Nothing in life will be as exhausting as working with a procrastinator and the worse will be to work with them if they are your “Boss”. Generally, a procrastinator works only with a deadline. And the deadline comes only when they feel the urgency. And as a boss they the moment they feel the emergency, they will make you spin around to complete the task in no time regardless of the work you look after at the present moment.
Working with a procrastinating boss can be dreadfully stressful. The stress is not just because we will be working unduly in the eleventh hour, it is actually due to the dissatisfaction on self for not delivering a quality output though we have all the potential to complete the task perfectly. And over a period of time, we may lose the self-confidence as people would brand us for low-quality output. As we can never change the personal traits of a person, here are four suggestions which could help you to cope up with the boss-made-stress: –
Develop Empathy: The first and the foremost skill we need to develop while working with a procrastinator both at home and at the office is “Empathy”. Understanding why they do what they do will change our perception towards the individual and the perception will definitely change our actions. Understand that procrastinator always need a push or pull to move ahead and they may also suffer inside due to indecisiveness. I am not very sure on how much this skill will help you solve the issues in hand, but I am sure this skill will help you a lot to reduce your reaction towards the person/situation.
Always work with a plan: Have a predefined schedule of the tasks you work with and keep updating the task progress for example in an Excel sheet. As we will be working with many projects in hand, the procrastinator boss may be asking for the progress of something which we did several months before and it will be really irritating to brush our memory to give an instant update.
Try Persuading: When you know that a project or a task is important and any delay will have a huge impact, try persuading your boss by magnifying the ill effects of not completing the task on time. Have specific data in your hand, it may aid them to take a decision immediately and the thoughts of ill effects may push them towards action.
Build a Relationship: As you have already started building the foundation for your relationship with “Empathy”, it would have created a way to shape up the relationship with your boss. When the boss starts feeling you are trustworthy, he/she may even open up why they procrastinate and you can find out ways to tackle the issue.
Mark is totally frustrated with his appraisal results. Though he knows his boss has ventilated all his hatred through the review process when he approached his boss to consider, the only reply he got was “Its ok Mark, you have an option to appeal”. Now Mark has two options to choose; either just succumb and suffer in silence or raise an appeal with his boss’s boss and experience the consequences.
Not only Mark’s boss, most of the bosses still resolve their personal issues through performance review. From the management side, it is just the “Appeal Process” but if we look at the other side, I would say the dark side, the individual undergoes unwanted mental pressure during the process. The worst thing here is not just being rated as a “Low Performer” but experiencing the following traumas during the appeal process: –
Psychological inflexibility: The person will be either worrying about what has happened or ruminating about the future and in both the cases the person will not be available for the present moment and as a result he/she won’t be serving any valuable ends.
Post-mortem Pain: During the appeal process, the individual has to once again take all records, restore all the evidence which can prove himself/herself as a Performer. Now he/she will get all the evidence to sit and worry. “It’s very difficult to prove someone that you have worked than to actually work”. The pain will be even sharper if the person works in the Service Department because he/she has to objectively display all his/her “Subjective KRAs”.
Suppressed Emotions: Nowadays being professional is all about suppressing all your emotions. People hardly show their true emotions and it is more than impossible to show you are anger to the boss. Mark (in the above example) has actually controlled all his temper when he approached his boss to reconsider and even more when he asked him to give an appeal. A recent study says that the suppressed emotions are more dangerous than cancer. The individual experiences shame (when the news spreads his/her colleagues) anxiety and fear till the end of appeal process.
There are many MNCs like Accenture which has shifted their entire focus from the yearly appraisal process to a continuous feedback & review process. But many others companies in India which copied their system are still holding on to the procedures though they realize the system is neither beneficial to the company nor to the employee.
It May take another twenty years for us to really understand and implement the new way of getting works done from human and I pray Indians enjoy that period before they get replaced by machines.