What’s the secret to dealing with an insecure or belligerent boss?


Show gratitude.

Via Science Daily:

According to the study, “high-power participants whose competence was threatened denigrated their subordinates. Importantly, this pattern disappeared when the subordinate expressed gratitude. Among low-power participants, there were no main effects of competence and gratitude expression, nor was there an interaction between competence and gratitude expression.”


Fast, whose previous work has explored how power, feelings of competence and aggression are related, further explained: “When people have power they feel the need to meet demanding role expectations, and when they don’t feel competent they lash out with aggression toward others. To assuage this effect, we found that affirming the ego of the power holder ameliorated the aggression.”

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