Last week we brought you an article on 11 Ways to Tell Your Boss Doesn’t Respect You. If you’ve read that and can relate, you’re probably wondering what to do now. Fret not, here we bring you our 11 Ways to Deal with Difficult Bosses. Don’t ask us why it’s always 11. It just is.
Try to Understand Them
Firstly, try to stop hating on your boss for a couple of minutes and consider the situation from their point of view. Perhaps they’re super stressed, have been promoted too quickly or have troubles at home. Thinking of your boss as a real person will help you sympathize with them and therefore better understand their needs and motivations.
Don’t Take it Personally if it’s Not Personal
Is it just you who’s getting badly treated or is it everyone? If it’s just you, then your boss either has a problem with you personally orwith your work. Try to figure out which. If it’s not just you, it’s your boss’s problem, not yours. Don’t take it personally.
Don’t Let it Affect Your Work
If you have a bad boss or feel disrespected at work, it’s very tempting to slack off out of spite. This will only reflect badly on you professionally and give your boss more ammunition against you. Take it on the chin and continue to perform to the best of your ability.
Don’t Whine to Your Colleagues
Complain to your friends, family and significant others all your want - it’s certainly a good way to de-stress after work. In the office, however, stay upbeat and positive and never complain about your boss to your colleagues. Negativity is toxic to a work environment and you never know exactly where your colleagues' alliances lie.
Taking responsibility and initiative at work will empower and energize you, expelling the negativity you feel towards your boss. If you feel you’re making a difference to the company as a whole, how your immediate boss treats you will matter less. If you portray leadership qualities your peers will also naturally follow you, giving you a stronger position in the workplace.
Don’t Accept Bullying
If your boss is a bully, the worst thing you can do is respond by getting angry or cowering. If you know you’ve done your best, keep your head high and avoid emotional responses, even if your boss is yelling. Ask your boss questions about the issue in a measured tone to diffuse the situation. Apologize if you’ve genuinely made a mistake but don’t let yourself be a victim.
Help Your Colleagues
If you feel you’ve got a bad boss, chances are everyone else in the office will feel the same. Support your workmates by helping them manage stressful situations and sticking up for them (in a measured way) when they’re being unfairly targeted. Having solidarity with your colleagues will improve your sense of worth and make you stronger as a unit.
Look After Yourself
Dealing with a stressful work environment becomes all the more difficult if you’re not strong in body and mind. In any role it’s important to have a good work-life balance if you want to perform at your best and respond well to less-than-ideal situations. Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat well.
Know When to Split
If you’ve tried everything you can but your boss is still making your life a misery, it’s time to split and look for a new job. Work takes up a huge part of our lives, and life is too short to be unhappy.
If you do decide to leave your job because of a bad boss, be sure to speak up about it. Some managers will have no idea there actions are affecting employees’ happiness, while other will have had multiple complaints about them in the past. If possible, just tell HR about your grievances and leave on the best terms possible with your boss. If your company doesn’t have an HR department, be brave and tell your boss yourself. You’ll need to be tactful though and avoid confronting him/her on an overly personal level. Present your feelings as more of a clash of styles/personalities and give specific examples rather than pointing out character flaws. Whenever possible, depart with “no hard feelings”and best wishes for the future.
Avoid Future Bad Bosses
Now you’ve finally got that behind you, steer clear of future bad bosses. Look out for telling traits during the interview process, such as your potential boss showing little interest in you as a person or what you have to say, and overly aggressive questioning. Whenever possible grab a coffee with another staffer before taking a job and discretely glean their opinions on company management and work culture.
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