My boss is a superwoman: forty-something, single, thin, tanned, and short-haired. No children, of course. She hits the gym three times a week, she drives a BMW, and she has climbed the corporate ladder to a position where she deserves respect.
You can see on her face she has fought to be an independent woman. She has pursued the dream our society has imposed on her. And in her pursue, she has become completely masculine… and miserable. But don’t be fooled by her masculine traits: she is a hardcore feminist who talks non-stop about how the patriarchy is preventing her and other women from ruling the world, and she is waiting for any excuse to crush your soul and your career.
These are the guidelines I’ve followed for four years now that have let me survive in the corporate world with a high degree of success.
1. OBS (Only Business Stuff)
Don’t try to befriend her. Never compliment her. Never stop by her office just to chat. No joking. No fake smiles. You won’t get any respect acting like that. More likely, you’ll lose it.
2. Understand That Every Interaction With Her Will Be Emotional Instead Of Logical
One time, my boss called me to yell at me. Apparently, I had done something wrong and it was a matter of life and death. I wasn’t at the office and clearly, it wasn’t my fault. The next day, she was really angry, but only because of the way I talked to her over the phone, just because I didn’t kiss her ass. Now, that was the important problem, not the one she had phoned me about.
Dealing with a woman’s emotions is never easy for men. That’s why you should reduce your interactions with her to the minimum. Understand that every discussion with her, especially in stressful situations, is going to get emotional, no matter how logically you behave. Try to keep calm and talk slowly.
3. Never Talk About Her Behind Her Back
Don’t ask your co-workers questions about her. Don’t trash her (she will eventually hear it). Don’t gossip. You have a life and she should be on your mind as little as possible.
4. ACYA (Always Cover Your Ass)
Every interaction with her should be be writing. Your oral interactions with her must be reduced to a minimum. Written words convey fewer emotions and leave a track record that you can always use in your favor, and you can think twice before falling into the trap of saying something you shouldn’t. Write short sentences with short words. Never leave anything up to interpretation.
Also, always be polite. Nothing conveys more authority than a man who can write properly and can state his ideas crystal clear. If you want to be a pro of the written word, read Writing That Works by Roman and Raphaelson. I’ve read it three times.
5. Don’t Be Defensive And Never Play The Victim
If you make a mistake, don’t try to explain yourself. Never blame others. Agree with the error, but don’t make it more important than it is. If she wants to make a big deal out of it, chances are she will do it to show you her authority. Make a simple comment with your best poker face: “everybody makes mistakes.” A man takes responsibility for his actions, while women tend to not to.
But don’t take more than what is yours either. Your boundaries are strong and she will know where they are. Remember that your ACYA record is your ally in these situations.
6. Practice These Body Language Tricks
This is the part I like the most. I can tell you I’ve killed it with these simple tricks.
1. When you have to talk to her, use your best poker face. Don’t over-smile. Just wear your most neutral mask.
2. Never nod your head. If you are going to learn only one thing from this post, it should be this one. Do not nod your head when she is speaking. Furthermore, don’t say “hu-hu” or “hm-hm.” She will use more words than she should. She will over-explain whatever she is saying. This is like magic.
Take good notice of this the next time you use this trick. The psychological reasoning behind this behavior is that you are not looking for rapport. So you are being the authority in the interaction. Make eye contact during the whole conversation (the trick is staring only at one eye) and an external viewer will wonder who is the boss of whom.
7. Make More Money Than Her
How can I make more money than my boss? Well, if you haven’t got the memo, I’ll tell you now: corporate jobs are going away. You need an exit plan. You should work on a second income stream while your full-time job pays the bills. This will give you peace of mind and will prevent you making mistakes out of fear of being fired.
8. Don’t Call Her “Boss”
By not calling her your boss, you are not complying with the subconscious frame of master/slave. Don’t do it in your conversations with her and don’t do it in your conversations with your co-workers. “Nobody-is-my-boss” should be your mindset at any time.
The corporate world has become an anti-male environment. While you’ll be able to manage the situation for some time by following this advice, you shouldn’t forget your final goal: walk free from it.
Read More: Don’t Work For A Female Boss