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Boss Bully: If Your Senior is Targeting You

"I have been working diligently and I have been supporting him completely, but he is targeting me"

How many times we must have heard from our colleagues? A common story of a Boss Bully victim, simply saying when your senior is targeting you.

Corporate culture is full of competition. While talented employees stand out, mediocre employees always struggle. Even though their performance is ordinary, their interest in gaining more salary or a promotion never dies. As time passes, we get more frustrated and lend our brains in finding alternative ways – sometimes, very wrong ways too.

So, in this process, employees may be targeting others, who come in their ways and highlight flaws in their work. When one person starts targeting other team members, it is difficult for others to handle the situation.

Even though you feel that another person is targeting you, you need to be very sure whether he is really targeting you. Many times, our own shortcomings make us feel that others are targeting us. There could be two cases:

a) If someone is not targeting you, then complaining about it backfires at you because of your misconception.

b) If the other person is actually targeting you, he is not going to admit it and there is no use of complaint.

In both cases, complaining about him will not work. And a crunched timeline will only be an add-on to your negative perspective, wherein the targeting person might be under pressure to complete the work. You also need to check on your emotions at the time as you might be extra sensitive due to the preconceived notion of yours towards the person. So, taking all perspectives in mind,

  • The foremost step is to identify and understand the problems associated with the situation

  • Differentiate the shortcomings of yourself and also the other person

  • Try to have a discussion with the other person and clarify the problem. If the problem persists, look out for help – it could be a senior or an HR

  • Express your feelings with your HR, so that they can minimize the impact of it. Further, explain to them how it is impacting you and how you have been thinking objectively about the problem. Ask them for a solution and make sure a meeting is held involving all the parties.

  • Bring out the points related to your shortcomings, and the impact on it. Also, highlight the other person’s shortcomings and changes you are expecting from him.

  • Let the HR come up with an independent perspective and look for a resolution.

  • Overall, talk about the problem and the expected outcome. Decide what are the changes required from both sides.

A discussion based on factual and quantitative factors will help in clearing the air. Any misunderstandings are avoided through this approach. But yes, it the senior/HR’s responsibility to make sure the other person is not targeting further if it is so; especially if the issue is between a manager and his subordinate.

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