19 Aug Dealing with an Unfair Boss
The world is bound to unfairness. A person may face unfairness from time to time, while one-off situations could be moved on from; a recurring situation needs addressing. When it comes to workplace unfairness, fingers are immediately pointed towards the boss. Dealing with an unfair boss implies two things- one has been wronged & one needs to react. Yoga philosophy finds both as undesirable; Yoga prefers to take an active position over the victim stance or a reaction to action psychology.
An unfair situation needs to be examined before drawing conclusions. Ask yourselves questions, has this been a recurring behavior on your boss’ part or was it a one-off instance? What was the event that triggered the behavior? Often, we make quick conclusions over a misread situation. It could be triggered by our ego or our baggage from the past, making us less compassionate towards our seniors.
Consider the situation once, from your boss’ point of view. If you have seen a sudden change of behavior, like forlornness, unexpected quietness followed by anger; there is a serious chance that your boss is going through something emotional, personally. In such a sudden switch, a bit of friendliness, compassion, and tolerance from your end can go a long way. It will be noticed by your boss and the edge could be pulled off from the everyday interactions. You could also seek your boss for a one-on-one conversation, calmly stating your grievances, try this only after covering your tracks, i.e. make sure you corrected your mistakes and then approach your boss for due reasoning.
But, if the situation continues to stay ugly even after you showed compassion, causing you stress or anger, in that case, resort to Pranayama. Regularly, start practicing deep breathing; slowly take a deep breath in, and gradually breathe out. This will calm your nerves, helping you to evaluate the situation more objectively. Consider your options; is it possible to move to a new role or department, thus cutting off direct interactions with the unfair boss? Or is it your blessing in disguise to explore your options for a career move or change of organization, entailing new opportunities?
A new start, be a new department role or a new company doesn’t come with the promise of total positivity and fairness. Dealing with a new manager can be equally tricky but, if you continue to use the same old patterns it will keep us stuck in a similar situation.
Practicing Parikarma, a Yoga technique which helps in purifying a person’s mind, includes Maitri (Friendliness), Karuna (Compassion), Mudita (Goodwill), Upeksa (Indifference for Evil), which helps in balancing our mind and deal with unfairness objectively. Being detached from situations with a witness-like attitude helps in better dealing with unfairness as it won’t potentially affect us emotionally. Following Pratipaksha Bhavana, teaches us to challenge our mind, and helps to shift and realign our energies. Thus, when negative feelings like greed, anger, delusion arise, shifting your attention in the opposite direction also goes a long way in dealing with sticky situations of unfairness.
A situation doesn’t define us, how we react to it is what defines us. Thus, when you can’t change an outside situation, change the direction of your focus, to bring some semblance for yourself.