An intimidating boss
Are you struggling to understand how your working relationship is mutually-beneficial?You may be sensing that this person doesn’t need you as much as you need them, which puts this person in a perceived position of strength.Do they behave in a way that leaves you puzzled and not knowing what to do next? You probably don’t see them behaving meekly, rather, you see their fight response, shrouded as intimidation or aggression.Is it because you don’t have a strong sense of the value you add to this person?Of course, one can lead to the other – cause and effect. It’s really important to understand the difference in order to deal with it.One tactic is to come right out with it – tell this person you feel intimidated and why.It is possible that this person has not deliberately set out to intimidate you, and does not sense that this is happening.A possible outcome is that this person will moderate their behavior to be less intimidating, and not just to you.
You may feel intimidated if the person’s reputation precedes them.They might not be overtly aggressive, but their behavior causes you to feel small and unimportant. This person may be sensing weakness in you and see you as intimidated, and this could be as much of a problem for them as it is for you.If so, one of you must step forward to making this happen. Some people deliberately set out to intimidate others.By working more with this person, you will learn about their default behaviors, and they will about you.
In my experience, intimidating people become less intimidating the more we understand them and build a strong relationship with them. You’re quiet and don’t speak up to avoid being attacked. This person might even be a subordinate – somebody who works for you (believe me, this happens more than you might think.) You probably sense a lack of ‘parity’– that you don’t have the right to engage with this person at the same level.