By Dr. Daneen Skube
Tribune Media Services
Q. The people I work for are crazy. The decisions they make are consistently irrational, abusive and unpredictable. I've been here four years, and my health has gone downhill. Can stress make you sick? And is there anything I can do?
A. Yes, stress can make you physically and emotionally ill. And, yes, there is something you can do.
I was reading a book about the Hopi Indians recently, as Native American tribes consistently seem to know how to run a smooth organization. In one quote, the elders of the tribe said, "We are the ones we have been waiting for." Clients I work with are consistently surprised to learn that the only one who will rescue them from workplace woes is the man or woman they see in the mirror.
You can and should get good advice tailored for your specific job problems to navigate a path between where you are now and where you want to be. However, you are the only one with the power to implement the plan you craft from good advice.
Many of my clients have spent years waiting for the cavalry to show up while they suffer through workplace battles. Some wait out of loyalty, or because they hate the anxiety of job searches, or because they hope that things will get better. These are all bad reasons to stay in a job where you feel tortured. The only outcome of this waiting is a longer period of misery.
If you have decided that no amount of interpersonal savvy will fix your crazy workplace, it is up to you to get out at the earliest possible moment. You won't find a workplace that is completely rational, but you can find one that won't make you sick.
Some people in your situation want to make a large public statement and quit in a fit of righteous and noble outrage. Noble and righteous outrage will not pay your bills. If you feel cornered, keep your job and spend every spare moment applying for every job you can find.
While you conduct your job search and go to work each day, comfort yourself with the knowledge that successfully exiting a bad situation is the best revenge for bad treatment by an employer. Employees don't want to work for organizations that make them ill. Your employer may soon find few competent employees willing to come through their door.
The last word(s)
Q. I just got promoted to management, and my boss wants me to mentor my employees to learn supervision. Is there a best way to help my team members learn how to be a good boss?
A. Yes, as humorist Evan Esar observed, "One ounce of example is worth a pound of advice." Make sure you get the tools to be a great boss and your employees will learn from you.
Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker. She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). Contact her at www.interpersonaledge.com
or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.
This was printed in the August 12, 2012 - August 25, 2012 Edition