To enhance productivity in your working environment, everyone needs to be motivated and feel comfortable enough to interact with their fellow workmates.
However, in some cases, this is not usually the case. At times you might be in a situation where your employer is making you uncomfortable with their inappropriate advances. These sorts of misplaced admirations from your boss can go a long way in impeding your productivity and destroying your working relationship with the involved party. It is always hard when this behaviour involves your immediate boss because you’ll have to run almost everything by him or her.
Both men and women can fall victims to these advances, though the female workers are the most affected. In some situations, employees have even gone to the extent of quitting because the harassment had gone overboard. And to make matters worst, for fear of exposure, the same employees have received threats from their employers even after quitting their jobs.
Are you a victim of such uncalled for advances? Are you looking for measures that can help you deal with your flirtatious boss and still be able to advance your career? Well, these 5 scenarios will help you understand your situation and aid to you formulate solutions. This is exactly how you are supposed to deal with the situation:
Pay less attention to the advances:
It is never good to misread a situation. Sometimes, maybe the intentions are all good. As a matter of fact flirting to some extent is encouraged at a place provided that everything remains professional. If you are poor at reading signs, you are best advised to ignore the initial signs until you are capable of figuring out their intentions. There are some lead signs that can tell you if exactly your employer has a crush on you:
- They address you differently as compared to your fellow co-workers
- You start enjoying some leeway privileges from your employer
- You spend more time with your boss chitchatting about unrelated office issues
- Talks a lot his personal life and engages you to do the same
- Spoils you with gifts and tells you to keep it on the low
- Invites you for lunch more often than your fellow workmates
After confirming your boss’s intentions, you need to follow the next steps:
Deflect the attention:
As mentioned above, it might be hard to tell the real intentions of your boss especially when the flirting is in its early stages. However, if the advances are making you slightly uncomfortable, try deflecting their attention. The best way for you to do this is to mention your partner in conversation whether you have one or not. Try as much as possible to drop enough hints to try and pass the message out. When this is done consistently, chances are that they’ll end up getting the message. If not, try asking them about their family (if they have one).
Turn down opportunities:
If the advances keep on coming even after ignoring, try as much as possible to reduce on the opportunities for flirtation. To achieve this, you may want to reduce on your alone time with the boss. If you are to have a meeting with your employer, make sure that the timing is appropriate. Avoid having meetings at lunch time or beyond office hours. The meetings can also be restricted to the office as opposed to public or social places.
At times it might be hard to know how best to react. Therefore, you need to formulate an action plan way ahead of schedule. This will get you ready the next time it happens and you’ll know how to react. For example, if your employer makes an inappropriate gesture or advance, look at them blankly and change the subject matter to something professional.
When it comes to dressing, try to dress smartly and in a conservative manner. This will help you underline your professional status and send the employer the right message. At this point you do not want to send them any mixed signals that may suggest otherwise.
Tell it like it is:
The fact that the relationship on the balance here is between you and your boss, means that you need to be very careful. It can get tricky at times because you want to go easy on them so as not to compromise the relationship which is very important. If it seems like dropping hints does not really work, try spelling it out differently.
You need to express your disapproval of the situation without an outright condemnation of their behaviour. Go easy on them and say something like,”Let’s try to keep this professional. I make it a rule to never mix business with pleasure.” After that, take your conversation straight back to business and ask them for professional advice on any of your current projects.
Report the issue:
When the harassment becomes too much to handle, you may consider making a complaint. Remember that it is your boss that you’ll be dealing with and they have a lot of influence so to go against them might require a lot more than just mere words. Keep written records of all the incidences that you think they might have gone overboard and include the time, date, location and if possible include witnesses if any. A record of how you also tried stopping the harassment may also be needed.
The only unfortunate thing that can happen to you is doing nothing about your flirtatious employer. Keeping your mouth shut about it may get you trouble because the advances may impede your productivity and force you to work in an uncomfortable environment.
Author: Julie Petersen is a professional writer, blogger and language tutor with 6 years of experience. She works at Essaymama.com writing service as an editor and a writing expert.