Five Strategies for Dealing With a Bad Boss

In a previously published post here on Bud Bilanich titled How to Work With Different Kinds of Bosses’, our article talked briefly about different ways employees can adapt to different types of bosses. Different leaders mean different personalities, so it’s important that employees are able to adapt to varying types of leadership styles to succeed in all working environments.

But what if the boss you’re working for is just too difficult to get along with? Or what if you are working under an authoritarian type of leader yet they don’t provide clear directives for you and your team to follow? Or even worse, they aren’t qualified for the job they are in?

In this article, let’s take a look at how employees can deal with bad bosses. Try one or more of these tips and you might find some middle ground with your boss or at least stay sane until you find a new job.

Make sure that he or she really qualifies as a “bad boss”

Before trying to deal with your so called bad boss, make sure that you’re actually dealing with one. Some clear and recurring indicators of bad bosses are as follows:

– They tend to only favor a small group of employees instead of being fair to everyone
– Don’t lead by example
– Embarrass employees in front of everyone else to show dominance
– Nitpick and reprimand employees for the smallest of mistakes but do not praise them for doing their jobs well
– Despise employees for giving constructive criticism
– Don’t give clear directives

If your boss falls into any of the above categories, then you are most probably working for a bad boss. If this is the case, just try to come up with the most forgiving reason as to why he or she is like that. Is it truly their fault or could it be something out of their control? Maybe your boss is going through some personal issues that are affecting their work? Take all of these things into consideration before casting judgement.

Identify your boss’ motivation

Try to understand why your boss does things in order to give yourself a clearer picture of his or her management style. The most probable cause for a boss’ bad behavior usually stems from things that he or she cannot control. Maybe your boss is always making you changing things in your work because their line managers aren’t proving them with clear feedback or directives.

Don’t let it get your spirits down

No matter how bad your boss’ behavior is, don’t let it affect you personally. Stay on good terms with other bosses in the company, and, most especially, keep doing your job to the best of your abilities. Don’t try to even the score with your boss by working slower and producing subpar work. Doing this will only put you further behind, and it could potentially give your boss more reason to reprimand you.

Stay one step ahead

When your boss is being unreasonable with his or her work decisions, it’s important to stay one step ahead. This means doing your research and then presenting your opinions using the best means possible to them in a constructive and polite manner.

One recent example of being one step ahead is California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s message to US President Donald Trump about the country’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Instead of attacking Trump personally and calling him all the names under the sun, Schwarzenegger presented facts and evidence why the Paris Climate Agreement is important through a video that soon went viral after it was published. Even if President Trump didn’t seem to mind the California Governor’s video, Schwarzenegger was able to present his case clearly, and started a ripple effect that would impact the public’s opinion and get behind reversing Trump’s decision.

Schwarzenegger is a man who needs no introduction. With an extensive list of successful movies under his belt, his brand’s reach is global. The Austrian is one of the most influential actors in the world. His most popular movie persona is his role as the Terminator, which led to multiple video game franchises including the arcade series Judgment Day and not to mention the recently launched Terminator 2 mobile game by Slingo. Both Schwarzenegger’s co-actors and former government colleagues seem to take his professionalism positively, and the way he talks to high profile executives should be seen by people as a lesson on how to engage with office administrators professionally.

Identify the triggers

If your boss has anger management issues, or has extremely volatile mood swings, identify what triggers them and be extra careful about avoiding what could potentially upset them.

For example, if your boss gets really angry when you return late from lunch, try to return to work 5 minutes early. If your boss flips out when you misspell a client’s name, be sure to triple-check your work. If it helps, make a list of the triggers that make your boss mad to help you get on his or her good side in the long-term.

Remember to be professional at all times. Don’t give your boss more reasons to get angry with you by being understanding, and taking on board the aforementioned strategies can go a long way to helping building bridges and forming more positive relations.

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