Nancy was shaking and furious.

“I’m quitting – My boss is terrible”. Nancy, a client, was in tears over how her boss treated her.

This is how having Emotional Intelligence helped her.

Nancy is in her 30’s and has been at this new job for almost a year working from home and going into the office every so often. She came back from a long lunch and found an angry email from her boss because he couldn’t reach her. This was one in a long list of complaints she had that was evidence of how her boss treated her unfair. There were weekend emergencies or late-night calls. Note – she was working for a startup company and there were only 2 other employees and 2 others had already quit.

She was stressed to the max “I’m afraid to even look at my e-mail”. The anger and pressure consumed her and caused headaches and stomach pain. Even worse, she had a medical procedure scheduled for next week and her boss did not want to give her time off. The 2 other employees had already requested time off and the office was shorthanded. Did she really need to go – “couldn’t you postpone it?” For her boss, the priority was customer service and a successful business.

In Nancy’s mind her boss “was an asshole” and a terrible person with impossible demands.
I know she expected me to agree with her, crucify her boss and make her feel better. Instead, I said it’s not your boss, it’s you. I’ve worked with Nancy for a while and she trusts me to coach her – not be her friend.
This is what I told her. Whether you quit or not is up to you, but you need to learn how to empower yourself by setting boundaries. Yes, this is a boundary issue! Boundaries are a cornerstone of Emotional Intelligence.

Have you clearly defined your work hours, availability and responsibilities?

She was not the victim of a terrible boss but needed a crash course in Emotional Intelligence. That means making her responsibilities and expectations crystal clear. She also needed to see the situation from her boss’s perspective, so she had more insight into the situation.

Her boss was not a good leader and really needed Emotional Intelligence or the business was absolutely going to fail. But, this was about Nancy and not her boss.

If you were Nancy (or her boss), what would you do in this situation? comment below and let me know.

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