The 6 Things to do Immediately, when You have an Argument with the Boss


Did you know that more than half of the employees have ever had an argument with the boss? It is also known that one in five employees has a bad relationship with his or her supervisor and that often leads to disagreement on the work floor.This is shown by research among 650 highly educated people. More than half of the people surveyed indicated that they sometimes (41 percent), often (11 percent) or very often (2 percent) had a dispute with their manager. Of course we know that relationships are not always perfect on the shop floor. However, the results seem extreme in that 62 percent of people who ever have a squabble are talking about a (violent) argument.

Enough to warn you about the adverse effects and give you 6 things to do immediately do when you have an argument with your boss.

Why so many violent arguments?

According to the respondents, the main reason why it goes wrong is a manager who does not listen well (52 percent), followed by supervisor’s incompetence (45 percent) or manipulation (42 percent) and lack of know-how (42 percent). And those quarrels can be a big problem if the link between employee and manager is not good. If organizations do not do anything with this, it will cost them money, loads of it. People will be frightened and be reluctant to go to work, which gives stress and burnouts. I think this is something that organizations have to deal with more proactively.


Researching how to handle fear in organizations will show that the relationship with the manager is the most important bond that an employee has. Is the relationship with a manager not good? Then chances are that you do not feel comfortable with the organization. If something goes wrong between an employee and the manager, it often has to do with suspicion. You suspect that if you do something, leave or say, it leads to damage at work. That is a form of fear. You want it to stop, but you do not want to lose your job at the same time.

Indeed, practice shows that many people do not dare to talk freely with their supervisor: 18 per cent do really not dare to do that, four per cent indicate that they can not even engage in an open conversation. If you have a good relationship with your supervisor, this person will find a solution. And that does not require that employer to be very good. Yet, he or she must be able to do two things: make contact with employees in such a way that they are shown interest and secondly give them the opportunity to function properly. An employee wants to be respected and as being able to fulfill responsibilities. If this is missing, it is very difficult to really like your work. 

How to handle this?

Short answer: you are going to talk things over with your boss! Notwithstanding the fact that many people will not dare, this may be the only way out. Hopefully, after reading the following 6 tips, you might be feeling encouraged to take the necessary action. 

When preparing this kind of conversation, decide first whether you disagree on content or whether something else is going on. You may be frustrated about another issue or you may feel disadvantaged because another colleague receives a bonus and you do not. If this is the case, focus on that instead of following the wrong lead that might piss somebody off.

If that is not the case, then here are a number of points to go by in a constructive and meaningful way.

During preparation:

1 Know how to convince


Not by kissing boots! If you want to convince someone, it is good to observe what their style is and where any vulnerability lies. Is your manager sensitive to statistics? Then do your best to substantiate your arguments as much as possible. Does he reason more from a group feeling to make choices? Then insert your arguments in such a way that you emphasize that. By responding like this, they will be bound to listen to your arguments earlier.

2 Look for credible sources


Whatever your persuasion strategy is, always look for sources that underline your arguments in a credible way. Are there more people who share your opinion? Make sure you give this some emphasis, so that your boss sees that it is something that plays in the workplace.

It might not immediately help convince your boss, but will start gaining more trust. Does that one colleague often give advice to your manager that he loves to listen to? Follow suit. Do not try this if you want to emphasize that you were the one with that idea, because once you have given the credits to someone else, you can no longer claim them.

During the conversation:

3 Focus on a positive outcome


Everyone knows when the moment has come that you think it is really no longer possible to convince someone of your side. Throwing the towel into the ring is attractive, with a friendly handshake and a ‘let’s agree to disagree’. Point is only that you do not get anything from such an attitude.

Instead, try to focus on the outcome of the conversation. Do not worry about small matters or useless discussions far removed from what you actually want to achieve. Try to step over your emotions that you feel during the conversation – your anger or frustration will not help you, be open to other arguments that do not stand in your way.

4 Try to unravel events in the past


Just as you have certain experiences in the past that color the present, your supervisor also has that. Has there been a previous experience where an employee mentioned something similar and nothing good came out of it, then chances are he or she will not be lenient to you – however good your arguments are.

These kinds of conversations are like an iceberg: often you only see the tip but most of it is unseen. Try to discover another part of that iceberg. Do you know stories from people who also tried to get something from your supervisor? Then ask what those discussions were about and how they went. You can also check with yourself what your boss thinks you represent and whether you can do something about it to make it work positively for you.

5 Accept that you sometimes disagree

It is only logical that you want to prevent this disagreements, but sometimes it is just a case that the two of you do not go along very well. Diversity in ideas and thoughts are good for a company, but frustrating at times like this. Hold on to the idea that different ideas exist in group thinking and that it is good for the team to disagree about things.

On an individual level it is obviously annoying, because you hope that you can convince someone. Yet it is also good for your creativity to sometimes hear no, because in this way you have to look for new ways to reach your goal.

6 Crossing borders

It really becomes another thing altogether when your boss is crossing borders and starts shouting, threatening, has revenge feelings, is gossiping. In such a case you are well advised to contact a confidant or the company doctor. That is quite difficult because you depend on work and income. You want it to stop, but you do not want to lose your job. 

It seems to me that when a boss passes certain limits, there is a serious underlying problem. You will have to face this problem and find out exactly what is wrong, even or especially, when it might be the end of your career with this company.

Final thoughts

We are all humans and from time to time, just by being ourselves, we will experience disagreements, also on the work floor. Nobody will like differences at work. More importantly so when your view differs from the one with your boss. In any case I strongly advise to take immediate action. Why? Because nobody will win by having latent and festering issues in the workplace. Ultimately they will adversely affect production results and management action will be taken, in which case it might be too late for you.

For those of you who still are afraid to take action: you might be in the wrong place. Maybe you do not feel happy with all these bosses. So, why do you not become your own boss? How does it sound to work on the internet from home and doing your own business? No bosses around!

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How Conflict Management in the Workplace could Work


When you are surrounded by nice colleagues it will not be difficult to be amicable. And if those colleagues happen to be competent at work, collegial and effective, cooperation is a piece of cake. Productivity will be on the rise. However, people are people and we all have our own personality, our own qualities, different ambitions and, unfortunately, imperfections. Thus conflicts in the workplace are inevitable. It becomes really problematic when one or more colleagues are simply annoying or worse: performing very poorly in what they call their work. For example, I once knew a secretary who saw work just like an annoying interruption of her personal love (read sex) life.

In this article, I am going to show you how conflict management could work and if it doesn’t in your case I will help you in a very good way out of the 9-5 job!

In real life

Now it should be obvious that you expose annoying behavior or visible incompetence of a colleague, but doing so in an amicable conversation with words such as: ‘Say colleague, just a point of attention; personally, I have a hard time when you arrive late at meetings and in those meetings you would miss out on the important things. You would do me a huge favor to do something about it. ” A really collegial answer would be: ‘Thanks for pointing this out to me. Now that I know what bothers you, I will take this into account and change for the better ‘.

But in reality, of course, that does not happen at all. Why? Because colleagues are bad at giving and receiving criticism and that is not without reason. If a colleague is considered to be (evidently) annoying, then the chance that he/she is open to criticism is extremely small. And it is precisely the prospect of a permanent conflict on the work floor that scares people to show something of dissatisfaction.

