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Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers/How could you keep cool before leaving?



I have just finished all the paper work to leave my current company, although I still stay for 2 months before actually leaving.

One of my concerns is how to keep cool with my boss, who no longer likes me.

For example, although I have worked for the company for 10 years, my boss does not plan to hold any kind of party for me before I go. Yesterday, he even publicly told me, before other staff, that maybe I can spend my own money to hold a party for my department.

Confronting such incidents, what can I do to keep cool, as I still stay here for another 2 months?

Thank you.

ANSWER: Hi Tony,

Many thanks for writing to you.

As you know already, the next two months will not be easy. But, there is a way to handle this and still keep your integrity and self-respect intact.

What you must do is to remain a professional. By that, I mean that you mustn't allow yourself to be drawn into any sort of tit-for-tat conversations. You simply carry on with your work as if you were staying for two years, rather than two months.

It's easy to slip into a sort of indifference in such situations, and the fact that your boss is determined to humiliate you in front of others can almost push you into complacency.

But, you can win - big - by not succumbing to that pressure.

There's a fine line to tread, however. You mustn't become arrogant, holier-than-thou, or act like you're superior for being so noble and virtuous. That's the other extreme of adopting an "I don't care attitude."

But you can win big by setting an example of how to be a professional in these circumstances. Focus on what you can do every day and do your very best, and when you co leave, you'll feel good about yourself and the work that you've done, and you'll find that you've grown not only personally, but professionally.

My best wishes to you.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your advice. May I ask for your clarification about this point "act like you're superior for being so noble and virtuous".

I agree I may easily fall into this trap. However, could you provide some examples of 'being noble', so that I can avoid?

For example, if I told my colleagues, 'I don't care what the boss says. And I will try my best to do the work'. Can that be seen by my colleagues that I am hypocritical?

My sincere thanks,

Hi Tony,

This is more about what you do, than what you say.

If your attitude is that you're superior to everyone else because you're being so professional, then you will come across as arrogant and holier-than-thou.

In other words, you could think that you're being "noble and virtuous" - meaning that you think you're doing all of the right things, but because your attitude was wrong it won't look like that to everyone else. And the only way to avoid that is to remain humble.

To be noble is akin to being a "knight in shining armour." You do the right things. You have the right attitude toward others. You are gentle, but firm when you need to be. Always polite and courteous. Really, you're an example to everyone around you as to how the most professional of professionals act. But, you don't tell yourself how great you are for doing it. You don't snicker to yourself at the poor minions that you are leaving, or how pathetic your boss is.

Do you see what I mean? You're different because you're a pro, not because you think you're so much better than everyone else. And that's a difficult balance to maintain. Most people will either become complacent or arrogant. Sometimes both.

It also means that everything you say is professional. You don't tell your colleagues anything negative. You don't tell them that you don't care what your boss says. If you're pressed, you could say, "We don't agree on everything." You see? Nice and easy. Nothing negative. That's because people who are professional aren't out to get even. Children get even. And some children are as old as adults.

Do your best, but don't tell anyone that you are.

Remember, actions speak louder than words.

Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers

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Dr Bruce Hoag, CPsychol AFBPsS


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Co-wrote (with Professor Cary L Cooper, CBE) Managing Value-Based Organizations: It's Not What You Think, published in 2006.

Academy of Management, British Psychological Society

Leadership & Organization Development Journal,

PhD, Organizational Psychology, Manchester Business School

Awards and Honors
Chartered Occupational Psychologist & Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society; Ezines Expert Author

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