Dealing with a difficult boss? What should you do?

I believe that most people have the best of intentions, but they make mistakes from time to time. However, there are some bad managers out there. When faced with a bad boss, do you know how to handle it?

The aim of this post is to address some of your concerns about having a bad boss and the steps you can take to lessen the effect on your life, both personally and professionally. Many things can go wrong when you work for someone who is a bad boss, but the most important ones are:

  1. They can have a negative impact on your ability to perform your job.
  2. They can ruin your life!

Even when our bosses are difficult or bad, these two issues alone make it worthwhile to figure out how to work more effectively with them.

In the workplace, we refer to bosses and co-workers as “difficult.” Unfortunately, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what the issue is as there seem to be a lot of them!

When we’re under constant attack, there’s only one thing we know for sure: working with this person is a challenge.

The following suggestions may help you work more effectively with your bad boss:

1. You may believe your boss is being difficult because they expect a higher level of output from you. Make sure you understand what they expect from you.

2. You may be expecting something from your boss that he or she is unable to provide. If that’s the case, you are wasting your time! Analyse your own expectations of what you believe they expect from you and how you expect them to behave. Alternatively, they may not be very outgoing or simply operate in a different way than you’re used to. Re-evaluate your goals and objectives.

3. Spend some time observing your boss’s behaviour and determine how it affects you. In the process, you may learn that their boss is putting pressure on them, which is causing them additional stress. It will give you some understanding of their behaviour.

4. When we don’t like someone, we often go out of our way to avoid them. Wait until you’ve exhausted all of your options before resorting to this. In addition, you may find that more communication, rather than less, can help you deal with this type of individual. Avoiding them completely will get you nowhere!

5. If you’ve made an effort to learn more about your boss, take it a step further and become an indispensable employee. Concentrate on problem-solving skills and offer your boss additional assistance and support. This will help them shine in front of their bosses while also reducing the number of reasons for them to criticise you. You can become the “go-to” person on whom they can rely.

6. You will often find you come across people who are demanding, critical, and downright unpredictable. You must learn to shrug it off.       There will always be elements of their behaviour that bother you, but most of the time you can’t let it. I’m not suggesting that you ignore your boss’s needs or demands; I’m saying that you shouldn’t let their style of management gain your attention or provoke a reaction from you.

If you’re dealing with a difficult boss, make sure to follow these six suggestions. Think about this the next time you’re tempted to give up.

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If you have a grievance with your manager and would like to discuss it further, contact ACAS for professional advice.