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Chapter 16. Fighting Fire with Water— Yo... > Consider the Consequences - Pg. 165

Fighting Fire with Water-- Your Difficult-Boss Options 165 From the Manager's Desk If you have a difficult boss and need to decide what to do, your first step is to determine what you are prepared to lose and what you can afford to lose. Identifying what you can live with and what you are willing to sacrifice allows you to negotiate from a position of strength and sureness. There's an added irony. As a manager, you may have less protection from retribution from the boss, particularly in union shops, than your employees. Managers are often excluded from collective bar- gaining agreements and grievance procedures. You may not have the backing of a union to coun- teract any actions your boss takes against you. Your reality check has to address the same things you look at with an employee. For example, what are the effects of your difficult boss's behavior? What will happen if you do nothing? Can you live with that, or if you do nothing will it get worse? But there's an added consideration, and that's deciding what you are prepared to lose and what you can afford to lose. After all, we're talking about your career, your livelihood, and possibly your ability to feed your family. Standing up to a difficult boss when you can't afford the consequences can be gratifying morally but debilitating financially. You may see yourself as doing the right thing and standing up for principles, and we all respect that. But if standing up for your principles results in your starving and living on the street, you have to think twice. Let's not forget that by standing up for principles and getting yourself fired, you lose any ability to make things better in your workplace. So, let's walk you through the process of answering some very important questions. Start with the Effects and Outcomes You start by assessing the effects and consequences of your difficult boss's actions and behaviors. What do you need to consider? 1. First, how is your boss affecting the productivity of your work unit? Is there interference? Do you feel you can't get the job done? This is an interesting one, because you may have more ammunition to go over the boss's head if he or she is preventing you from getting work done. In this situation, you have evidence. The flip side is if you do nothing, you may be held accountable for your work unit's failures, even if those failures are a result of the actions of your boss. Insider Secrets