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  1. #1
    Member booya moon's Avatar
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    Default ESFJ boss - help!

    OK - I have a big problem with my ESFJ boss and I would really appreciate your advice and suggestions, especially from ESFJs.
    I know some tension is to be expected between us (I am ENTP), but I suspect this goes beyond ESFJ/ENTP thing. Because one of my good friends is ESFJ and even though sometimes I don`t get her way of thinking at all, we are at least able to communicate in a normal way and resolve our conflicts.
    With my boss, however, the communication is impossible. It has to be her way-no compromise whatsoever. If I just suggest that there may be some other (potentially better) solution she throws a tantrum-I am not kidding-she is like a 5 year old, who didn`t get her way. After she calms down a little bit she does the "victim" thing: she says I hurt her feelings and she sacrifices herself for all of us ungrateful slobs, but of course I don`t appreciate this, because I had such an easy time and she had to work sooo hard for everything,...:rolli: Sometimes I think she doesn`t notice the input of others at all, because she is too busy listening to herself. I also think that such an emotional and unprofessional response is totally inappropriate in a business environment.
    Of course, it doesn`t help that she has no sense of humor at all and is offended by everything and everybody. She is also very paranoic-for example, if someone in the room laughs, she is sure he/she is laughing at her. :crazy:
    And one thing that really bothers me: when we are alone she has her tantrums and sometimes even threatens me I will lose my job if I don`t do exactly as she wants (I can`t do that because some of her suggestions are totally destructive). But when there are others around she is all sweet with me.
    My psychological assessment of her: I think she is not very capable or intelligent and she is afraid others will find out. So her behavior is basically her defense. In fact, all the bullying of the employees is just a mask for her own insecurity and stupidity. Am I right? And more important, how to communicate with her so I can get my own ideas through, but at the same time don`t provoke her wrath?
    TNX for your help

  2. #2
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Can you report her to your HR department or similar? That sounds like unacceptable behavior in a work environment to me. The whole "threatening your job in private" thing sounds like something to report, for one.
    intp | type 9w1 sp/sx/so

  3. #3
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Actually, spirilis is right, that is an unprofessional set of actions that can get a person canned. If not HR, are you unionized? Union reps are also supposed to be helpful in that area otherwise WTF are you paying dues for?
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

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  4. #4
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Yeah, this isn't about type, this is about someone going off the deep end at their job.
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  5. #5
    Member booya moon's Avatar
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    I work in an academic enviroment, so things are a little more complex here. Older professors (my boss) are usually untouchable (especially if they are head of the department - like she is). I, on the other hand, am much junger than she is and only a junior researcher. However, I talked to the senior proffessor at our department and she assured me, my boss can`t do anything about my job, because nobody belives her anyway. I also informed some other professors I trust about my problem and they gave me their full support. However, nobody will do anything about her behavior, because that is the way things are done here.
    So, I don`t think my job is really at risk, but I will have to live with her for some time and I would like to know how to handle her, because otherwise I really like my job.

  6. #6
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    I guess all you have left then is transfer or put your head down and work the mundane till she's not over you anymore.
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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  7. #7
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Actually, never mind the head down crap. Keep being the awesome researcher you are and let her bitch an moan - no one cares what she thinks anyway. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if her position was them throwing her a bone to make her happy till she greys and retires or dies. Keep the ideas coming and the rationality strong; you'll get noticed in a better way than her.
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

    INFP, 6w7, IEI

    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Pick your battles, but fight the ones worth fighting.

    Make sure that you get a written request (email) whenever you are forced to do something you see as being destructive.

  9. #9
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    You know, I would suggest 'difficult people' tactic #1.

    Smile, nod, validate, repeat back her concerns to you, calm her down.

    Then just continue doing what you want to do.

    But, package it to her in a way that is more palatable to her -- if her root issue is insecurity, make her feel secure. Try to make her feel like she was somehow involved or responsible for your plan. Perhaps if you have a great way of doing something and she feels threatened, let her know that you consider it a 'team' effort in a way. Just make sure that everyone else knows that you are the 'lead' or primarily responsible for it. Or maybe when you have ideas, you can ask her questions (that inevitably lead to the conclusion you already came up with) and make her feel a part of the process.

    It would also help if it's possible to always be surrounded by at least 1 other colleague, so she can't get you alone.

    I think also when she threatens you, it would help to have a very neutral or even slightly bored (but not hostile, just honestly bored) response. Like a non-response. After a few encounters like this where she sees she is not getting the response from you that she wants, she may stop or switch tactics.

    I guess it depends on how much of her actions is bite and how much is bark. Or in other words, how real any threats she makes against you are.

    I'm going to guess though that her direct authority over you is limited and it's more about politics and getting assistance publishing papers and such?

    Good luck!

    PS, are you related to our other MBTIc member Booyalab?
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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  10. #10
    Member booya moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    You know, I would suggest 'difficult people' tactic #1.

    Smile, nod, validate, repeat back her concerns to you, calm her down.

    Then just continue doing what you want to do.

    But, package it to her in a way that is more palatable to her -- if her root issue is insecurity, make her feel secure. Try to make her feel like she was somehow involved or responsible for your plan. Perhaps if you have a great way of doing something and she feels threatened, let her know that you consider it a 'team' effort in a way. Just make sure that everyone else knows that you are the 'lead' or primarily responsible for it. Or maybe when you have ideas, you can ask her questions (that inevitably lead to the conclusion you already came up with) and make her feel a part of the process.

    It would also help if it's possible to always be surrounded by at least 1 other colleague, so she can't get you alone.

    I think also when she threatens you, it would help to have a very neutral or even slightly bored (but not hostile, just honestly bored) response. Like a non-response. After a few encounters like this where she sees she is not getting the response from you that she wants, she may stop or switch tactics.

    I guess it depends on how much of her actions is bite and how much is bark. Or in other words, how real any threats she makes against you are.

    I'm going to guess though that her direct authority over you is limited and it's more about politics and getting assistance publishing papers and such?

    Good luck!
    Thanks, I already tried some of those things. Last few weeks were pretty peaceful due to my avoidance tactic. I found an interesting site about corporate psychopaths, if anyone is interested : Communication with Corporate Psychopaths

    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    PS, are you related to our other MBTIc member Booyalab?
    But of course, we are n-th cousins n-times removed

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