People hold back

It is quite a bit to accuse a colleague of incompetence, even though that allegation would be entirely justified. Of course, there is still the possibility of addressing one of the supervisors on the misconduct of a colleague. The problem is that such a step is experienced by most people as ‘snitching’ and the betrayal of a colleague is rejected as immoral.

Another reason that keeps people from criticizing a colleague is that it feels like you are assuming a superior attitude; that with the criticism you raise yourself above the colleague. And that is exactly what people experience as non-collegial. In the imagination, a guess is often made of what ‘a confrontation’ could bring about. The result of the imagined estimate is usually negative; in the sense that criticism given to a colleague would only worsen the relationship.


And so it is possible that so many co-workers on a lot of work floors maneuver anxiously and cautiously past one another without speaking what is on their mind. The fear of a ruined work atmosphere is greater than the desire to call the problematic colleague to order. But a work dispute with your supervisor or colleague can ruin the atmosphere on the work floor. In some cases, a conflict even leads to the resignation of one or both parties.

To me, this is a very unfortunate situation, that could be detrimental to people and the company alike. You certainly do not want this! So what can be done about this? Here is what you could do to solve the conflicts:

Step 1: Determine what is best to do

Are you really involved in the issue or not at all? To find out, write down for yourself why it is important and whether it is worth it to solve the problem. Bear in mind that sometimes it is easier to avoid the person or situation and just continue with your work, although ostrich policy is never a solution.

In case the relationship with the person in question is important for the performance of your work or the achievement of results or just a nice working atmosphere, you will have to come up with a solution. Are you going to adapt yourself to the other person, are you going to negotiate or do you decide to work together on a solution?

Go over all the consequences of the different reactions and see where you benefit most from. The benefits need not only be expressed in money, but your feelings also play a great role.

Step 2: Invite them for a talk

When you choose to confront the opposing party, it is important that you do this in the right way. To increase the chances of a successful outcome, you should invite someone to a conversation at a specific location where you cannot be disturbed. By inviting someone, he/she gets the chance to prepare for what is to come. Why? Because an unexpected confrontation can generate unnecessary emotions and this generally leads to irrational reactions. Especially when you want to solve something that is not so convenient.

Do not wait too long with the invitation. It can be tempting to postpone a confrontation in the hope that it will disappear. Feelings increase significantly and delaying a response leads to more frustration and tension. This tension builds up more and more over time until at the next conflict all bets are off.

Remember that conflicts often do not arise because something has been said, but precisely because nothing has been said.


Step 3: Be objective

Start the conversation by describing the incident as objectively as possible. What happened? Where and when did it happen? What did the other person do and what did you do?

Do not make false assumptions and enter the conversation with an open attitude. You may have been misinformed or do not know the other side of the story. This is very important for your way to find a solution.

Step 4: Offer an apology

Only, and really only, if you are 100% sure that you did not do anything wrong, you can skip this step. But in general, there is always something to be found that you should not have said or done. Perhaps you have said something that was mean in response to a certain statement or action.

By apologizing in advance, you show that you want to find a solution and are open to negotiation. Please note that you only apologize for what you (might) have done wrong.

Step 5: praise the work of the other person

It can be very difficult to talk about the other person in a favorable way, but by doing so you take a big step in the right direction. Thank the person for his or her contribution to a project, the results or anything else he/she contributed to.

This step also serves as a test. Can you not think of anything positive about the other person? Then you may not be ready to resolve the conflict. In such a case it is advisable to call in a mediator.

Step 6: Discuss the consequences

Identify the negative consequences of the conflict. Think of consequences for you, the other party, the company, and the mutual relationship. Does the presence of the other person make you feel uncomfortable? Is a project delayed due to inadequate cooperation? Do you not dare to ask each other for help? Do you keep your information to yourself because you do not like the other person?

By discussing all the consequences of the conflict, you show why it is necessary to come to a solution. It also ensures that all those involved see the problem from a different perspective.

Step 7: Discuss the possible solutions

Try to find a solution that is as fair as possible by listening to each other’s suggestions. Sometimes both parties will have to make concessions, but in the end, it is always possible to come up with a suitable solution.

Then translate the solution to a goal so that you can both work towards it.

Step 8: Come with real actions

The conversation takes place to resolve a conflict. So come with concrete actions.

Depending on the conflict, you can come up with appropriate measures together with the other person. Should the work be better distributed in the future? Do you have to belittle each other less? Or do you have to offer help more often?

Then plan a meeting in a couple of weeks so that you can evaluate the progress together. Is it going in the right direction? Is the problem solved? Or has it gotten out of hand and is mediation the only way to solve it?

Conflict or challenge?

Whatever the cause of the conflict, you should always act professionally. Avoid irrational decisions and follow the above step-by-step plan. Try to see each conflict as a challenge and think about an appropriate response. Show yourself from the best side and contribute to the solution. However, the step-by-step plan is no guarantee of success, because if the other person is not willing to cooperate, is just being an asshole, the conflict is unlikely to be resolved.

But even when it is not solved, you get satisfaction from the fact that you have tried it. You approached the problem with a positive mindset and made an attempt to arrive at a solution in a constructive way. In any case, it might then be better to start looking for alternatives.

Get a job in another department (certain risks involved) or leave for another company ( not always easy) or what about this one: leave the corporate jungle and become your own boss. Nowadays, with the aid of internet, everybody can have a shot at this and you can start while still having your job!

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Is having Sex with the Boss a good Career move?


Sex in the workplace has been prevalent as long as there have been bosses and employees. Common on the work floor, sex with the boss has been under exposed in the media for an eternity.  Recently and at long last, a number of representative surveys about this phenomenon have been conducted in the Western world. I have collated the findings of these surveys. In this article I am going to give you the shocking results and some of the real facts about sex with the boss. Just discover why you would do better by totally avoiding it or in case you did better leave.

Human nature at work 

Its is a normal fact that employees do not always concentrate their thoughts on the business at hand during important discussions or boring meetings. For example, at least half of them undress their bosses in their minds. For 57 percent, sex is the most favorite subject for daydreaming, although there are significant differences between men and women. Both sexes think equally about sex, but 58 percent of men fantasize about having sex with a colleague, compared to only 21 percent of women.

Bosses might be too busy and stressed to think about having sex, but this has not been investigated.

Sex just takes a very important place in this world and there is nothing new there. So, what urges people to take action on what is going on in their mind?

Reasons for having sex with the boss

Among the most common motives for sexual relations with a boss are physical attraction and a desire for a good time, which is just human instinct. But smaller percentages have more selfish reasons for getting steamy on a desk or in an office closet (or anywhere else) with their superior. And while most workers said they would do nothing if they found out another employee was sleeping with the boss, some people jumped at the opportunity to blackmail their manager or colleague. Here are the motives.

Promotion: 20 percent of respondents would consider going to bed with the boss to achieve this. More men than women are open to this idea, with 30 percent compared to 8 percent.  Not everyone was equally enthusiastic, however, with only 7 percent who would have ‘absolutely certain’ sex with the boss to score a promotion. 12 percent would ‘certainly consider’ again.

