Your boss is unpleasant. You don’t like working for him/her anymore but you like your job and don’t want to give it up. What do you do?

Could you initiate building a better relationship with your boss and help him change his unpleasant ways?

Graham W Price, from Body Mind Training, is a chartered psychologist and expert in Acceptance Action Training. He believes it’s possible and first we need to recognise that our boss is doing the best he can right now, given his awareness. Everyone is. His awareness may be ‘unproductive’, but he’s still being the best he knows how to be given that awareness.

The next step is to recognise that there’s always an explanation for any unproductive aspects of our awareness. Our awareness at any moment is simply the product of our life history up to that moment.

This means that if you want to change your relationship with your boss, and even change his unpleasant ways, you’ll need to do something to change his awareness.

We all want to be liked and respected, and when those needs aren’t met, we react in a variety of ways. Some people withdraw and become the victim. Others become aggressive. If your boss is the aggressive type, then it’s the only way he knows how to be.

Rather than acquiescing or fighting back when he is aggressive there is another way to respond. Try to meet his needs to be liked and respected.

Here are Graham’s tips to help us do this:

• Give him praise and thanks where it’s due

• Make it clear that you want to support him in meeting his goals

• Be friendly and courteous. Ask him how his weekend was

• Invite him to join you and your colleagues for a drink after work

• Drop a hint that you’d appreciate the opportunity of a team building event … to get along better with your colleagues of course

• Avoid criticising him. If you have to give him feedback, do it with an ‘I statement’. An ‘I statement’ says in effect “I get upset when you do that. I’m not blaming you but I’d appreciate your help to resolve my problem”

These steps can make a positive difference – they aren’t quick – but they do work – and have worked for hundreds of Graham’s clients.

If they don’t then you could always resort to buying him a one-way ticket to Timbuktu!

About Graham W Price
Graham W Price is a chartered psychologist, specialising in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance-Action Therapy (AAT). His company, Body Mind Training, offers full guaranteed seminars on Acceptance-Action Training including weight loss, stress management, and smoking cessation. See ‘What Is, Is! The Power of Positive Acceptance’, by Graham W Price, see:

About Chantal Cooke
Chantal Cooke is an award winning journalist and founder of PASSION for the PLANET radio. You can access 100s of podcasts and articles at

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