10 Tips to Deal with a Bad Boss

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Well, what can we say, bad bosses are kind of inevitable. You are bound to meet a bad boss one day.  They may bully you, may get intrusive and controlling, and can be maliciously critical of your work. At times they may even take credit for your work and still may never give you a positive feedback. So how should you deal with your rude, egoistic, arrogant, silly and unreasonable boss? This can be a tricky thing especially when you are weary, frustrated, unhappy and demotivated. Well, first of all, you must know that you are not alone. Dealing with bad managers and bad bosses is a challenge faced by many employees. All it requires is a bit of intelligence and analysis to step out of this tricky situation. You need to know your bosses, know of their reaches and shortcomings, and then plan your way to deal with it. Given below are 10 tips you should follow in order to deal with your devil, but with patience:

10. Identify Your Boss’ Motivation and Management style:

identify your boss's style

As mentioned above, you must analyze your superiors and their style well. You must know what motivates them or what is reasonable in their eyes. This is possible when you carefully notice what they do and what they care about. For example if your boss is critical of the fact that you take long lunch breaks, know what he really cares about. Maybe your lunch duration is of no importance to them, what they care about is what it may appear to others. Know your boss’ management style and if possible, mould your style accordingly. After all they are the superior ones and have had a lot of experience and their style may not be always wrong. Also know of what their hobbies and interests are, your knowledge may one day please them, who knows!

9.Stay One Step Ahead:

stay one step ahead

At the end of the day, just remember one thing; every person likes to be pampered and pleased. You can actually come up to a compromising condition if you intelligently anticipate your boss’s needs and future requests, even before they come to you. This is particularly beneficial at micromanagement. You can do well in eyes of your boss if you complete the tasks well ahead of the deadline. This will only be possible if you anticipate things. This will make your boss realize that you are on the right track and he/she does not need to watch every step of yours. Just don’t give them the chance to point at your performance. You should work well, really well and within time. Be punctual, efficiently carry out your tasks and also stay polite. Then your boss will have nothing to complain about.

8. Learn from the experience:

learn from your experiences

Great men have said that “Nothing is ever a piece of time waste. Even if you had a bad experience, it will teach you something.” This may work well in your case too. Take time to analyze why your boss is a bad boss, and whether your boss is a bad boss at all. Keep in mind that different people have different perspectives. Your boss may not be silly but just reacting to the factors and influences that you are unaware of. Maybe there are reasons to explain the bad behavior on part of your boss. Once you have an argument with your boss, you should take into account what your boss considers wrong and should try avoiding the same in future. If you are stubborn and do not learn from your experience, it won’t work.

7. Be careful when talking to the boss’ boss:

be careful while talking to boss's boss

Do not just go and bluntly complain about your boss to their boss. You have to be very careful while conversing with your boss’ superior. You may have only a single chance for that one-on-one meeting with your boss’ boss. Be careful about what you say. Be aware of the fact that criticism of your boss could actually be taken as criticism of your boss’ superiors and the whole management. If you choose to say anything about your boss’ focus on the behavior part rather than the personality. You should be telling how it affects the juniors or the firm as a whole rather than just you. Also, cover it up with the positive things in your boss. Obviously they cannot be all wrong after sitting at that position. So compliments may actually help in normalizing your relationship with your boss.

6. Use humor:

use humor

Humor has always been a great stress buster especially in case of unpleasant situations. So, just relieve yourself of all the tension by keeping the surroundings light, maybe through movies or television or some comic. Rather than being upset about some past encounter with your boss, just try laughing about the whole condition. Or just throw a dart towards your boss’ photo. You can even take a step further. Just for example, you could humorously predict what would upset your boss tomorrow or what time will your boss’ mood swing, and then the next day you can make comparisons. This will make you smile internally even when the boss is in a bad mood. You can crack jokes about your boss, just be cautious enough that they don’t reach your boss’ ears.

5. Keep your network active:

keep your network active

You should maintain healthy connections with your colleagues and other people in your firm, or even outside your firm. Staying in active contact with the alumni of your school or college or past companies helps. Doing this will keep you visible on the social and professional front and can help you find a job in case you lose the present one or willingly resign because of your boss. Within your firm, you should make friends with co-employees and may even ask for help from them to deal with your boss. Pick the brains of your colleagues and find out the tricks of pleasing your boss or massaging his/her ego etc. Your friends may even support you in case the issue gets big and the confrontation becomes difficult.

4. Be intelligent with evidences:


It’s easy on part of your boss to yell at you based on your ideas but he/she may not be able to reject them completely if you have evidences and facts supporting your ideas. Maintain your evidences so that your boss cannot unnecessarily complain. For example, if your boss complains that you do not answer his or her calls, then you can show your call records. This way you are indirectly telling your boss that you are not any other employee who will be his/her victim. Also try to get every interaction with your boss in writing, for example, when your boss makes or breaks promises, threatens you or argues on a point be intelligent enough to get it in writing. An easier way is to interact over mail or chat or sms, or maybe through a phone that supports call recording. This way your conversations are recorded and just in case of any confrontation, you can have proof right in hand.

3.Document your work:

document your work

This is a tip that you should follow whether or not you have a bad boss. You should keep track of all your accomplishments and compliments that you receive from your co-workers or from the managers of departments other than yours. You must record those events along with their dates. And while documenting, you should also record the significance of your accomplishment for your firm. The problem, possible solutions, your decision, facts supporting your decisions, possible results had you not taken the decision and its positive effect on your firm must be clearly laid out. Keep this at a place where it remains even if you are fired and gone. This will help you in case your boss raises questions on your performance in front of the higher benches. It will give you a plus point and credibility and may even teach your boss a lesson for his baseless allegations.

2. Maintain your calm and dignity:

maintain your calm

When your boss acts like a jerk or gets abusive, you must always maintain your calm. Let him/her freak out but do not follow your initial impulse of turning aggressive. Tackle this natural temptation with your inner strength. The “evil for evil” policy does not work in offices and only makes the whole situation worse. You must maintain your professionalism as well as dignity; this will leave a positive impression on all those who are watching the whole episode who could be your colleagues or your boss’s boss. Sometimes your silence works better than your words. Who knows? Maybe it makes your them realize that they are shouting for no reason, only to get their own image tarnished. This is just a simple way to leave your boss a little embarrassed.

1. Talk to your boss, at the right time, about right things:

talk to your boss

Well, the key to every argument lies in communication. If you are too upset with everything and desperately want it to get better, then go and talk to your boss about it. No boss will simply turn deaf ears towards you if you are being reasonable. Firstly, prepare yourself with the right points to be put up. Talk about how your boss’s behavior is discouraging for you and fellow employees. If you can, suggest a few measures which could be undertaken to make the atmosphere friendlier. While talking about all this, show your respect and acceptance towards your boss’s authority. Don’t exaggerate the negative points and don’t forget to emphasize on the positive points as well. Make sure that you don’t talk of this in the hallway or in front of others. Find the right time when your boss is free and lends you his/her ears.


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