How to talk to an intimidating boss
He said, “everyone is better than others at something and because of that we must be humble enough to realize that when we are in front of someone else, and for that reason, everyone deserves our respect and appreciation.” And, it really doesn’t matter what that is, or even if it’s important to us.Just being humble enough to know that that’s the truth leads to mutual respect. You know much more about your role than your bosses, this makes you a peer of them.First and foremost, I suggest starting by looking within. Think back to the people who have intimidated you in the past. When I think back, I can definitely spot a pattern to the type of people I felt intimidated by: people with some perceived “power” (confidence, assertiveness, popularity, etc.).
Following my presentation, which I thought I did pretty well considering my extreme nervousness, our principal owner said, “Well, Skip, that’s a great idea, but, we don’t do it that way in Nashville (the home office and city that launched this group’s first baseball team).” That statement meant I wouldn’t be doing it in my city, either. I felt judged and demeaned in front of my bosses and peers.
It reinforced my low self-esteem and self-worth that I couldn’t be as smart as those above me.
Later that night, at dinner, all the other general managers told me they thought it was a great idea and I should do it anyway.
An incident after my first season as vice president/general manager of my first baseball team almost took me down even further.
During my first season I came up with an idea to increase advertising revenue in our nightly game scorecard for the next season.