Here are a few ways to quell the anxiety that surrounds dealing with your boss:
Initiate contact: Find ways to interact with the person in charge. This takes effort and might be uncomfortable, but it's worth it. The higher-ups are not always accessible, but it's up to you to find creative and professional ways to seek them out.
Be prepared: When speaking with your boss you want to make sure you've thought things through from every possible angle. This could require practicing (as silly as it sounds, it works!) and envisioning the different paths a conversation could take.
Humanize: Your boss is just like you--just with a bigger office and fatter check. Don't lose sight of that. He or she could be simply having a bad day or issues of their own. So, do not take their actions personally.
Disagree: Pick and choose your moments and know your audience. Keep in mind that good bosses do not want to be surrounded by "yes" people. Disagreeing on a small issue could help you prepare for a potentially larger one down the road.
Forgive yourself: Don't judge yourself too harshly if you stumble over a word or make a mistake. Instead, take measures to ensure success the next time around.
Cognitive therapy: If you fall into the trap of thinking you know what is running through your boss's mind, and your assumptions are negative by default, you could benefit from cognitive therapy.
Now it's your turn! What advice do you have for your fellow workers on coping with bossophobia?
Don't forget to keep your enemies close and your boss even closer.
After holding down various media jobs, including stops at MTV Networks and Fox News, Andrew G.R. was completely discouraged—not only about his own career but also about the lack of job resources that truly spoke to him. Enter Jobacle, the employment blog and podcast designed to Make Work Better.