Mastering demanding Bosses: keys to success

Mastering demanding Bosses keys to success

Mastering demanding Bosses: keys to success

Table of Contents


Are you grappling with the challenges of working under a demanding boss who often sets ambitious and sometimes unrealistic goals? As a middle manager, you might find yourself in the tricky position of having to bridge the gap between your boss’s expectations and your team’s capabilities known as the sandwich position. In this article, we’ll explore effective ways to handle such situations and navigate the delicate balance between leadership and diplomacy.

Effective Goal Setting

Before delving into dealing with demanding bosses, it’s crucial to understand the importance of goal setting and agreement. Setting goals is not the same as agreeing on them, and some managers often confuse the two.

Setting a goal unilaterally, like saying, “This is your goal, and you have to accept it,” lacks employee commitment. To foster a more engaged and solution-oriented team, it’s essential to agree on goals collaboratively. This involves open dialogue, discussion, and convincing your employees of the goals’ value.

Goals that employees actively set for themselves hold more meaning and drive, making them more likely to achieve success.

Listening to Employee Ideas

A valuable tip for bosses is to actively listen to their employees’ ideas and suggestions. You might be pleasantly surprised by the ambitious goals motivated employees set for themselves when given the chance to participate in the goal-setting process.

Dealing with Demanding Bosses

Now, let’s address the challenge of dealing with a demanding boss who imposes goals on you and your team. If you genuinely believe in the achievability of these goals, it’s vital to gain your team’s buy-in.

However, if you doubt the feasibility of your boss’s goals, it’s time for a candid conversation. Approach your boss to understand the underlying reasons for these demanding goals and propose an alternative solution.

Rather than outright rejecting a challenging goal, offer a counter-proposal. For example, if your boss insists on a tight project deadline, explain the resource limitations and suggest a more realistic timeline. Collaborative problem-solving can lead to better outcomes.

Navigating Unrealistic Goals

In some cases, bosses set goals that appear impossible to achieve due to different perspectives on resources and constraints. Instead of flatly refusing, approach this situation by providing a well-reasoned counter-suggestion.

For instance, if your boss expects a 4% increase in efficiency for an already highly efficient process, express your concerns about the physical limitations. Propose alternatives or additional resources that might make the goal attainable.

Facing Impossible Goals

When your boss demands the seemingly impossible, you can’t simply accept these goals and pass them on to your team. Doing so would erode your team’s trust and make you accountable for unattainable objectives.

In such cases, you must address the issue promptly and firmly with your boss. Kindly but directly express that the goal is unattainable, providing logical reasoning.

Furthermore, offer a counter-suggestion outlining a more realistic approach. Maintain your stance and consistency, even if your boss doesn’t initially appreciate it. It might have short-term repercussions, but failing to meet an impossible goal will have more severe consequences in the long run.


In summary, when dealing with demanding bosses and their challenging goals:

  1. Clearly communicate when a goal is unfeasible, without hesitation.

  2. Propose alternative solutions and realistic goals.

  3. Remain resolute and consistent in your stance, even if it risks displeasing your boss.

Handling demanding bosses requires a mix of diplomacy, assertiveness, and problem-solving skills. Ultimately, it’s about finding a balance that leads to achievable goals and a motivated team.

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Mastering demanding Bosses: keys to success

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