Salary increase: 12.1% hoped to get a pay raise 

Bonus increase: another 11.2% wanted a larger bonus

More free time: 9.7% desired additional vacation or sick days

Power: some people crave power, and 21.8% of respondents who slept with their boss said they did so for the simple reason that they found power attractive. But power also means managers and other superiors can bestow or take away privileges. 

Blackmail: and then there were the truly dark souls, 8.7% said they went through with it for the explicit reason of blackmailing their boss, which is truly the lowest level.

Positive results

Are there any positive outcomes about escapades with management? Well apparently there are.
15% of women say they have had sex with the boss. A considerable percentage of 37% say they have received a promotion, which makes you wonder, isn’t it. 
Scheming employees seem to go to work in a much better mood, after all, they can further work on their target. Monday mornings are completely crazy, because after two days of absence you see future victim back!
These employees are at their best, more confident and are more often open for overtime. Yeah, right.
Executives believe that when a woman has a relationship with her boss, wage increases and other rewards directly result from such a relationship. This applies to 60% of the male and 65% of the female managers.

Dire consequences

A warning to everybody: don’t you ever think that your escapades will go unnoticed.

58% of employees said at some point in their career they knew of a colleague who had slept with their boss, and a majority (64.5%) said they were inclined to do nothing if they learned of such an affair. But there’s always someone looking to stir up trouble, and a whopping 36% said they would share the news with a colleague, while 4.2% and 3.2% said they would use the information to blackmail their boss and the involved co-worker respectively.

Another surprising phenomenon: After colleagues heard of a sexual relationship between an employee and their boss, 6.6% said they would attempt to sleep with the employee and 5% said the same of the boss. To these individuals, one sexual relationship appears to indicate that the parties involved are open for business!

But perhaps the most eye-catching survey result is that 3.3% of people said they would post on social media after hearing about the relationship.

Colleagues, however, have little respect for those who have a relationship in the workplace. 61% of men and 70% of women say they do not respect a manager who has a relationship with one of his or her staff.

Final thoughts

Let me know what experiences you have through the comment box.

So what’s the takeaway of all the above? Well, most people, although thinking about it sometimes, do not sleep with their boss. However, a lot of people sleeping with their boss have ill intentions, and furthermore some colleagues may be willing to stab their coworkers in the back for blackmail or a good story. 

Many will feel the above results are shocking. Many of us have already seen the destructive effects that any relationship can have at work. Moreover, you not only put yourself in jeopardy and in a difficult situation, but also your colleagues.

So, is there any future in sexual relationships with the boss? The urge will always remain, but the possibilities are decreasing as a result of camera surveillance, many open (glass) spaces etc. In most cases it does not pay-off anyway. I think that the advantages are far outweighed by the disadvantages and I would therefore suggest staying away as far as you can.

It is a fact that there are a lot of people who do not get out without scars. Look at these statistics: 10.6% said colleagues started rumors about them, almost 8% said HR got involved, almost 14% had to find a new job and 3.4% were demoted. For those of you who unfortunately belong to this last group, I have a recommendation.

My recommendation number 1

Get away from the work floor and your bosses, avoid all the hustle and become your own boss, by having your own (internet) business and even working from home in your own time. This opportunity is all about becoming financially independent with all its freedom attached. And with the current internet possibilities a real option for everybody.

There is one condition though: you need to have good training and excellent support at a very affordable price. You also do not want to be cheated out of your money and make an honest income for yourself and maybe for your family. So I am going to introduce to you the best available internet business support program in the world.

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How to deal with Bullies at the Workplace in 7 steps


It is a well-known feat that everyone of us can fall victim to bullying at work. Nowadays, as many as 16% of employees are being harassed! In many cases by colleagues, but most often (64%) by managers, which unfortunately is no surprise. One example is that employees who return after a long illness are confronted with it, but mostly without a real reason. Another one is the person with a slight disability, who gets pestered. And there are many others. However, there is hope. You can fight back against bullying by learning how to deal with bullies at the work floor by following the 7 steps below and save yourself or a colleague from these low-life harassment types.

What drives bullies?

In order to fight harassment, it is important to know more about the psychology behind the phenomenon. A science that will surprise you. What a bully really moves for example, is important to know. It can have 2 causes in most cases: it has either to do with control or a threat. 

Control. Bullies have an urge to keep other people under their control because things in their private life are not under their control. Psychologists call this sublimation. Like a person who is not in the private situation to give much love and care and compensates by becoming a nurse.

Threat. A bully can feel threatened by someone’s position, which can mean direct competition, or even by a strong character. He knows that he is not better or smarter than the other and tries to gloss that over by denigrating and bullying the other person. And that usually happens in a very ingenious way, because bullies are often the smarter, higher educated creatures who execute the bullying secretly and cunningly.

What is bullying about?

Bullying at work goes much further than teasing a colleague. The pester wants to obstruct and harm someone with his actions. Think of someone ignoring you, exaggerated gossip about you or humiliation and laughing at a colleague. In bullying there is always an unequal relationship. Hence bosses form the main aggressors. A person can not defend himself well and is therefore an excellent target for the bully. This person finds it hard to stand up for himself and does not know how to defend himself effectively. He (or she) is not as strong as the other verbally or has less self-confidence. 

Being bullied at work is very stressful. If it goes on long enough, an employee may fall ill. Bullying causes great damage: often this is psychological, but sometimes also physical. Possible complaints: problems with ringing in the ears, high muscular tension, depression or sleeping problems. In other words, things you might want to avoid.

Current situation

Therefore, it is my honest opinion that it is crucial to tackle these bullies.  For example, in my country The Netherlands, more than 50% of the companies have not (yet) developed a policy to prevent or tackle bullying. As it turns out, bullying on the work floor is still not fully recognized or taken seriously. And where the issue is recognized, they do not know well what they can do about it. 

This is why we have to take action ourselves!

To stop such a bull (this is where it comes from) or bully, you have to play it tactically. No, you do not have to put on a bull fighter’s suit and have a red cloth. But what you have to do is this:

1. Realize that you are dealing with bullying

The first thing to do is give the animal a name and do not blame yourself.

It may well be that you have not been aware for a long time of the fact that you were dealing with ‘bullying’, because it is absurd that this still happens among adults. Yet it happens, and it is better to know when it happens to you (or a colleague) and to acknowledge that you (or the other person) are in trouble. Once the problem is clear, further action can be taken.

2. You take action!

The limit or breaking point of bullying is different for everyone. Keeping silent here, as many people like to do, will work adversely. What is meant by this is that you also say something by saying nothing. In effect, you say that the bully can go ahead and that there is nothing wrong with that. So, this will not change anything about your situation. In other words, if you do not speak out loud about the bullies, you will never get the outcome you want. Go ahead and expose them for what they really are. 
Maybe he thinks that he is funny. Let him clearly know that he is going too far and that his ‘jokes’ are no longer fun. Maybe it already stops then.

3. Keep it to facts, not emotions

When you speak, talk about the facts. If necessary, keep a log to get exactly what your bully has said or done when you report to a supervisor, a friend or a colleague. Certainly when legal or policy-related steps are taken, (documented) facts are very important.

