Ever hold a job in an industry that you love? The clients might adore you while you can utilise your creative discretion and you see a real future for your career. However, despite all the positives about the job, there remains one glaring overarching problem. You work with an unpredictable boss.
One day he or she seems pleased with your work, but the next day they exhibit moody or unhappy behaviour in reaction literally to the same outputs you did that pleased them just the day before. He or she may shift opinions unexplainedly or delay crucial decisions. Even salary payments become unreliable. Perhaps you work in such an environment even right now.
Humans crave reliability. We strongly desire the ability to predict salient components of our lives. We want to feel loved and know that the other person will remain with us and continually be there for us.
Inasmuch, humans form long-term bonds with family, friends, and romantic partners. We also yearn for reliability in our source of economic survival.
Unreliability and unpredictability and the worry surrounding whether we will keep our jobs, the source of our familial sustenance, causes the adrenal glands to release surges of adrenaline and cortisol hormones. These famous hormones keep us stressed so we become more alert for danger and new opportunities.
In ancient times when the brain developed into its modern form, sources of sustenance and safety were less easy to come by. A previously reliable stream beginning to dry up that could cut off the clan’s source of fish protein or the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti and the corresponding temporary loss of game meat all would cause significant danger to fundamental survival.
Therefore, the brain developed survival mechanisms that push us into a heightened state of readiness until the food loss danger subsides. The ancient world did not have labour law protections, savings held in a bank, or chamas to bail us out. Life was much more hand-to-mouth and perilous.
In today’s reality, unreliable bosses for the majority of modern workers cause inconvenience and difficulty in planning to achieve our goals, but rarely lead to a crisis for our very survival in a life or death struggle. However, the brain is not wired for modern life.
So, unreliability of our main sustenance source, our job, leads to tremendous and unnecessary worry and stress. Prolonged exposure to stress inducers can lead to a litany of physical changes like higher blood pressure that cause our health to decline.
Researchers X and X detail how workers need reliability from their bosses. Staff require consistency and predictability to function efficiently with quality outcomes.
If workers perceive their manager as unreliable, then they become less willing to speak up and give innovative ideas, less disposed to put in extra energy to give quality results, and will not help each other out in the workplace. Staff focus on their own job survival or finding a new job rather than the organisational performance of their current employer.
Have an unreliable boss? Do not wait for him or her to change. Unreliability often stems from low consciousness in their personality that formed early in childhood. So, look for other departments for an internal transfer or seek a new organisation altogether. Take care of your psychological wellbeing and therefore your physical health.