It was a breezy evening and I had gone to the deli near Brooklyn to get the list of items given by Aaliyah. Adrian was coming over to our place with his childhood friend, Billy. Last night he called me and asked, “Bob, Billy is in town and wants to talk about something. Can we come over?” “Sure, let’s catch up tomorrow evening then?” I said. “Perfect!” he replied. I had met Billy only once that too years ago. I was all excited to catch up with him after so many years. Aaliyah too was looking forward to meeting him for the first time.
The doorbell rang and Adrian was there with Billy. “Long time Billy! How are you?” I asked. He hugged me and Aaliyah and then answered, “I am just surviving.” His answer gave me a peek at his unhappy state. Aaliyah served us with some yummy asparagus nuggets and green sauce pasta.
Our conversation started with how things have changed so much over the past few years. Then slowly it took its turn to the main topic of the evening. “How is your work going?” I asked Billy. A look of disgust spread on his face. “Bob, I want to quit. I am unable to take it anymore. I came here to seek your advice on this,” he answered. “What’s wrong?” asked Aaliyah.
He took a deep breath and then continued. “I am working in this company for the past four years. I work so hard but I cannot understand the mindset of my boss. He is never satisfied. I feel undervalued. I am never appreciated. He is always trying to belittle me. I am not going to continue like this anymore,” he said.
Billy was furious! What he is facing is a very common problem. Recent studies and analysis have shown that people don’t leave their work but they leave their bosses. People are ready to work but they are unable to endure the temperament of their bosses. World Teachers’ Day is here. I thought of passing down the guidance to him which was once given to me by my mentor.
“Quitting is never a solution, Billy. The exit strategy is just escaping without solving the root cause of the problem. Tomorrow you may join a different company, however, the problem may still persist. In the majority of the cases, the plot remains the same and only the characters differ,” I expressed. “Then what should I do?” he asked.
“Your approach should be well directed in two separate directions. One towards your work and the other towards your boss,” I suggested. “I am confused please explain further,” he replied.
“I will explain. When it comes to working, start being proactive. Update yourself with the latest skills and techniques. Think his criticisms as positive inputs. Do a thorough research of the work so that you can fall back to it and substantiate during debates. The trick lies in being indispensable,” I said.
“Okay! And what about dealing with the boss?” he asked. “Know his perspective and accept his suggestions and sermons as positive inputs for your betterment. No one is ever right, neither you nor him. It is important to build a rapport and for that, you need a transparent dialogue. Build trust and confidence by understanding his motivation and expectations. Know what triggers him and adapt accordingly,” I suggested.
“Woah! You have given him a full strategic shield to guard himself it seems,” said Adrian jokingly. “I swear!” commented Aaliyah. We all laughed. “Thank you so much, Bob. This makes things so easy for me. I won’t give up. I will incorporate these little things and make my way to success,” said Billy. ‘That’s the spirit!” I expressed and we all got back to enjoy the dinner cooked by Aaliyah.