If you’ve ever had a bad boss, you probably have a litany of sentences tucked away in your memory that stand out as the red flags that made that manager so terrible to work for. But why leave these things tucked away in your brain only to potentially fester and get worse – leading to excess stress and anxiety?
Perhaps a better solution, according to a new study at Johns Hopkins, may lie in “duking it out” with your employer – that is, in a civil manner in a boxing ring. “How many people wouldn’t like to be able to say they slugged their boss… or maybe the other way around in some cases?” asks Dr. Arnold Yanda, neurosurgeon and lead researcher of the study, “Punching without Lawsuits: Get into a Ring.”
“The idea isn’t to ‘go at it’ in the ring indefinitely – rather the intent is to relieve anger, frustration and other pent-up emotions within a given time frame – we’ve found that 3 or 4 rounds usually works best. And of course, several neutral parties (other co-workers) should serve as a timekeeper, bell ringer and referee,” Yanda states. “Certainly, this is a unique, potentially landmark approach that most people will find a bit awkward at first. But rather than make things worse between the boss and employee, we found in our study that in nearly all cases, actual hand-to-hand combat enabled both parties to get along much better with each other afterward than if they had stuck to the usual status quo of saying nothing, or next to nothing about each others ill behavior.”
A control group of 100 employees and managers that were upset at each for various reasons was studied for 60 days. The individual’s names were kept confidential, so they could freely express their anger and frustration in several counseling sessions, without fear of appraisal. A second group of the same number of employees and managers who were likewise angry, was also observed for the same number of days. But this group had the opportunity to step into a boxing ring with each other after the 60 days were up.
“As measured through various physical and psychological indicators, we found that 65% of the control group remained as distraught as they were prior to counseling,” Yanda said. “In other words, the counseling was not very helpful.” Conversely, Yanda said the study found that the group that was allowed to box relieved, on average, 80 to 85% of their stress.
“Certainly, we have more work to do, but we think this study is encouraging, and may go a long way toward addressing the age-old problem of poor employee-boss relationships.”
If you haven’t guessed by now, this is a joke. April Fool’s!