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We’ve all dealt with bad bosses, haven’t we?
There are a lot of times it seems like there’s no pleasing your boss. Sometimes, it feels like you’re being unjustly targeted. And it often drives an individual to lose all motivation in work and even consider quitting the job altogether.
However, there are ways in which you can handle the most difficult of bosses as well. But first, you must identify which kind of a difficult boss are you dealing with.
There are so many types of bad bosses. There’s the boss who always staunches your voice and opinion with the “my way or the highway” approach. Then there’s the boss who simply delegates all of their own work to you as well, and then gets upset when you can’t juggle a million things at an impossibly short deadline.
There’s also the boss who micromanages every aspect of your work, constantly breathing down your neck, or the one who never offers any advise or help at all, leaving you out to dry.
There is a multitude of horrible bosses out there. But once you know which category they fit into, you can start handling them better and keep your sanity.
Below, I’ve pointed out a couple of techniques to handle these bad bosses.
Understanding your Boss
Once you’ve understood what kind of a boss you’re dealing with, you need to understand their personality and motivations. Oftentimes, things aren’t as they seem. Sure, your boss might scold you for little things. But maybe that’s because they’re scared that the other employees might not take them seriously if they’re not domineering.
The Authoritative Boss
Are they an authoritative boss and risk taker with a flair for drama? They are usually creative and perceptive, but also suspicious of others and poor communicators. You need to make sure you are providing all the little details for this type of boss so there is no miscommunications. Stay patient and show your clever side in combating challenges.
The Narcissistic Boss
Is your boss a true narcissist? Does he/she put themselves on a pedestal above others. Are they un-empathically critical and turn down feedback? With these types of bosses you must communicate frequently and predict problems before they occur. Be positive and use high energy in your dealings and the outcome with be met with an easier time.
The Indecisive Boss
The indecisive boss can be a real frustration. While they might not be the worst boss out there, their flip flopping ways can cause enough stress to through you for a loop weekly. Indecision often stems from fear of making a mistake or looking bad, so try to find ways to help your boss shine.
The Bully Boss
The bully boss is one of the worst. They are rude, disrespectful, and can even be frightening. The best way to handle these bosses is to let them know you appreciate how they have situations under control. This will make that cruel behavior dwindle.
Once you realize what your boss’ real motivations are, you can figure out how to address them.
Keep Working Hard
Even if it appears that your boss doesn’t care for your work, you still need to keep working to the best of your abilities. A lot of people, when faced with criticism, start to sink their standards. You might even think of setting the scales straight by slacking off. Your boss never appreciates your work anyway, so what’s the point, right?
Wrong. You should work just as hard as ever to prove to your boss and everyone else in the company that you’re doing a great job despite having such a difficult boss. Who knows, it might even be possible that your boss is being so horrendous just as a test to see how you work under pressure. Even work at home companies can have tough bosses and when you are out of sight, you are often out of mind so you must make sure you are always engaging your boss and coworkers to make sure they know how hard you work!
If it seems that your boss continues being difficult and you can’t understand why, you need to start meticulously documenting all of your interactions.
Whenever there’s an email exchange, you need to save it. There needs to be a paper trail. If you feel comfortable recording all your interactions with your boss, do it. But otherwise, you can still take notes on all your interactions. This should be meticulously done with the timestamp, date, cause of interaction, outcome, everything.
If at some point, it seems like the tables are being turned on you unfairly, you’ll have plenty of evidence to support your claims. Furthermore, if your boss’ bullying reaches a fever pitch, you’ll be able to go to their superior with your complaints, along with plenty of evidence.
If you try to go over your boss without such evidence, you’ll likely come off as a disgruntled employee and do yourself more harm than good.
Never Lose your Cool
Never, under any circumstance, should you return your boss’ hostility. Always conduct yourself in a professional manner. Even if you want to refute something they’re saying or doing, do so respectfully. It doesn’t matter if they are being disrespectful. You shouldn’t stoop to that level.
First off, being hostile with your boss will always paint you as insubordinate. It doesn’t matter if you were right or if you were provoked, this is one battle you cannot win.
Alternately, if you’re calm through all your interactions, you’ll likely earn the respect of your colleagues and even your boss’ superiors, if they’re in the picture.
Dealing with bad bosses can really be a challenge to your sanity as well as work ethic and motivation. Hopefully these suggestions will help you get by a bit longer or even help you to understand why your boss acts the way she/he does. Of course, different bosses call for different methods. But you can use these 4 tips as a basic guideline.