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Managing a Demanding Boss

People management skill is definitely an asset to have not just for your career but generally in life. I was once a teacher and had to deal with nagging children and demanding parents every day.  It was no joke. As a customer service rep in a very busy shopping mall, I met and dealt with people from different walks of life on a daily basis. The experience was a mixture of the good, bad and weird.

With all these and other daily experience garnered interacting with different people from various backgrounds and diverse exposure, one might be tempted to conclude that I am an expert in people management. I don’t consider myself one but working as a Personal Assistant to an ever busy CEO at Mediacraft Associates Ltd, puts me in a position to share some useful tips.

Granted, all jobs are demanding and it’s often the boss’ responsibility to get the staff to rise to the occasion, but some go too far by putting excessive pressure on their employees. Some overly demanding bosses set extremely high and sometimes unrealistic goals and expectations for employees. As much as that can be frustrating, throwing in the towel shouldn’t be an option. There are simple ways to deal with and manage work relationships with the boss that I’ve learned over time.

The first thing to do is to do your job and do it well. Quite obvious isn’t it? Next is to get to know your boss, watch and learn how he communicates, his professional goals and his expectations of you. After this, just fall in place fast. Then the process flows gradually: show professionalism in your work, dress and look the part at all times, show loyalty and genuine interest in the organization, take initiatives in various activities and be a go-to-person for problem solving. Know what is expected of you and do it greatly.

When issues arise, remember not to take things personal; it’s really not about you but about achieving maximum result. Consider why the issue arose in the first place and find a way of tackling it. These tips are essential because it guarantees your on-the-job satisfaction as well as your future success in the company.

There are also other basics things I have learned this past year of being JE’s PA. One is that the truth sets you free, literally. If you picked a bar of chocolate from his fridge, admit that you did, somehow he already knows and lying would only make things worse. Another is taking responsibility for your actions. So you made a mistake? Own up to it rather than arguing blindly and move on to the next task.  With JE, almost is never good enough; no excuses. If he expects to be prompted at 10am, 10:03am is not good enough. This attributes keeps me on my toes and helps me build an even better character for myself. Speaking of being on my toes, you have to be smart around JE, no slacking. That’s probably why I’ve ditched my heel shoes for more comfortable flats; I couldn’t possibly run up and down the stairs like he does with the heels on.

Do you have a challenging boss? It’s not an impossible situation. Try a few of the above tips; you can also have a one-on-one talk with him/her if possible. Make an effort regardless so that you can have peace of mind while at work.

Vivian Ifekwem
PA to Mediacraft Associates CEO

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