By keeping it business-like and factual, you may also make it easier for yourself to report bullying. You do not whine, but denounce something.

4. Choose for yourself

See how you can best get out of this suffocating situation: alone or with the help of someone else. Do not let the situation get out of hand and choose for yourself. In this you may be unashamedly selfish. It is about your well-being and job satisfaction. Realize that you can not always change the situation, but how you deal with it yourself. Imitate the behavior of your tormentor: ignore him, snare at him, scold. But be careful not to go too far, or get fired.

5. Get more people on your side

It is common knowledge that social exclusion is what makes bullying so devastating. Make sure that you are not alone, no more. Maybe you know other victims of your bully – or of another bully. Also friendly colleagues who are just against bullying, you can use on your side. In this way you are stronger, and no longer alone.

Moreover, you force the company to deal with the issue and it is less likely that the entire incident will be forgotten without measures. Plead together for an anti-bullying policy, however sad it is that it is necessary, it helps to prevent victims in the future and to tackle bullies once and for all.

6. Stay calm and confident, like a bull tamer

Bull(ie)s smell fear, remember? That’s what is supposed to be a big factor. Stop being scared, stop blaming yourself and stop the one who does blame: tame that bull!

Consult someone who can mediate in the work situation. Think of a confidential adviser, the company doctor or someone from the trade union. Perhaps the problem can be proven and you can go to your supervisor together. You may prefer an independent person from, for example, the external HR service provider. See what applies to you and what feels safe.

7. Resign at the right moment

It is possible that the bullying behavior in your department is tolerated or that your supervisor is the bully. It may even happen that the management wants you to step out yourself, so that difficult (and expensive) dismissal procedures are prevented. Then you should look for another job, but: never resign yourself! I am giving you another very real possibility below.

My final thoughts

Anyone can find him or herself in this unfortunate situation and sooner or later it will happen to you. For many reasons or for no particular reason at all.
Be aware that any form of harassment is unacceptable, under any circumstances.
As you have seen above, there are ways to tackle this issue, be it in cooperation with your company or if they don’t, by yourself (with help of colleagues). 

Never let your health be adversely influenced by bullying ‘colleagues’. Take action, even to the point that you have to switch jobs or the company. 

If you are afraid of losing your job (=income), why don’t you become your own boss and become financially independent? Read all about this life changing opportunity here.

Share your personal experiences with bullying by filling out the comment box below.

Find out Why you get Stressed from your Boss – Do the Test


Do you also have a boss who’s antennae are more on sending than on receiving, never has time for you, unless you have done something wrong in his eyes? Does he give you a hard time even though the mistake was minor and you never get a compliment if you have done something right? Actually, you would like to say: my boss is a pain in the ass. There is a good chance that you will go to work with a heavy heart and get more and more stressed out. Waiting for it to pass by itself is not the best solution. In this blog you will discover how you get more rest through a better relationship with your boss. As a result, your job satisfaction could soon return.

First I will explain about the reasons you can suffer from work stress from your boss and then you can do the test to find out why you might be stressed.

Good boss, bad boss

Because we have to carry out more tasks with fewer and fewer people, we often work longer and sometimes spend more time in the office than at home. In such a case it makes sense that you would want to enjoy your work. You want to be useful, work together with nice colleagues, perform well and develop yourself. In a pleasant working environment you can handle a lot of work pressure, especially if you are motivated and supported by your supervisor. But if your boss is mainly concerned with spreadsheets or budgets and does not look much at his employees, you may be hugely bothered by that.

I will admit that there are some successful companies where they appoint the right person as a manager. Unfortunately, it is still too often the case that you are dealing with a boss who, perhaps professionally, gets the highest score, but scores an absolute zero for dealing with people. Not to mention the man (also read: woman), who shows dominant behavior and abuse of power, fear and panic, leaving half of the staff reporting ill.

You should determine for yourself what behavior your boss is showing. This might help doing so.

Bad boss behavior 

Just as you can recognize certain weather types within any climate, you can also predict the patterns in your boss’s behavior. When does he have a good mood and when the reverse? Many bosses exhibit derailed behavior when they are under pressure from higher management, they do not want to be criticized if something goes wrong or if they do not meet their targets. They are afraid to get issues with their employees and that is reflected in distrust and extreme control of everything you do. Or they threaten not to achieve the intended results and fear their own position within the company. If you ask your boss in that situation, you do not have to expect him to pay a lot of attention to you or listen to you carefully and if he finds out that you are not going to meet your deadlines, chances are it will blow up in your face.

You can also have a boss who is very calm and very deliberate in his decision making. If he is put under pressure and has no choice but to quickly make a decision, he moves very slowly and wants to get to the bottom of things. This can annoy you very badly.

Bosses also have good sides

Yes, I hear you say, my boss is just like that! Yet most bosses are not too bad people. They are ordinary men and women with certain weaknesses but they also have their qualities. If you do your very best, maybe you can name a few. Someone who appears to you to be very dominant and stubborn can simply have a strong character and a clear vision. A boss who does not seem to have any attention for the ups and downs of his employees can have good drive and focus on results. The control freak is often very punctual and has an eye for detail. Is there something already coming to you that you can appreciate in your boss? Try naming three good qualities of your boss.


The irritating behavior of your boss can, surprisingly, result from a good quality that he uses too much. Suppose he is very self-assured, which could make him arrogant or he is cautious and thus slow and silent. If you are modest, you may hate someone who behaves arrogantly. If you especially like to go at it, you get itchy from a boss who has a wait and see approach and wants to think about everything first. You are, as it were, allergic to the behavior that someone exhibits when he falls into this pitfall.

When you can analyze the tricky behavior of your boss by reducing his difficult behavior to the excessive use of a good quality your allergic reaction to it can be diminished. Determine which pitfall of your boss you are allergic to and how you normally respond to it.

Test here your risk factors

Surprisingly, not everyone with an incapable boss suffers from boss stress. You can have sleepless nights and have red spots on your neck if you think of your boss alone, while your colleagues seemingly do not have an issue and continue working and whistling.

Do the following test and cross the statements that are applicable to you.


If I do something, I’ll do it right
I do not give up easily
I like to finish my duties
I deliver my work without error
If I did not work again, I would not know what to do


I like to work according to the rules
I do not take risks
I need clear guidelines
I do not like changes
I am rather unsure about my performance


With me you can go in all directions
I always stay calm, even though I cook inside
I want people to like me
I hate fighting
The working atmosphere must be good


I have heart for the matter
If I do not do it, no one does it
A deal is a deal
I can handle criticism when it is constructive
If I am right, I want to get it

Now see in which subject you have ticked most of the statements (3 or more) and discover which risk factors you have.

SECTION A: You find your work important, you are a go-getter and have perfectionist views.

Risk: Because you set the bar high for yourself, you probably also do this for your boss. It irritates you if it does not meet your strict standards and as a result you have little respect for him.

BOX B: You like routine tasks and feel good at a familiar workplace.

Risk: New developments and changed procedures make you insecure. You need your boss’s approval for all your output. If you have a boss who likes to delegate and expect your own initiative, you do not know what to do and you function less and less. You blame your boss for lack of clarity and you do not understand each other.

