Case Study Discussion Questions
- What other strategies might you employ in dealing with Margret or your own moody boss? Are there any actions or behaviors you should avoid?
There are numerous other strategies to deal with such a moody boss. It is necessary to watch for recurring patterns such as timing and triggers. Timing helps to determine the best moments to approach the boss and avoid getting her in a bad mood. Finding the best time can be challenging as you have to understand whether she is upbeat or with a heavy heart in the morning, lunchtime, or afternoon. However, establishing good communication with the administrative staff close to her would help in identifying the patterns she has and thus time her appropriately (Wong, 2019). It is also essential not to take your boss’s emotionally charged emotions personally. The emotional outbursts are usually originating from a larger issue, and you may not be the cause of the mood swings. Ted had found Margret sobbing in her office, which indicates that her mood outbursts are from another source and not because of him or Seeru. It is necessary to remain calm when the boss becomes moody and screams. Responding in kind may aggravate the situation and could make you angered, and thus, you should excuse yourself as fast as possible (Taylor, 2012). Lastly, there is a need to know when to seek help and move on (O’Hara, 2016). If Margret does not change her moody behavior, she will affect the performance of Seeru and Ted negatively. They need to seek help from the top management for intervention.
- What can Ted and Seeru do to help themselves not catch their boss’s negative emotions and moods and cope with the emotional stress and turmoil working for Margret causes?
Both Ted and Seeru should ensure that they avoid having confrontations with Margret, especially when she is having emotional and mood outbursts. Arguing with the boss when she is angry results in both sides being angry, and the junior side is likely to be affected more negatively (Wilson, 2017). Seeru and Ted would also get angry and would probably get punished for responding rudely to their boss. Also, there is a need to be punctual in delivering work to a moody boss. Failure to do this aggravates her anger and frustrations and could lead to problems at work (Wong, 2019). This is evident when Seeru provides late work and makes Margret very angry. She punishes him by overloading him with more work for a short time while leaving Ted without any task. Lastly, it is crucial to avoid suffering in silence, as this can affect your performance (Taylor, 2012). Seeru and Ted need to talk to the human resource department so that it can take the necessary action on Margret’s moods. This would also help in understanding to root-cause of the mood swings and thus offer her the essential counseling help.
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- Why do you think working for Margret is so emotionally stressful?
Margret is an emotionally unstable boss who is difficult to predict. She is harsh on other employees under her and also appreciate good work, which benefits the company. Failure to please her with your work could result in severe punishment. Due to this, it is emotionally stressful to work for Margret due to the tension created in the office. Research indicates that the productivity of employees is significantly influenced by the ability to predict the behavior and mood of the boss (Taylor, 2012). Experts suggest that it is better to have a poor working relationship with the boss rather than deal with the one who has mood swings (O’Hara, 2016). Seeru and Ted do not have a bad relationship with their boss. Instead, they try to be friendly to her through gifting and complementing so that they can get the services they need. However, due to her mood swings, it is not easy to deal with her, and this may affect them emotionally, and in terms of their productivity. It is difficult to get emotional support from an emotionally unstable and moody boss as she is likely not to understand your condition (Smith, 2013). Margret is expected to be having problems outside her workplace and has carried them to work. Without immediate intervention, Seeru and Ted will eventually be emotionally stressed due to Margret’s mood swings.
- Think about the legal and ethical ramifications of the behavior of bosses like Margret. Organizations in the United States have the legal obligation to provide safe workplaces, including ones that are safe from harassment. What would you do if you were Margaret’s boss or another leader in the organization, and why do you think she was even hired for this position?
I think that Margret was hired for this position due to her competency and performance record, which was impressive. She must have been a good and hardworking employee for the organization before her mood swings began. She was probably not like this before she got in the position. Since her behavior is likely to harm the productivity of others, there are legal and ethical ramifications that can be taken. As her boss or a leader in the organization, I would first seek to understand what is going on with her. There are different reasons why bosses get mood swings. This may include personal issues outside work, immense pressure from the top management, lack of self-confidence with the position, and a move to hide or cover a failure done (Smith, 2013). After understanding what is happening to the boss, then it is necessary to identify the triggers to the outbursts. I would be strategizing on monitoring the activities that cause her to become moody and aggressive towards her employees. These activities can include requests, work deadlines, meetings, and seeking advice (Wilson, 2017). Once the triggers are identified, the next step would be to inform other management team members so that a proper course of action can be taken with immediate effect. One of the measures would be to subject Margret to counseling and training on stress and behavior management at the workplace. Alternatively, she can be stopped from working and be given some time off to solve the issue affecting her. Since she probably was a good employee before, it would be best to try and help her first before dismissing her.
O’Hara, C. (2016). How to deal with a boss who behaves unpredictably. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2016/11/how-to-deal-with-a-boss-who-behaves-unpredictably
Smith, J. (2013). How to Manage a Moody Boss? Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/06/25/how-to-manage-a-moody-boss/?sh=41bfb5e3330a
Taylor, L. (2012). How to manage your boss’s mood swings? Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tame-your-terrible-office-tyrant/201201/how-manage-your-boss-s-mood-swings
Wilson, M. (2017). Mood swings: Managing anger, anxiety and low mood. Nursing Standard, 32(16-19), 34-34. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns.32.16.34.s27
Wong, S. (2019). How to manage your boss (and other people). New Scientist, 241(3212), 40. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0262-4079(19)30075-2