Nothing is more destructive in the workplace than difficult bosses. Every employee has a series of bosses over their working career. Hopefully, most of your bosses are competent, kind and even, worthy of your trust and respect.
Unfortunately, too often, employees have difficult bosses who impact their desire to engage and contribute at work. It is no surprise that employees who quit their job are most frequently leaving their bosses, not necessarily the company or their job.
So how exactly can you go about handling a bad boss?
1) Put yourself in their shoes
Try to put yourself in the mind-set of your boss and understand why they do what they do. Think about what their role is in the company and what drives them. If there is pressure on them to drive the team to meet certain targets, or to keep the business running smoothly, this burden may be taken out on you as an employee. Once you can see things a from your boss’s perspective, you may be able to adapt the way you do things to accommodate their expectations or to at very least tolerate their moods!
2) Speak up
If something is bothering you to the point that it is affecting your work performance or happiness in your job, it’s best to get it out in the open. Try to catch your boss in private and discuss the issues in a polite and professional manner. Being open about how you feel is a much better option than just sitting and stewing over things that are winding you up and most of the time your boss will appreciate you being honest. You may then be able to work around your differences and come up with a way to resolve the problem.
3) Don’t bad mouth your boss to your co-workers
As tempting as it may be sometimes when you’re feeling worked up, don’t whatever you do have an anger fuelled rant to your colleagues about everything you dislike about your boss! You never know what might make its way back to them and any concerns about their management style is much better heard from you than second hand. Risking them getting wind of your negative comments can only make your relationship worse, or even get you in trouble.
4) Support your boss and help where you can
If you have a poor relationship with your boss you may feel unwilling to help them out, however in the long run it will benefit you much more to help them achieve their goals and look good. You can do this by assisting them where possible. If you have noticed that one of their weaknesses is a lack of organisation, you could offer to do their filing for them or remind them of upcoming events in their calendar. If you help to keep things running smoothly and bring success to the business, you will in turn be considered as asset to the company.
5) Don’t let it affect your attitude
If you allow your boss’s behaviour to have a negative influence on your own, you will become as bad as them. It’s easy to develop a sour attitude towards work when you aren’t happy with the way things are being run, but if you begin to slack off, or your work performance slips, it will only reflect negatively on you. Keep focusing on achieving your best and maintaining positive relationships with the rest of your colleagues.
6) Take a look in the mirror
Before you go and place all the blame on your boss, have a look at your own behaviour. It’s possible that you could be held accountable yourself for your poor relationship with your boss. Are you cooperative? Are you completing your work to a good standard? Are you communicating effectively?If you feel it could be partially or even entirely your fault after all, think about what you could do to improve your behaviour and make the changes. Over time you may find that things improve!