BOX C. You are a social person, you like to commit yourself to others and people know that they can always come to you, including your boss.

Risk: You find it difficult to say no and indicate your limits. You want your boss’s appreciation for all your hard work. If this does not happen, you will try even harder to get that recognition. Frustrations and exhaustion are the result.

BOX D. You are ambitious and feel responsible for the operating result.

Risk: You make your problem quickly and to solve it all, overtime is the rule for you rather than the exception. You often sit on your boss’s chair and feel indispensable. Because of this unclear division of roles, conflicts with your boss are lurking.

Let me know how you came out of this test.

Conclusion + recommendation

After doing this test, I found something about myself, that I had never realized, yet was a big factor in getting stressed by a boss. So, I would advise you, before accusing anybody else, to investigate thoroughly if it is not partly you, who is to blame for work stress.

This said, however, when it is not you, you might be in trouble and in order to protect your position and your health, you will need to take some action. Nothing is worse than having a bad boss and having so over a period of time. Irritations, frustrations, pure annoyance or worse might sneak in and before you know it, your health can be affected.

Yes, you can change jobs or companies, but who says that you will not encounter an asshole boss again. In order to avoid all that, you could become your own boss by having your own internet company. You might say, that is not for me, but the possibilities out there are numerous and for everyone. Just find the right program to support you. I have written an article of such a program, probably the best in the world and if you are interested, you can access through the image just above.

What is the Result of all these Performance Appraisal Comments?


Maybe some of you remember my article of June 2015 titled: Performance Appraisals – why people hate them. My first sentence read that these reviews should be gotten rid of. Fast forward to now, the beginning of 2019, I am happy to tell you that more and more companies tend to move away from these monstrous annual reviews. After all they are only one of the many boss’s tricks in their arsenal, serve only them and do not form any constructive medium for the employees.

This has been set in motion in the past few years as a consequence of the numerous comments on performance appraisals. So, where are we now? What is the result of making all these negative performance appraisal comments?

Recent developments

Do you still have an annual moment when your performance is assessed? At the end of the year or right now, at the beginning of the next year? Well there is hope, as this is changing for more and more people: the traditional assessment interview is declining. Large companies in many countries already quit the annual discussions in which the performance of employees was discussed.

One example: recently a large Dutch insurance company called Achmea was in the news with the confirmation that they stopped the annual appraisal interviews for all 12,000 employees at short notice. Management feedback is now to be a logical part of the work at times that it suits. Their employees indicate that they need frequent feedback: they want to learn and ask for clarity and transparency about their development regularly. With this new assessment system, they can request feedback throughout the year that helps them to develop.

Another example: During 2016, one of the largest companies in the world, Accenture, has done all of its employees and managers an enormous favor: It will get rid of the annual performance review. It will implement a more fluid system, in which employees receive timely feedback from their managers on an ongoing basis following assignments. In this ‘massive revolution’, Accenture is joining a list of major corporations that have had enough of the reviews.

More flaws of the old system

Though many major companies still haven’t taken the leap, most are aware that their current systems are flawed. In the USA, a management research firm  found that 95 percent of managers are dissatisfied with the way their companies conduct performance reviews, and nearly 90 percent of HR leaders say the process doesn’t even yield accurate information.

Employees that do best in performance management systems tend to be the employees that are the most narcissistic and self-promoting, this firm found out. Those aren’t necessarily the employees you need in order to be the best organization going forward. Brain research has shown that even employees who get positive reviews experience negative effects from the process. It often triggers disengagement, and constricts our openness to creativity and growth.

Many companies are still hiding their unwillingness to pay their employees what they deserve by manipulating the outcome of these assessments reports as they seem fit. This has been one of the main critical points of annual interviews.

Looking at employee’s needs

Employees no longer want to be approached once a year, but increasingly want to be in conversation with their superior throughout the year. In general, you can say that appraisal interviews are seen as an obligation and employees need good feedback several times a year. They want to know where they stand, how they can go further. People prefer to talk about developments and opportunities. In other words, the traditional assessment interview no longer meets the needs of employees. And right now, with a tight labor market, it’s good for employers to listen to their employees.

Incidentally, this does not only apply to young people – who are often more open and free – older employees too often have the feeling of falling between the cracks, according to a survey carried out recently. A representative survey in the field showed that fifty percent have an appraisal interview and older employees more often have fewer assessment moments than their younger colleagues. Those are people who have worked for twenty years and know that they have to continue for twenty years and want to know how to deploy their talents in the coming years.

Atmosphere of openness

In the companies where the assessments have been abolished, other feedback systems often take the place – such as the so-called 360 degree feedback – in which several colleagues are asked to come up with points for improvement, or a continuous dialogue at the moment that one is really need by boss or staff. Easier said than done: because if it’s busy on the shop floor, that could just cannot happen, you might think. However, you have to build that up with each other. By organizing meetings where employees and managers talk to each other and talk about what is going on. You can then make agreements with each other. Then it becomes something of everyone. Not just from the manager. 

And such a conversation between employee and manager will only be a success if there is involvement. To each other, to work and to the organization. People really appreciate it when there is attention for each other. Also important is openness. If necessary, you also have to show what really is on your mind, without holding back. In practicing this turned out to be a very fruitful exercise. People were not used to talking to each other and said afterwards: we have to do this more. It is also up to employees themselves to be active there and to explain to each other and of course their manager, what they find important in their work. 

My conclusion

I would suggest here and now that performance appraisals are indeed a thing of the past. Companies still using them, should really scratch their heads, whether these annual monstrosities contribute to the well being of their employees and consequently to the health of the company.

Now the time is here to ask your bosses for feedback the moment it is needed and not wait until an evaluation which may only come so many months later. What good would that be for you, your manager or your company? Nobody is going to benefit from festering problems, disgruntled staff and unsolved issues.

If your boss is not interested in giving you positive advice the moment it is needed, even when you ask for feedback and guidance, you might want to conclude that you are with the wrong company. I would applaud it and greatly respect it if you would confront your bosses with your dislikes. And if you would have to leave that jungle, so be it.

My number one recommendation

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In any case, if you have any questions please react through the comments section and I will respond within 24 hours.

How to Deal with a Toxic Boss?


Everyone of us can change as an individual. We can make an effort to improve those sides of ourselves that we do not want to keep. This is something we really should not forget when dealing with toxic bosses. 

Many people prefer to walk away from toxic people, which is probably most advisable. But actually we do not always have a choice especially on the work floor. So the best thing we can do is look for a smart way to tackle this issue. Because poisonous people always find a way to spread their negativity. They want to infect others with it, create a bad atmosphere and destroy the good times.

Dealing with a toxic boss is not going to be easy. However, with the right attitude and following a number of tips, you might be able to deal with such a boss. And if you are not successful, I will give other ways to opt out below.

Some bosses have few people skills

Unfortunately, managerial incompetence often occurs. That is because too many companies promote people who do have the right technical skills or can present good results, but  do not necessarily have the right ‘people skills’ that a manager also needs.

How do you handle it? Take the reins yourself!
You can be totally discouraged by an incompetent chef, or you can use a different tactic where you focus more on the matters that you do have control over yourself.

