Workaholic boss?

Apparently Confucius, the great Chinese teacher said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

Some bosses love this quote and live by it. They tend to pursue something single-mindedly and expect their team members to keep pace with it. It is debatable if the ask is fair. However, it does remind each of us about a boss who sends copious number of emails, whatsapp, text messages, skype calls and phone calls to check out what’s happening, give instructions, circulate information and so on. And more often than not, the boss is not happy if the call doesn’t get picked up or the message is not acknowledged or replied soon. The boss works long hours and sets his or her own example before the team to work alike. Sounds familiar?

What drives such behaviours in the boss? Is this some anxiety, insecurity, lack of trust in the team, lack of attractions beyond the job, need to impress someone, lack of planning or a genuine drive to turn in quick results? All you know, it is a combination of factors, as most life situations normally are.

Firstly, one needs to recognize that the boss is showing workaholism driven by something unknown. Since we need to work together, it is important that we deal with it. There is surely no silver bullet that can be applied to all the situations. Based on the working relationship, one needs to choose the right method. At times, a straight talk can help and at times, a round-about conversation could be the solution. In any case, the focus must be a solution rather than a mere protest. And most importantly, the boss must understand that you are trying to help her in a way. You need to show the desired empathy. The boss is going to see the point!

Secondly, it is a dynamic world that we live in. Situations emerge all the time! For example, a traffic jam is the result of many things that happen on the road and is hard to manage for an individual driver except that one plans the actions on the fly. At times, they work and at times, they do not! These emergent realities could make someone work long hours. We might brand the boss to be workaholic while the long hours of work could be just a temporary development. How can we deal with this? Let us offer help by shouldering some of the responsibilities, stretching our own schedules to deliver the additional results that we can take accountability for! C0-travelling the path makes the situation a lot more effective than watching it from a distance.

Last but not the least, nobody is perfect. Your boss could be a genuine addict of work! You need to figure out from your co-workers how they deal with the impact. You could just tell your boss how you are going about your work and what are your boundaries that you do not want to breach every now and then. Do your best with your work. Be honest if boss’s workaholism impacts you! If the impact persists even after the candid chat, you will either need to adapt to the situation, make changes in your lifestyle or move on!

Sounds easy! Practice makes one perfect!

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