Do you love your boss?
Because he is approachable, motivating, patient, understanding, lovable, honest, supportive, etc.
Also for the way he behaves, speaks, responds, advices, corrects and for his lifestyle.
Do you hate your boss?
Because he is unapproachable, cynical, pessimistic, suspicious, rude, impatient, indecisive, etc.
Also for the way he behaves, speaks, responds, and reprimands, and for his lifestyle.
You are going to be like your boss. Or you are shortly going to become like your boss.
(Pic. courtsey: petsugar.com)
Whether you love, hate or ignore your boss, one thing is certain. You would have consciously or unconsciously absorbed the personality traits of your boss. The more you are with him, more your personality would get synchronized with that of your boss. The more time you have worked with your boss, more of your boss’s traits pounce on to your personality. This would not necessarily happen contemporaneously. It would continue to emerge in your personality even after you left your boss.
This synchronization will take place not only in the behavioural pattern, but also in the attitudes, vision, reasoning, and emotional attributes.
You will tend to copy the way he speaks, reprimands, praises, advises, even the way he writes!
His words, jargons, tones, and accent would also get ingrained in your own speeches and responses gradually. His favourite quotations, punch lines, illustrations and jokes will become your quotations, punch lines, illustrations and jokes.
You will tend to imitate his sitting posture. You will start responding to the telephones (including the way you say ‘Hello’!), the way your boss used to do.
You will even begin a new habit of taking an afternoon nap, just like your boss!
You will tend to pick up his interests and hobbies. You will tend to try your skills on the golf course, if your boss is a ‘golfaholic’.
Even your food habits might get influenced by the food habits of your boss. But the extent of influence would depend on how closely you have moved with your boss to know about his dietary habits. There is a possibility that you switch on to your boss’ brand of beverages, cigars or food products.
The influence is not only in the behavioural, attitudinal and emotional dimensions, but also in the way a person dresses and grooms. Even when one hates that lose, untucked shirt of his boss, he might make occasional unconscious attempts to dress the same way.
Going too far, I would say, that there is possibility of similarity in physical attributes also. This can be because of the influences on the habits. Therefore, one would not be surprised to see a subordinate transforming from a person with a concave stomach to one with a protruding belly under the influence of a paunchy boss. When emotions, behavior and habits synchronize, there could be a proportionate impact in the physical and physiological realms.
You can’t choose your boss; but…
Then, is it impossible to insulate oneself from the influence of boss? In a way, it is. But with strong will power and discipline, one can train himself to not to get influenced unfavorably.
The boss can be your role model, but only to a limited extent. You need to be wise to follow only those traits of his personality that would make you more efficient, successful, happy, peaceful, and creative. Therefore, there should be deliberate attempts to block the entry of all negative traits. How this can be done?
First and foremost, you need to observe your boss closely. You can evaluate what aspect of his personality is positive, vibrant, productive and exemplary. This can be gauged easily, provided you get enough chances to move closely with him.
Secondly, you get feedback about your boss from others who dealt with him at different levels and situations. Their opinion about the boss and a close examination of the nature of influence of the boss on them would give enough insights about what sets of traits were generally accepted and what sets of traits were generally disapproved. It is said that ‘a person’s reputation travels before him’. Therefore, you can also collect feedback about your boss from his previous team. This would give you enough warning signals so that you would not instantly fall for his attitudinal and behavioural patterns.
Thirdly, you need to draw a line in the interactions. Any tendency to become intimate much more than what is necessary, would not be in the interests of both. Bosses, by and large, are not comfortable with such intrusions.
Fourthly, don’t ever think that your boss is a perfect role model, even if you have become a fan of your boss. You need to understand that apparent perfections can become clear imperfections in different situations and time.
Lastly, you are a real success, when your boss picks up some of your virtues, traits or lifestyles and emulate himself. Thus, the moral of the story is that there is mutuality, reciprocity and exchange in a boss-subordinate relationship. The aim is to absorb what is ‘good’ and block what is ‘bad’ for you.
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