Mine was too.
If you are at all familiar with me and my writing, you know that I tend to go on and on about my not-so-great-boss, but in reality, I have had numerous difficult colleagues and bosses over the years.
We all have.
That is the thing with people--we can be totally awesome in some moments and with some people, and we can be a complete asshole in other moments, or with other people.
It all depends on what the hell is going on inside of us.
The boss I had before my not-so-great-boss was a total micro-manager, and at first I didn’t mind because I was new to the role and didn’t feel 100% confident in what I was doing. The fact that he guided me and held my hand a bit, was okay with me. But as I gained confidence I felt his management style to be constraining and caused me to want to scream, “I GO THIS THANK YOU VERY MUCH.”
My not-so-great-boss was the complete opposite. She gave me free rein to pretty much do whatever I wanted, and then would say either nothing or “That was completely stupid,” depending on which way the wind was blowing.
I have also dealt with staff members and employees who have resisted the fact that I was their YOUNGER superior, resulting in them being completely shitty and difficult when I wanted to put them on a performance plan. They had this HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO ME, I COULD BE YOUR MOTHER attitude, regardless of the fact that they weren’t doing their job very well.
Different people, different challenges, and different manifestations of their inner turmoil.
And that is the thing about people. We all have stuff going on inside that cause us to be shitty sometimes. Half the time (or even more), we don’t even know what the hell it is that is causing us to be so damn irritable or angry.
But, on the flip side of that shittiness, is the real magic.
My micro-manager boss was AMAZING at bringing angry parents to their knees (in a good way.)
My not-so-great-boss was AMAZING at turning bad situations into moments where she looked like a queen. (She was a politician's daughter for sure.)
The two older ladies who I had to put on performance plans were AMAZING at connecting with students and giving them the chance to shine.
If you focus on the negative, you will only see the negative. If you focus on the AWESOME you will start to see more AWESOME.
What is the AWESOME lying beneath your difficult colleague’s behavior?
Community. Connection. Collaboration.