Is your work making you weary, frustrated, and unmotivated? Chances are you have an awful boss. Throughout our careers, we meet a variety of bosses. Some make us love our work while others make us question our sanity. Stealing credit, being controlling, intrusive or plain petty are all signs of a bad boss. So, do you want to know how to deal with a bad boss?
Your supervisor, leader or manager has a lot of impact on your career. Today’s corporate world is competitive and infamously exhausting. Working with a boss who motivates you to do better and pushes your growth can be life-changing. A bad boss will make you bolt for the exit. But before you leave for good, let’s learn a little about how to handle a difficult boss.
How To Handle A Difficult Boss Professionally
1. Find Out The ‘Why’
Understanding the reason behind your boss’s behaviour is the first step. Is he/she a stickler about punctuality? Or is discipline a priority for them when it comes to work? Once you’ve learnt this, working around that can be managed. When you know what and how your boss thinks, it will be easier to adapt accordingly. So know what drives them and use it to your advantage.
2. Offer Support
Supporting a bad boss might seem like a contradiction when it comes to knowing how to deal with a difficult boss. But this strategy holds a lot of power. Making your boss look bad or butting heads will yield nothing. Instead, find out their strengths and play with that. Help them deal with their weaknesses. For instance, if your boss has an eye for details, help them stay on top of things. By doing this, you are avoiding conflict as well as promoting your growth and success.
3. Speak Up
Do you often end up keeping quiet in front of your boss? Do you think that it’s better to suffer quietly rather than speaking up? Well, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Give your boss the opportunity to respond to your concerns by speaking up. Approach them with respect and a genuine desire to have a conversation. Do this without prejudice and this will open doors.
4. Prepare In Advance
How to deal with a demanding boss is something everyone should be aware of. It can be done by anticipating their next move. A micromanaging leader should be stopped his tracks before it becomes a habit. For instance, if she keeps pestering you about your daily work schedule, make sure you present it to her first thing in the morning. She will notice your efforts and understand that you are a responsible employee.
5. Say No To Bullying
Wondering how to deal with a toxic boss? Someone who sinks to the level of intimidation and enjoys making your life hell is a bully. Imagine having such a boss! We have the solution and it’s quite simple. Stand up for yourself. Instead of cowering and staying shut, try and diffuse the situation. Keep a cool head and prepare for things to get ugly. But be prepared with your safety net and document their behaviour. It takes practice, but over a period you will get better at it. And eventually, they will go elsewhere for their power kick.
6. Be Your Own Leader
When we discuss how to deal with a bad manager, we must realize that a bad boss can be a blessing in disguise. An incompetent boss will push you to take the leadership role. If you see that your boss is unable to guide the team or take concrete decisions, step in. The management will notice your initiative. Keep your boss in the loop so that you don’t undermine their authority.
7. Take The High Road
How to deal with a toxic boss and stay sane at the same time? By showing them that you are above their petty behaviour. Stay focused on your performance and work. Do complain and vent out to family and friends. But losing interest or slacking off will only hamper your professional growth.
8. Set Boundaries
Many of these toxic bosses engage in manipulative behaviour. They overshare their life story and expect you to do the same. And once you fall for this trap, they use this information against you. So the trick is to set firm boundaries. Beware of what you share with your boss or even colleagues who might let it slip in conversation.
Effective communication can resolve any issue. Let’s take an example. If you are a working woman who needs to spend time with her toddler post 8 pm, communicate this firmly yet politely to your boss. By working efficiently till 8, you are doing your job responsibly. So tell your boss in a firm yet soft manner that post 8, your child is your priority.
10. Research Before You Jump In
The best way to manage a bad boss is to not have one in the first place. And you can be sure of that with a little research and networking. Get a sense of the company’s work culture and ask around for insight. A mutual friend or an ex-employee can surely guide you and help you make the right decision.
You are now equipped with tips, tricks, and advice on how to deal with a bad boss. Transfers, promotions and a job change can help as well. But as long as you report to a bad boss, use these pointers to make your life easier. Bad bosses are everywhere and such is the reality of today’s corporate world. Remember that you are not the problem, your boss is. Don’t let it affect your passion for your career. Stay strong and stay awesome!