According to a new MSNBC report, there’s a fine line between having a tough boss who gets results, and a bully boss who yells, screams or embarrasses you in front of others! Knowing the difference could actually be vital to your career. That’s the word from Judith Glaser, who wrote the book The DNA of Leadership. She says what separates tough bosses from bully bosses is intention. Basically, she believes it’s okay for bosses to be tough and demanding as a way of getting the best from their employees. However, if your boss makes unreasonable or arbitrary demands – just because she can - then you may be working for a bully.
For example: Consider a new poll that asked workers to name a famous person they’d most like to have as a boss. In the poll, Donald Trump came in at #3 – behind Oprah and President Obama – even though Trump’s most famous words are: “You’re fired!” Our expert says a lot of people respect Trump as a boss because he’s passionate about what he does, and he’s successful. Her thinking is that most people will tolerate a harsh boss if they believe they can learn something from that boss that’ll benefit their career. On the flipside, bullying experts say there are some “tough boss” behaviors you should never tolerate at work. For example:
- Verbal bullying – including slandering, or using your name as the butt of jokes.
- Physical bullying – like pushing, shoving, or even just the threat of physical assault.
- Gesture bullying – which can include non-verbal glances that convey threats.
- Or exclusion bullying. That’s when a boss excludes you from work-related activities.
Ultimately, our expert says it’s up to you to decide how much toughness you can handle, because if a screaming boss causes you to lose your confidence at work, that’s not healthy. As long as you see a clear benefit to your career, then it may be worth it to grow thicker skin and stay with your tough boss.