What do you do when you have a difficult boss? You can't fire them. You can't avoid them and really, there are only so many times you can fight them.... what to do? Quit? Submit? Well, THAT'S not going to help transform public sector governance (or make your experience better).
Dare the coach say "get a coach"???
Hmmm... whatever way you do it (coach/ mentor/advisor/training), here's what to do:
1. Get Help; don't try manage it alone (get help)
2. Identify the NEED you have that is getting impacted. Some examples include:
Respect, acknowledgement, being helpful, control... look for needs you may not be comfortable owning about yourself, not just the 'nice' ones, we've all got them and it's not like you have to actually tell anyone (except your coach/ mentor/ advisor etc).
3. Define a behavioural boundary that correlates with the need that is being stepped over (doesn't have to be a big thing, could be just "talk to me, don't just email me").
4. Communicate (in person) the behaviour you now require of the other person. Be prepared for some push-back as they are used to not having this boundary.
5. Police the boundary. Be prepared for the other person to ‘test’ the boundary multiple times. Policing it gets easier each time.
Warning: Doing the work at work will require doing the same work at home. Be prepared to notice variations of THE SAME boundary-infringing behaviour everywhere (especially kids, partners!). If you’ve started the work, you have to go all the way or better you never started!