Try to understand the incompetence of your boss

Before you judge your boss, you first have to look at yourself. Ask yourself if you are not jealous of his or her position in the company. Or maybe you have difficulty with authority by nature. Your assessment of your boss’s incompetence can therefore be unjustly influenced. Thus, try to show some empathy for your boss, so you can view his incompetence in a different way. Perhaps you can then understand better under what pressure your boss is. This is a valuable point, most bosses being under tremendous pressure, however, this can never be an excuse to treat your staff in a bad way. I would see this as a sign of weakness. 

Ask help from outside

Ask advice from colleagues or people outside your work that you trust: you can express your anger about what you see and you can talk about how it affects you and your work. That is not to work together against your boss, but to check your vision. Other people may be able to give a fresh view of the situation. Make sure you ask the right people like family, friends and professionals in business.

Focus on the broader picture

Think about the mission of your company and the well-being of your team. It is the job of every leader to feel what the office or organization needs, and what the needs of the customers are. If your boss does not bring this to a good end, it offers opportunities for you. You do not have to cover up your boss’s mistakes, but focus on what is best for the organization and the team, and how you can contribute to that.  Believe it or not, leadership comes from below as often as it comes from the top.

Do not handle the boss of your boss rudely 

When you work for a chef who does not do his job well, it can be tempting to go to the boss of your boss or another manager in your company. This is a real possibility, but keep in mind the possible consequences before you do this. Hierarchy is no empty concept: realize that your boss has more power within the organization than you, and can feel threatened by you. In extreme circumstances, you obviously have a duty to do something, for example if your boss is involved in a crime. Make sure you can prove your story with proof.

This last thing is of the utmost importance. If you come with a clear case about your direct boss, especially when your boss’s actions or non-actions have negative impact on the work, your possibility to succeed will improve considerably.

Take care of yourself!

Working for a toxic boss can also be bad for your health. Experts propose to define your psychological boundaries and protect yourself from emotional damage. We tend to focus on our bad boss who ruined our lives. However, do not forget that you can decide for yourself whether you will continue to work for him or not. You can always give your resignation or request another job. Focus therefore on what makes you happy in your work, not on what makes you sick. You are more likely to have a productive and fun day if you focus on the things you control and on other fine colleagues. If they are not there, well, then you should consider drastically changing the company.

Ignore the toxic bosses 

Negativity, cruelty, playing the victim, are some strategies that toxic bosses use. But they always provoke a state of stress in the brains of others. To make this disappear, a smart emotional approach is needed. The key to this is developing the ability to direct your feelings and stay calm under pressure. One of the important qualities of people who know how to deal with stress is actually their ability to neutralize the effects of toxic people.

So, do not fall into the trap. Ignore your boss. You know that he or she will try to attract your attention. He or she will try to provoke you. Do not let this happen. Avoid getting involved in this. You do not have to accept that he tries to chase you with his interruptions, actions or comments. Be benevolent. Be patient. Give him as little attention as possible. Bite your tongue if necessary, so that his poison does not touch you. Be assertive when it comes time to set limits.

Set your limits and defend them

You must know that an attack by a toxic person does not undermine your dignity. In fact, your dignity can be attacked and ridiculed. But you can never lose it unless you give it out of your free will. You do not have to participate in the discussions that a toxic person carries. But you have to set clear limits.

If you go into the defense yourself, you show that you can be insulted. When you set limits, you make it clear that he or she can not attack you. When you are dealing with a toxic boss, his reason and statements are worth nothing. But it is important to be very clear, wise, but firm. Make it very clear that you have the authority over the decisions that are your right and responsibility.

Also keep in mind that you have to set a limit in a conscious and proactive way. If you let things happen just like that, you will constantly get entangled in difficult conversations. When you set limits, you will be able to control most chaos that is caused by a toxic person.

Final thoughts

When you are dealing with a toxic person, you can go on the attack or you can just ignore it. But it is not always necessary to do any of these things. Actually it is sometimes useful to be friendly to toxic people. Because maybe they will have a difficult period in their lives. They may not succeed in dealing with an emotional situation.

All things considered, that does not mean that you have to let it happen or accept it. In the end we all have our own problems and demons. But when dealing with these situations, try to trade with compassion and forgiveness. It is important that you set limits and let them know that you obviously do not play their game. 

How did you handle your toxic boss? Let us know here.

Whatever you do, you might not be successful and need to find another company as described above. There is another way to avoid very bad bosses: become your own boss and work from home!

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What are the warning Signs of a Toxic Boss?


A toxic boss is someone who misuses his position and the power that this position provides him. Psychological studies focused on work situations indicate that good relationships between colleagues lead to better productivity and more progress. Despite these studies, however, there are still enough bosses who use methods and behavior that are detrimental to their employees and companies.

These kind of ‘leaders’ carry a sort of feudal heritage with them. They have an autocratic idea of power. That is why they do not worry about their behavior, however harmful it may be. They see the company or organization as a machine that must function properly. Their subordinates are only gears in that machine. Toxic bosses are more focused on the results than the process.

Researchers discover time and time again that positive leadership leads to greater efficiency on the work floor. Recently coaching leadership has come to the fore and in the long run, democratic and horizontal models generate more respect and thus productivity among employees. An authentic leader exerts his moral authority above all. He is not dependent on coercion or punishment to ensure that his employees are committed to the business objectives. Instead, he motivates and rewards them. This encourages a sense of belonging and motivates employees to be more involved in their work.

Below I will discuss some of the main warning signs that these toxic bosses exhibit.

A toxic boss is arrogant

Toxic bosses believe that their power makes them better than everyone else. It does not matter how they ended up in their position, they always feel superior. Moreover, they believe that they have the right to treat others as less important, just because they are the boss.

This arrogance manifests itself in body language, their way of talking and their style. Toxic bosses want to be intimidating. They interpret the fear of their employees as something positive. Their arrogance is always more related to uncertainty and lack of confidence than true superiority.

I always called this management by fear, although I did not exactly understand why. Now I do.

He does not know how to listen or communicate

One of the most obvious signs of a ‘poisonous’ boss is how difficult it is for him to listen to others. These types of bosses believe that listening to their employees makes them unjustly important. They assume that if they listen to their subordinates, they will take their power over them.

Toxic bosses also do not know how to communicate. In fact, their instructions can be unnecessarily complicated. They do this on purpose to make an impression or even to intimidate their employees. A poisonous boss speaks in absolute terms in an attempt to emphasize that he has the last word about everything. It is common that poisonous bosses do not appreciate what others say. They can do this with indifference or by doubting their employees in a disrespectful way.

He is controlling and not flexible

Toxic bosses do not understand the difference between maintaining and controlling. They are also unable to see the difference between guidance and orders. They do not trust the people with whom they work. That is why they think that micro-management is the best strategy. They assume that their job is to control and punish what they find inappropriate behavior. Find out more about a micro-managing boss here.

The toxic boss is yelling at his employees

Toxic bosses are also not at all flexible. They see situations completely in black and white. They believe that strength is the same as inflexibility, and if they are not extremely strict, people will see them as weak. That is why you can not question their orders and they hardly explain their ideas. Their employees have to do everything exactly as they say, otherwise they will be punished.

