Photo: Paul Skorupskas
We’ve all had at least one: the terrible boss, the one you dreaded spending time with, who never saw you in a good light, no matter what you did. Some of them yell and scream, some pile on the tasks and some of them just ignore you. What they all have in common is that they have created a bad experience that can be very scarring.
There are lots of great tips on the internet on how to deal with this, mostly focussing on what you can do to manage them or the situation but I want to focus on the opportunities having a bad manager offers you. “Opportunities?” you say? Yes, opportunities. You may learn more from a bad boss than from a good one. Lets go through a few possibilities:
Image: D&D Beyond
When was the last time you...
...lost your temper and later wondered how that even happened?
...said yes when you knew you should have said no?
...went on FaceBook for ‘a minute’ and stayed for a few hours?
...said you’d start a diet and then ate a piece of cake?
... were hijacked by your saboteurs?
Our saboteur thoughts come from our early years, when life was confusing and sometimes scary. How ever good or bad our childhoods were, each of us came up with simple guidelines to try and stay safe. Rules like "don't make adults angry" or "don't make mistakes" or "lie low and you'll stay out of trouble" and somehow, we cruised into adulthood without ever checking that those edicts still hold water. And, because they have been with us all our lives, we trust them implicitly. Middle-aged me can be intimidated by people with a certain kind of confident demeanour because my inner child instantly sees them as as being more powerful than I am. Effectively, we're all following a map that has parts that were laid out by our five year old selves and we wonder why we sometimes get stuck in the mud.
I have yet to meet someone who is saboteur-free so its great news that there is a tool that can help us all defeat them. Rooted firmly in neuroscience, cognitive and positive psychology, and performance science, Positive Intelligence is a easy-to-adopt protocol, neatly slotted into an app, that can reduce the unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours all of us have picked up in some way during our childhoods and replace them with positive, constructive thought strategies,
It consists of three steps that work together to rewire your brain to make new default behaviours:
There are 10 saboteurs and each of us have all of them to some degree, with some being more influential than others for each of us. Here is a brief summary of each of them:
If you are interested in finding out more about it you can:
Disclosure: I was invited to be one of the first cohort of coaches, called PQ pioneers, who trained with Shirzad Chamine, the creator of the program, and are still working with him to develop a way to spread the word and bring this amazing tool to the world.
Life is full of surprises; some are good and some are not so good. Our ability to stay flexible and positive under pressure can have a huge impact on our wellbeing. Resilience is not an innate capability; it's more like a muscle that can be built and strengthened. There are 4 pillars to well being: mental, physical, emotional and social. Each of these can be fortified to help us handle life's ups and downs, reducing the negative impact and allowing you to take it in your stride. In this session, we will talk about a few research-backed techniques that can help you bounce back when you need to.
25 years experience in helping teams build user centred products and services, now helping digital colleagues learn how to bounce back better than before from the challenges life throws at us from time-to-time.