Workplace Coping: Peaceful Ways to Work w/ Noisy Boss | #PeopleSkills #Career

Workplace Coping: 5 Peaceful Ways to Work w/ Noisy Boss

Is your leader a very extroverted, noisy, high communicator who speaks in emphatic tones with demonstrative body language. Do you think the boss is yelling and you leaves you feeling overwhelmed?

Workplace Coping

Overwhelmed by Highly Extroverted Noisy Boss? Image by:Miss Millificent

Personality types and diverse social communication styles breed disconnects that impact workplace interaction and productivity.

Quiet types are just as unnerving to high extroverts as high extroverts are to quiet types. Ethnic and cultural differences also play a role in these frustrating moments.

Your Challenge w/ a Noisy Boss:

You often feel trapped into quietly accepting the boss’s behavior yet it unnerves you and decreases your performance.

Of course you can always look for a new job. Alternatively, you could learn how to interact with the boss’s style and feel at peace at the same time.

The Bonus: Being able to work with various personality types is a skill that will propel your career into wonderful unforeseen areas. There will always be diverse people and styles at work. Finding peace among the noise is a worthwhile goal.

Workplace Coping: Dealing w/ a Noisy Boss

First, replace the overwhelmed image you have with one that models the peaceful focused feeling you want. Your behavior will match that.

Workplace Coping: Images is duck on a serene pond.

Peaceful Ways to Work With a Noisy Boss Image by:DanielPeckham

Image by Daniel Peckham via Creative Commons License.

A Story to Illustrate the Differences

The actor Danny Thomas was highly expressive and extroverted. His ethnic background added to that trait. Andy Griffith was on the set as they piloted the character Andy Taylor for the new The Andy Griffith Show. Andy was taken aback with Danny’s yelling. He wondered how he (Andy) would ever run his own show since he wasn’t the yelling type. The producer took Andy aside and said, Danny likes to yell. That’s who he is. If you don’t want a yelling culture when you film your show, just don’t yell.

Workplace Coping: 5 Peaceful Ways to Work with a Noisy Boss

Many quiet types misunderstand high extroverts and people from highly expressive ethnic cultures. They often think the noise signifies anger. Many times it doesn’t. I can be enthusiasm, passion, and their attempt at inspiring others.

If your boss is a noisy yelling type, find peace among the noise with these 5 tips.

  1. When listening to the boss, focus on the words, not the tone. TIP: Picture yourself on the phone in a very noisy place. Conditions are such that you cannot walk away to a quieter place. Instinctively, you put one finger on the other ear to block out the surrounding noise. In essence, do the same thing here without putting your finger in your ear. Block the noise and get the core message.

  2. While listening, give yourself a short vacation from action and decision. Some of the overwhelming feeling comes from thinking you must act and/or react immediately. You don’t unless it’s truly a matter of life and death and in those cases your natural adrenaline will help you. This short vacation from action and decision while listening, will give your brain time and space to see that the noise isn’t anger.

  3. If the noisy boss craves interaction while speaking, use body language to show interest and a few short “OKs”, “hms” etc…. This listening technique still gives you time to breathe and think before responding with substantive answers. Consider asking a question or two along the way to meet the boss’s need for information exchange during the interaction.

  4. Well-Timed Observation Helps!

  5. Observe when the boss is speaking to others. Does this high expressive speak this way to everyone on almost every subject? From a distance you can more easily learn what the behavior really means and how others handle it. Since the boss is not focusing on you at that moment, you can learn without feeling overwhelmed.

  6. When the opportunity arises, let the boss know what your quiet demeanor means. If the boss were to say: “Do you hear me? Are you listening to me?”, resist the temptation to say something snide like “the whole world can hear you.”

    Not only is it risky to say this to the boss, it also shows you as a non-collaborator who is unable to interact with different styles.

    A great response would be: “To every word. I know I’m the quiet type but I cover your back and deliver.”

    This response is respectful, shows your commitment, illustrates your people skills, and reminds the boss of your value.

Workplace Coping: See the Possibilities!

Before you quit your job because a noisy boss overwhelms you, try the tips above. Understanding the stressor and managing it can give you permanent relief and simultaneous success. Who knows, you might even come to like the boss. Wouldn’t that be something!

What other tips will help quiet types find peace among the noise?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Positive Attitudes for Dealing w/ Toxic Leaders
Reduce Conflict: Hear the Urgency Before the Yell

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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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2 Responses to “Workplace Coping: Peaceful Ways to Work w/ Noisy Boss | #PeopleSkills #Career”

  1. I think there’s a difference between being loud (at work and in life) and yelling. The latter is often a mask for insecurities (especially for those in management and leadership roles), at least in my experience. I always associate an intention (and not a positive one) with yelling in the workplace. Being loud (or louder than “the rest of us” can be a cultural characteristic (as noted with Danny Thomas) and without intention. Being loud can also be an unconscious trait.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Good points Greg. There is a great difference between being loud as a personality trait and yelling at someone with derision etc… Many people also associate a negative intention with yelling and yet there are yellers who yell at people about everything and they mean nothing negative about it. Coping with it along the way is important on both sides!

      Thanks for weighing in on this discussion.
      All the best,

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