He does not know how to deal with conflicts

These types of bosses see anger as something favorable. They believe that bad moods and irritability are signs of a serious and responsible employee. So they interpret these qualities as expressions of dedication and solidity. That is why they often sound annoyed when they give orders or ‘solve’ problems at work by shouting. They think they have the right to give their employees a scolding.

If they have a problem with an employee, it is their solution to impose new orders or to give a kind of punishment. It does not matter to them whether the people they work with feel uncomfortable. If other people do not follow the rules, they get angry and they see these people as weak. A poisonous boss creates a tense and oppressed working environment. He thinks that this will encourage his employees to work harder. However, quite the opposite is true.

He rejects the initiative of others

Taking the initiative is a sign of autonomy, strength and skill. That is why a toxic boss feels threatened by an employee who takes the initiative. They may even think that these types of workers are going beyond their limits and challenge the authority. Toxic bosses reject everyone with ideas for innovation or improvement.

And in their performance assessment they will still claim that you are not pro-active!

He can not deal with time

Good time management is essential to guide staff and prevent problems. One of the things that makes someone a bad boss is bad time management. This includes poor planning and prioritization of activities.

Bad time management creates a chaotic workplace. Employees often have to finish their work in record time. Or there will be times when they have nothing to do. In these cases, the workplace feels unstable and disorganized. As a result, employees feel stressed and tense.

He does not know what his employees need

Bad bosses have no idea what their employees need. In fact, they have no interest in finding out. They believe that personal things are inappropriate or even irrelevant in the workplace. They see the personal life of people as an obstacle to getting work done.

The toxic boss does not respect his employees

A toxic boss believes that the personal needs of his employees have nothing to do with his responsibilities. Because they see everything in black and white, they assume that personal problems are just an excuse that employees use to justify a missed day or incomplete work. Toxic bosses find it very difficult to see their employees as ‘complete’ people.

Employment law around the world is trying to protect workers, but the reality is that there are many bosses who push the boundaries of what is legal. They subtly ignore the rights of their employees and hide their offensive attitude behind the unpredictability of human relationships.

Final thoughts

A toxic boss depends mainly on fear. This is the tool that a toxic boss uses to ensure that his employees adhere to business goals. Although this model works in the short term, it will lead to a stagnating organization in the long term. In addition, employees will feel frustrated and ready to leave as soon as the opportunity arises. A toxic boss is harmful to the organization as a whole.

Toxic bosses are in abundance in times of crisis. They know that they can cross the border and that most of their employees will not say anything about it because they are afraid of losing their jobs. Nevertheless, all employees must know their rights and be aware that they can say something in a respectful way if they feel that they are being treated unfairly.

In my next article I will inform you how to deal with a toxic boss, which you can access by clicking here.

Is Coaching Leadership the Future?


There is leadership and then there is leadership. And what do you think about this one: you are no longer just in control, but more like coaching your employees in their development in order to achieve the desired results. That is the essence of a new phenomenon called coaching leadership, which is on the rise. Recent studies conclude that a majority of companies provide some form of coaching for their employees, it appears.  And you know what, you can also learn it, or better yet, you should. If you read on I will explain coaching leadership and what it takes to master this capability. Coaching leadership is the future or not?

Let’s start with the definition of coaching

You can distinguish 4 ways to teach a person something: framing (telling something), training (knowledge transfer), mentoring (sharing experiences) and coaching. By making that distinction, you can already see what coaching is not. Coaching is the process whereby someone acts as a guide who challenges another person to realise his potential. You help him set free the good things in himself. As good business management is to use people (and resources) efficiently, coaching is meant to induce an individual to make the best of what he has to offer. From this it follows that the coach must be convinced that a potential not yet realised asset is present, and that the other person must be open to coaching. The latter condition is not always fulfilled. 

Coaching is not a therapy. As a coach, if you really look for it, you can often get close to the inner core of the coachee. As long as it is clear that there is sufficient self-regulating potential, you can continue with coaching. If this self-regulating factor is lacking, the person may need a therapist and the coach should step down. 

What types of coaching are there?

Whoever wants to, can endlessly invent many types. On Google Wikipedia they have defined some 15 of them. For the purpose of this article on the work floor it will be on coaching on behaviour and skills, on performance, on personal development or executive coaching. The first two – behaviour/skills and performance – are often entrusted to internal coaches. Development coaching is rather for external supervisors, because often issues arise which people do not like. As to executive coaching, top people involved in strategy and long term policies have additional reasons for external coaching; these reasons have to do with confidentiality, hierarchy and the professionalism of the coach. 

What is a coaching leader?

Simply said, a coaching leader leads, without playing the boss as many managers take the course to become just that. Why do they want it? Because the old-fashioned way of management, in which the director or manager mainly plans, coordinates and controls, no longer fits into a world that is changing rapidly. As a leader you can not keep up with that pace on your own, so your employees also have to keep on developing themselves to be able to respond to change independently.

Moreover, talent does not like to be guided in the old-fashioned way. If it is only about KPI’s and not about their own development within the projects for which they are responsible, employees are gone. That is why it is so important that you as a coaching leader pay attention to all employees: not only attention for those who do less well, but also – or perhaps precisely – for the good performers. Then the chances are much better that you keep talent on board.

And included as a bonus: as a coaching leader your work will be a lot more fun. The responsibility for planning, coordinating and monitoring lies with your employees and you experience much more involvement with the organisation and your people.

What does it take?

The principal competence of a coach is interest for the other person, for the coachee who is facing him. The other indispensable competence is relational skills. Successful coaching has to do with the quality of the contact. Good coaching gives hope, gives enthusiasm to go to the fullest. Sometimes this means that you help the coachee to find the courage to step out of his or hers comfort zone. 

I realise that above mentioned two principle competences in a coach will not be available in every leader or manager, in fact quite a number of supervisors will simply not be geared to that. And if it is a personal thing, it will not be easy to learn as well.

How to become one

But what do you have to learn to become a coaching leader? Of course there are books and videos about this subject, but you can only become a coaching leader by practising. Okay, you no longer only look at KPI’s, but how do you motivate that employee to achieve a result? And if that does not work: why is that? Is it lacking an employee with a certain skill, or was he or she not motivated to perform the task? If you want to become good at this, you have to practice with different situations. And realise that it needs those two competences described above as a necessary basis.

Many leaders are used to managing on output. They only look at results and conduct a progress interview at set times. These are the so-called deadly performance appraisals, which you can read about here. As a coaching leader you do not have these conversations by appointment, but you continuously look at the competencies of the employee and how he or she applies them. You also ask whether he or she can still use support. Occasionally you watch. You do not take work into your hands, but coach the employee in his or her work. 

Certification is necessary but not enough

Something like that only works when it clicks between coach and coachee. So it is clear that a certificate alone is not a condition for good coaching and no guarantee. But there should be a decent education, with possibly corresponding certification. It separates the wheat from the chaff, and gives organisations the assurance that the coach has been given a quality development path. But it is not a constraint for a successful coaching process. Studies show that there are as many successful coachings by coaches who have not followed specific training, then by coaches who do have a diploma or certificate. More often than one would think, people mask their deep thoughts and intentions, and yet you have to see that as a coach; you have to ask deeper questions after the predictable top-of-mind answers. You can learn those methods. But those questions will only be answered if the relationship between coach and coachee is good. 

