind games of the workplace. Many people get into sticky and difficult situations at work because they are too scared to draw the necessary lines too soon, to avoid coming across as insolent. One person you have to learn to draw lines with as soon as possible is your boss. 

I have heard so many stories of workplace abuse, I often wonder if people are aware they can actually draw the lines and make it known that there are certain expectations they cannot fulfill. Many people try to draw the lines too late, and end up being frustrated and disappointed. This begs the question: when should I draw the line? I'll give you a few scenarios. 

#1 When your boss calls you late at night to discuss personal stuff: Except you are the president's chief of staff, your boss' personal life is none of your business, and you should draw the line the second time it happens...because the first time might be a once-off event due to the fact that he or she needs a listening ear at that moment. Second time it happens, it's about to become a routine. Give a polite excuse that has to do with your family or your activity and hang up!

#2 When your boss tries to hook you up: Some people have fallen victim to bosses who believe it is their 'parental duty' to tell them who to date and how to run their relationships. There is nothing appropriate about your boss trying to hook you up with anyone. Simply tell him or her that you'd like to separate your personal life from your work. 

#3 When your boss tries to hook up with you: This is not peculiar to females only. Just this week, I heard harrowing tales of female bosses who tried to hook up with their male subordinates and I felt sorry for the victims because they were unsure of what their response should be. Your response should be simple, yet direct - You are not willing to engage in office hanky-panky and you'd appreciate it if your boss understands and accepts that. 

#4 When your boss calls you to do 'extra' duties: Some bosses take the cake when it comes to piling on unnecessary work. They want you to show up on weekends to help clean their homes and do extra work that has absolutely nothing to do with your job description. People are scared they will appear insolent if they refuse to rise to such occasions. You'd be better off as an insolent person than a door mat. Let your boss understand you always make plans with your friends and family hence you cannot be available for such activities. 

If you intend to be productive at work, yet have a fulfilling personal life, some lines need to be drawn, and it is always best you draw them as soon as you see they are being blurred. Have a good week people! XOXO

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