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3 Ways To Set Work-Life Boundaries With Your Overbearing Boss

Source | FastCompany : By AMANDA WEST

No one wants to disappoint his or her boss. Even if you’re not always in agreement with your manager, if you respect him and generally want to do good work, you probably want to avoid doing anything that’ll make him unhappy with you. But what if this person has such high expectations that you think there’s no way you can live up to them? What happens if you start to feel like his growing expectations are setting you up for failure?

It’s important to note that there’s a fine line between a supervisor with high expectations who challenges you to do your best work and a boss with unrealistic expectations. The trick is to know which one you’re dealing with before taking action.

There are a few ways to spot the differences. A boss with high but manageable expectations often has a record of successful employees that have advanced in their careers and moved into leadership roles. A manager with unrealistic expectations often has high turnover rates within his department and doesn’t do a good job of preparing his employees for advancement opportunities.

Whether your boss expects you to work with total disregard for work-life balance or expects high-quality work delivered in an unrealistic timeframe, these pressures can cause a lot of stress and will eventually (or not so eventually) lead you to look for a new job.

Once you’ve determined that your manager’s expectations are truly unrealistic, you can take action—without putting your job on the line. The key is to “train” your boss to lower his expectations to a reasonable, sane level.

Your goal is to try and actually change your boss’s bad behavior. It’s all about setting boundaries and being confident, firm, and consistent in your approach.

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