There’s a good chance you’ve already had a bad boss in your life and likely will have one again. Bad bosses can ruin your motivation, hinder results, and cause real emotional and mental stress. That said, you don’t have to allow them to provoke you or create a negative atmosphere. You can choose how to react and even have some positive strategies up your sleeve. Here are my top ways to effectively work with a bad boss. FYI, they also help you to be the best employee you can be!
Effectively Work With A Bad Boss #1: Assess the Problem
Before you start letting the gavel of judgement slam, you need to assess the situation. Your manager or boss could simply be under a lot more pressure than you know. If the team is in crunch time, it might not be healthy or acceptable for them to take it out on you, but showing some compassion could be the better way to handle them in that moment. Ask yourself if you can help the situation. The extra care for your job just might earn you some brownie points with the higher ups.
Additionally, you have to ask the difficult question of whether your own performance might genuinely be the reason they seem to treat you unfairly. Take responsibility for you own actions and fix what you can. Otherwise, know that micromanaging, taking all the credit, passing on the blame are several common practices of truly bad bosses, as shown by Talented Ladies Club. If he or she is behaving in this way for no apparent reason, there are obviously issues.
Effectively Work With A Bad Boss #2: Use Direct Communication
Even if your boss isn’t the best communicator, it doesn’t mean you have to forego being direct. When I say “direct”, I recommend speaking clearly and confidently about whatever topic is at hand. Also, keep your emotions out of your communication. If you feel too much in a situation, back off until you calm down. Try to avoid blaming others and accusing when you are explaining things. Show that you want what’s best for the company first. Also, hiding away from your boss when in conflict does not serve you. It makes you seem weak and controllable…the last persona you want when trying to excel on the job.
Effectively Work With A Bad Boss #3: Know Your Boss’s Motivation
Your boss may seem like your enemy at the moment, however, it is possible to fight on the same side. This means understanding what makes your boss tick. What does he or she truly want from the experience at this company? This article at Tweak Your Biz outlines how to improve productivity in the workplace. This includes finding common ground with your superiors. If he or she is not an open book, ask around to see if you can get some inside information about your boss’s history there. It’s your right to know what you’re dealing with. I also highly recommend looking at the working style and culture of the company as a foundation. After all, there was something that attracted both you and your boss to it.
Effectively Work With A Bad Boss #4: Keep Accurate Records of Your Work
I’ts important to keep accurate records of your work and communication. If your work ethic and performance ever come up in a battle with your boss, you can offer more than your word. This will also come in handy if things go higher up than the two of you. It shows that you care about your job and doing the right thing. Additionally, don’t delete any phone messages, texts, or emails between you and your boss. These are also proof of how you are communicating with one another.
Effectively Work With A Bad Boss #5: Speak Up
For disagreements that are affecting your productivity, it’s a good idea to talk to your boss first. Sometimes, a frank conversation with a genuine desire to better communicate can get the job done. But, as Chron suggests, sometimes you need to take an alternate path and go to HR or higher up for help.
It’s never guaranteed, but Human Resources may offer the solution you need. Just make sure you take official channels when you speak out. Don’t gossip, don’t shout at them in the office, and don’t vent on social media.
Effectively Work With A Bad Boss #6: Know Your Rights
In the event of practices that break company policy, keeping it internal is a good idea. But when the boss does something that genuinely infringes on your human rights, you have to draw a line. You might want to seek legal counsel for these more touchy situations. Richard Celler Legal, speaking of illegal employer practices, lays out a variety of situations that you should understand and do something about. Unfair termination and discrimination are obvious ones, but you are also protected when reporting things like fraud or sexual harassment.
Effectively Work With A Bad Boss #7: Keep It At the Office
Holding boundaries between work life and home life is important. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t find ways to deal with the stress that your boss might be causing. But it does mean minimizing thinking about it while at home. Rehashing things can actually exacerbate the problem in your mind and create more stress. That, in turn, can even worsen your reactions to your boss which degrades the working relationship further. Learn to compartmentalize your job from the rest of your life.