Note: See the video below of one employee’s solution to dealing with a bad boss. I don’t recommend it, but it is pretty funny. My “calmer” recommendations are below 🙂
If you haven’t had one, then you are lucky. Unfortunately bad bosses are everywhere.
Many studies have shown that the number one reasons people leave their jobs has to do with managers, not workloads or pressure. As the old saying goes, “people don’t leave companies, they leave leaders.”
These types of bosses can leave you feeling undervalued, stressed, and even depressed. You might even be in the process of looking for employment somewhere else. But before you do, here are four things you can do now to lessen the grief and possibly improve your relationship.
Note: If you are feeling or are being harassed, bullied, or threatened at work, that is another matter. These tips are for the kind of boss that “doesn’t get it,” not the one crossing human resource and legal lines.
1. Understand. This may be the most overlooked opportunity to helping a bad boss. Often times the only place we go with our complaints about poor leadership is to others. This ultimately throws gas on what may already seems like an inextinguishable fire.
Instead of participating in such non-productive activity, try to really understand your boss. Try putting yourself in her shoes – use some empathy. Try to see how she sees the world and your workplace.
Ask yourself, “What am I doing or not doing to add to what I perceive as poor leadership,” and then correct it.
2. Talk. Communication is one of those areas you can’t afford to avoid. For many it’s much easier to bad mouth somebody, than it is to communicate with them.
Going directly to your boss to express your concerns helps close the gaps created by misconceptions and allows you to both be on the same page. It is essential to your relationship that you voice how you feel.
I understand however that some managers may not want you coming to them. But my experience has been that most do and would rather you come to them than someone else if you have concerns.
When you go directly to your boss, you give them the opportunity to respond. When doing this with a caring and genuine desire to make things work better between the two of you, this most likely will open up new doors of trust, understanding and respect.
You owe it to your boss to talk openly.
3. Ask Questions. Closely aligned with #2 above is to ask questions. Maybe you are unclear about your role on the team, a new project you have been assigned to, or expectations in general around performance. If you are unclear, then ask.
It is as much your responsibility to be clear on what is expected as it is your bosses.
4. Learn His or Her Style. We all work with people who have different styles than our own. Some people are more reserved and wish others would get to the point more often. While others can’t stop talking, that’s the way they work things out in their head.
What are his pet peeves? Does he like to make decisions quickly or slowly? How does he prefer to communicate (i.e, in person, on the phone, email, text)?
Whatever the style of your boss, learn it and adapt to it. You aren’t going to change them.
The better you can do at understanding your bosses style and adapting to it, the better relationship you are going to have overall.
Question: What would you add to the above tips on working better with a bad boss? You can comment below.
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