Final thoughts

The usefulness of coaching in a business environment is no longer under discussion and an accepted fact. Thus that phase is behind us and organisations that are not applying it today will probably never take the step, which is a pity for their employees. 

But the emergence of the phenomenon has a downside. They see coaching becoming more and more a kind of container concept for everything that is interaction between people. While coaching does require a solid education and knowledge, it also needs some inherent characteristics as we have seen.

I personally wish that during my 37 year career in companies, I had encountered more of the coaching type of leaders and managers as mentioned above. I hope that many of you will meet with them. However, not every company will apply these principles in which case employees invariably suffer.

Want to escape your non-coaching manager? Want to become your own boss? Want to work from home? Become an affiliate marketer like I did some time ago. You want to read how? Please click here to read about the scam free program that made all of this possible.

If you have any questions, please fill out the comment box and I will come back to you within 24 hours.




Why Disruptive Innovation is heavily Overrated


You may or may not have heard about it. Disruptive innovation is a phrase used by some entrepreneurs whenever it fits the bill, and is often associated with tech start-ups that topple bigger companies. Yet the man who invented the theory of disruptive innovation, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, says the term is “widely misunderstood” and commonly applied to businesses that are not “genuinely disruptive”.

Right here I will try to shed some light on what to expect from disruptive innovation, by explaining what it is and what it is not. And if you truly do not like all this fuss in your working environment, I will give you a perfect solution at the end.

What is disruptive innovation?

The theory goes that a smaller company with fewer resources can unseat an established, successful business by targeting segments of the market that have been neglected by the already existing entity, typically because it is focusing on more profitable areas.

As the larger business concentrates on improving products and services for its most demanding customers, the small company is gaining a foothold at the bottom end of the market, or tapping a new market the incumbent had failed to notice.

This type of start-up usually enters the market with new or innovative technologies that it uses to deliver products or services better suited to the incumbent’s overlooked customers – at a lower price. Then it moves steadily upmarket until it is delivering the performance that the established business’s mainstream customers expect, while keeping intact the advantages that drove its early success. This could then slowly disrupt the big player’s market.

Perfect example

One of the best examples is Kodak, which only stubbornly adhered to old-fashioned film rolls. And then came the area of the digital camera and that blew out the fairy tale, especially if you know that Kodak owned this digital technology itself, but left it for too long to adapt.

And so a story was created based on fear: Do not let Kodak happen to you. ‘There are all kinds of small start-ups at the gate of your company to rattle your cage. This led to people thinking you will have to disrupt your own company, because otherwise someone else will do it for you.’ Let us look at another, entirely different example.

Joe’s case

Believe it or not, Joe was ordered to attend a seminar on this very subject of ‘disruptive innovation’. Once there, he got to hear a rather frightening story that the world as we know it would never be the same again. What was hammered in his head was that we no longer live in a change of era, but in an era of change. In other words, disrupt or be disrupted. He returned rather impressed, to say the least. But should Joe and his boss really worry so much?

Is change necessary?

Although the story of Kodak is from 1997, it is still extremely popular. Thus says a company director echoing many others: Disrupt or die. If some employees say, “We’ve been doing it this way for years,” you’d have to do things differently by definition. Even trend explorers like it.” If computer guys enter your market then they will disrupt everything ‘.

And so people like Joe, working as a buyer at a retail business, get to hear that everything could go wrong. Whether you work in education, a supermarket or sell tickets at the funfair: just start disrupting your business, otherwise the end of time will approach. I personally do not like fear mongering.

More examples

Take Uber: a company that is often referred to as an alarm for disruptive innovation because of its huge impact on the taxi-cab industry. However, according to Christensen the ride-hailing app isn’t an example of true disruptive innovationDisruption happens when the incumbent’s mainstream customers start taking up the start-up’s products or services in volume. Think Blockbuster and Netflix.

These upheavals occur, according to Christensen, not because established companies do not innovate (they do), but because they’re focusing on making good products better for their existing customers. (This is called “sustaining innovation” and it is different from disruptive innovation). “These improvements can be progressive advances or major breakthroughs, but they all enable firms to sell more products to their most profitable customers,” Christensen et al write.

Meanwhile, disruptive companies are exploiting technologies to deliver new or existing products in radically different ways. (Netflix moved away from its old business model of posting rental DVDs to customers to streaming on-demand video.) Their offerings are initially inferior to the currents’, and, despite the lower price, customers are usually not prepared to switch until the quality improves. When this happens, lots of people start using the product or service, and market prices are driven down.

Some critical remarks

However, there are people who question this theory. First of all, Christensen’s research is of a doubtful level. The good man has chosen 77 companies in a disorderly fashion suiting his theory, something that you certainly cannot call representative. And when other scientists started researching, only 9 percent of his examples met his own definition. Companies that would die of disruption according to Christensen turned out to be alive and well. Or there was simply bad management.

For the record: of course ‘disruptive innovation’ occurs, like what Kodak. Whatsapp has overthrown the SMS earnings model. Thanks to Netflix, the video store has disappeared from the streets. And there will always be new innovations that will disrupt existing businesses.

How can companies survive disruption?

Google is developing self-driving cars, Amazon is experimenting with drones to deliver shopping articles, and there’s a chance that in future we could 3D print medications in our own home. With these potentially disruptive innovations on the horizon, how should existing companies respond?

While the catchword “disrupt or be disrupted” may strike fear into the heart of many a large firm, true disruptive innovation is surprisingly rare. Companies need to react to disruption, but they should not overreact, say Christensen, Raynor and McDonald, for example, by dismantling a still-profitable business. The answer is instead to bolster relationships with key customers by investing in “sustaining innovations”.

In addition, companies can create a new division tasked with going after the growth opportunities resulting from disruption. “Our research suggests that the success of this new enterprise depends in large part on keeping it separate from the core business. That means that for some time, present companies will find themselves managing two very different operations,” they write.

“Of course, as the disruptive stand-alone business grows, it may eventually steal customers from the core. But corporate leaders should not try to solve this problem before it is a problem.”


The image that disruption is the order of the day in all sectors is grossly exaggerated. The share of large companies as a percentage of GNP has been increasing for years. For now, start-ups are only doing well according to some media. In practice, it appears that only a very few disruptive companies per year can make a piss-up in a brewery. And if they threaten to do so, a larger company usually buys them. To say that an army of disruptive innovators is ready to overthrow your business is like saying to the USA that they need to prepare for an invasion of Andorra.

So Joe and his boss should not be too worried and stories about disruption are easy to disrupt in practice. Joe has therefore already advised his boss that the strategy ‘keep doing what you are good at’ makes a lot more sense than ‘go at your business like crazy’. But what if his boss does not agree, which is altogether possible?

Then Joe has two options: he takes another job or starts for himself. In option number 1 he could encounter another annoying boss, but in option number two he would be his own boss! So here it is.

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If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask through the comment boxes at the bottom. I will reply within 24 hours, as I am online every day.