My Boss Makes Me Angry (or fill in the blank, My _________, Makes Me Angry)
Written by Rachel Hott, PhD
Edited by Steven Leeds
A client, highly educated and successful, comes to an individual coaching session to deal with issues at work. The finger is pointed to one specific person, his boss. As I listen, I find myself agreeing, that yes this is the worst person to work for and I understand why his boss makes him angry. To empower my clients, I need to get them to understand and accept that they and only they have any control in changing their experience. Communicating that message is important, yet delicate. Firstly, it is important to have the client know that I am on his side. We discuss the evidence, the boss is rude, he interrupts, he asks personal questions, he takes credit for other’s work, he gives incorrect information to clients and then the staff has to make up for his mistakes. I continue to think, that this boss does sound difficult, and I also think this type of boss is familiar. The description is a classic one, almost universal, and I bet that you, the reader, have also met him or her at work in your family or in a social context. Or maybe you are this person. If you are, please give us your own insights into how to effectively deal with you.
It is easy and quite common to fall into the “blame frame,” especially in an office or in a family system where there are other people who will confirm that the other person is indeed a “ f%#@g a%*$#e,” and that you have every right to feel upset. While this may be validating and vindicating, it does not actually give you the tools and skills to be more effective and resourceful the next time you find yourself interacting with the “button pusher.”
“Okay, point your finger,” I coach my client, “and see the fingers that are curled and pointing towards yourself?” Discovering that the fingers are pointing to yourself means that the only one you can control, the only one you can change is yourself. Hopefully, when you change yourself, the other person will also change. This is what we worked on in your sessions, how he could become more aware of his own thoughts, feelings and behavior when in the presence of his boss.
In the NLP system, we have many techniques to help clients/trainees (we teach these techniques in our NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner courses) find ways to manage the th