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If you don’t click with your boss

Jan 30 2018 09:36
Bulelwa Mokori

IF you are employed, you probably spend most of your day at work with colleagues. More important is the relationship you have with your boss, who might make your life very difficult if you do not get along with him or her. Experts advise that you must try your best to keep your superior, who probably employed you, happy with your work even though the two of you might struggle to see eye to eye.


According to Tony Healy, of Tony Healy and Associates, one of South Africa’s leading multi-disciplinary labour law and labour relations firm, employees do not need to be friends with their bosses but they need to have a good relationship with them. “There are leaders who may lack emotional intelligence which could create tension at work,” he says. Tony argues that such people cannot control their emotions. “Such leaders are dangerous. They derail careers and blow up teams. They destroy people,” he says. Tony says some bosses are unstable, insecure and power-hungry. “Unless you truly understand that these individuals are broken, you can end up joining the fray, blaming yourself or playing the victim. Rather, you want to focus on building healthy relationships where you can, doing your job well, and finding ways to be creative,” he says.


According to Tony, conflict with one’s boss usually backfires. “That is because our many cultures place huge value in the official hierarchy. The higher you are, the more ‘right’ you are assumed to be,” he says. He says if you are to fight, you must be sure to have a strategy to protect yourself from the fallout. “You want to be sure you have prepared key people to support you if things go wrong,” he explains. Tony says you must make sure that you are not picking a fight with your boss just to prove something, or cover up your own insecurity. “You have got to be clean. Fight only for goals that help everyone, not just you,” Tony says.


Start with self-awareness: This is the foundation for emotional intelligence, which you need to manage conflict with your boss and anyone else, too.

Manage your emotions: Conflict triggers powerful, mostly negative emotions. You have a choice about whether you let these emotions take over or channel them toward health and wholeness.

Read people carefully: Learn to really see people for who they are, not where they sit in the hierarchy. Figure out what makes people tick and what they need.

Compassion: Positive emotions such as compassion and love are just as contagious as their toxic cousins: anger and fear. And when we choose to share positive attributes like enthusiasm and concern, people will follow us anywhere.

workplace  |  relationship  |  career


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