WHAT IF DONALD TRUMP WAS YOUR BOSS ?
Donald Trump is a billionaire, businessman and TV personality. Most recently has become a candidate for the Republican nomination for the President of the United States of America. His views on immigration, the U.S. economy and on the Muslim population, has catapulted him into all our lives. He is regularly on our TV screens, in our newspapers and on the radio. Love him, or hate him, it's difficult to get away from him these days.
You may never meet him, let alone work with him. But it's a fair bet you know someone, a man or a woman, with similar characteristics where you work. If this person is your boss, or close colleague, you may often wonder – how do I handle someone like this?
The first thing to point out is – it isn’t all bad! Everyone has his or her strengths as well as limitations. With someone who has such a forceful character, this is often overlooked. Without a doubt DJT is:
There’s no doubt that DJT is able to make a decision, in fact he thrives on it. You don’t get to be where he is without this ability.
You’ll always know where you stand with him; there’s no bitching, backbiting or tittle-tattling with him. If he likes you you’ll know and if he doesn’t, he’ll tell you. That’s refreshing.
He can hold an audience in the palm of his hand. He can entertain and tell stories.
He knows what he’s about and what he wants to achieve. That can be very comforting to people who need a leader – and some of us do.
The downside comes because DJT is an extreme version of himself and as a result, all these positive characteristics are overplayed and become overwhelming to many people. So, over played decisiveness becomes impulsive, rash, irrational and overbearing. Straight–talking becomes overbearing, rude, disrespectful and boorish. Charismatic becomes a personality tsunami that allows little room for people who are deep thinkers or those who make their point in a balanced and rational way. And finally, confidence becomes arrogance, dogma and conceit.
If you recognise these characteristics in a colleague, there are some simple tactics that could make a difference:
Don't take what he or she says personally. Their intention is usually to get their point across, not to scar. Listen to WHAT is said, not HOW it is said.
Get straight to the point and don’t beat around the bush. Don’t use 30 words if 5 will do. Remember, they do have a beating heart, so be honest, not nasty.
Give them headlines and let him or her get to the detail in his way. They have a brain and if the headlines grab them, they will want to get into the detail. Detail first will bore then to tears and you’ll never get your point across.
Don’t take them on in public. The potential for a battle is just too tempting and if there is a chance that they’ll lose, they’ll just battle harder and dirtier.
Choose your timing. Trying to have a conversation about something that’s important to you when it’s not high on their agenda is futile. Either wait, or position the subject so that it is important to them.
Be confident. It’s easy to become overwhelmed in the face of such a personality. If you allow this to happen the only person who will lose out is you. If confidence is the issue, sadly the solution doesn’t lie with them, but with you.
If they joke with you or make fun of you in a light-hearted way, it’s a sure sign that they actually like you, so joke back.
The big questions are – how aware is DJT of the negative impact he can have on some people and does he care? If his self-awareness is low and he is getting the results he desires, it is highly unlikely that much will shake him from the version of himself that he has chosen to play. In fact there is conjecture in the press that he may suffer from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which would suggest that only years of therapy and a few well-selected medications would make a difference.
Fortunately, it is unlikely that your colleague will be such an extreme personality, so the same questions apply – do they know and do they care? When the time is right, giving honest and open feedback based on an intention to further the relationship, not to metaphorically punch him or her in the face, will certainly help. If no one has shared this information with them before, how could they possibly be expected to be different in any way?
As for Mr Trump, well, even if he fails in his attempt to rule the western world, he can retreat to his golden palace on 5th Avenue in New York and continue to run his empire in his own way and he'd be back on our TV screens in some form very soon afterwards.
One thing's for sure, if Donald Trump was your boss...... you wouldn’t be working in a hairdressers!