Only second to home, our office occupies an important place in lives of majority of us. So its important that the atmosphere in which we work and people with whom we work be friendly and favorable for us. But what we want is not always what we get. Most of us would have faced a tough, autocratic, blame-shifting, micro-managing, overly perfectionist and bullying- in two simple words a bad boss at some point in our professional lives. And only those who have gone through it realize how agonizing it can actually be.
Having a bad boss can be problematic for you as it can get you stuck in undesirable situations day in and day out, and may be even several times a day. In fact a bad boss may literally become similar to bad health for some. Situations might become so critically worse that you might already be thinking of quitting. But that’s really not the quick fix you should be applying. Since there is no surety that a new job would mean a better boss, your new job and new boss might get you back to where you had started off. Instead why not try setting right the present one? Try the following tips to deal with your bad boss and see the changes. Your office will certainly be a better place for you:
- Recognize that you are dealing with a bad boss – It is important to let yourself know that your boss is not of the kinds that you had wanted or expected. Realize and always remember that might create hurdles for you, not appreciate your work, show favoritism for others, overload you with excess work, and criticize you all the times and so on. Observe his/her behavior for a few days before setting out to prepare any strategy to deal with your BAD BOSS. And most importantly stay alert at all the times.
- Know what stimulates your boss and what deters him – Get an eyeful of your boss’s approach towards work and management. Try to find out what motivates him and what are his apprehensions and impediments. What are his parameters about being good at work? For instance whether he cares about unnecessary putting in too much time in doing things or doing them promptly. Try to know what are his fear factors about work, in other words, what exactly for him means failure. And so it will be simple for you to go ahead in the right direction- taking care of both the motivations and restraints.
- Anticipate and be prepared – Once you have observed your boss for a while, you will know what sort of reaction is going to come from his side on at least some if not all occasions. Anticipate his reactions and keep yourself prepared to be on a safe side. Do as much as you can to save yourself from his slow burn!
- Don’t let your quality of work go down because of his attitude – Never ever allow the quality of your performance suffer because of your boss’s behavior. It will keep you safe in situations of crisis and accountability. And who knows if one fine day your so called villainous boss wakes up in a good mood and realizes how good and worthy you actually are! So always do your job to perfection and remember what you are doing. You may even take notes of situations if required.
- Don’t be impulsive – Its always better not to react hurriedly. Listen, understand, think and then react carefully. In fact its not even necessary to react on all the unpleasant situations. Keep yourself composed and let go some of them. For this you would need to prioritize between situations that are important and require your reaction and situations that can be treated just like any other day to day incidence happening.
- Back his success and complement his weakness – Appreciate his successes and help him around his weak areas. Working on your boss’s shortcomings might sound like a weird idea but trust me its going to help you a lot in the longer run. For instance if your boss tends to forget meetings, then keep a planner for him with a note of all the meetings and appointments. In this way you will make yourself someone who would not only be valuable to his leader but someone without whom managing some things (if not all) is surely going to be a tough job.
- Apologize but not at the cost of your self esteem – Your boss might be a tough person to deal with but he might not always be wrong. There could be occasions when something has genuinely offended him/her. And if its your fault, then its good to apologize. Offering excuse will only improve your image in his eyes. But remember not to go down to such an extent as to forget your self esteem.
- Make sure not to repeat mistakes – Angry bosses hate mistakes and even more when they are repeated over and over. So if a thing has gone wrong once, its okay but make sure this doesn’t get repeated.
- Find ways to bust your stress – Working under an unfriendly boss can be extremely difficult at times. You might come across a few displeasing experiences each day and when that goes on day after day, life can become very distressing. But keeping yourself stressed out is not a good idea at all. So you must find out ways to bust your agony out, inside the office as well as outside. Since you cannot vent yourself out inside your work premises, so according to me, may be placing a family picture on your worktop can be a great idea. It will relieve you of all the stress every time you look at it. Outside the office, you may indulge yourself in some hobbies or go for an outing/movie.
- Lay examples by behaving well with your subordinates – If your position is in the middle management level, then this theory could be a great bolster for you. Set examples by being a good manager to your sub-ordinates. Your superior/s might see you doing well and learn from you!
So try out these and I am quite hopeful that things will get better for you. Be tactful and intelligently follow the mentioned tips. And if even after all the effort and brains you have applied, situations don’t appear to be improving, then the last option is to change your job and hence change your boss! After all there is a limit to how much tough breaks one can brook in life.
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