Handle your Boss in better way !!

Never Waste A Good Opportunity To Learn From A Bad Boss. – Anonymous

It’s common knowledge that bad managers are the reason people leave jobs. In an increasingly stressed out, competitive world and a job market that is prone to attrition, bad bosses are a lot more common that would like to admit. While some bosses are hung up on micromanagement, some have anger management issues that stem from personal and professional issues, some are plain incompetent who mask the same through negative behavior.

Everybody has to contend with such bosszillas sometime in their career. Not only do such people ruin the workplace atmosphere, toxic bosses can cause stress and hypertension in associates, not to mention breaks and disruptions in one’s career. While quitting may seem like an obvious thing to do, it must be the last resort. Handling a bad boss is a useful skill that one must develop for a successful career path.

Deftly handling a bad boss is all about people skills. Incidentally, it’s the same set of skills that one may require to handle a difficult parent, sibling, spouse, child, friend, colleague, client, partner or acquaintance. Some of the things one can do in this regard.

ASIT how to handle boss

So how do you handle the archetypical “difficult boss”? You can start with these:

Understand the person: Bosses are human beings like anybody and its good for the employee who finds him/her difficult to remember that he/she may also turn out to be a bad boss one day. It’s good to observe the boss’ moods, behavior and analyze the trigger points. By documenting them, one can further arrive at a pattern. Then apply the knowledge to avoid trigger situations and instead try the opposite to reassure the boss that you respect him/her.

Look into the mirror. Merely understanding the boss won’t help. One must analyze themselves impartially to see if they are contributing to the boss’ bad behavior. Negative traits like unpunctuality, gossiping, backstabbing, indifferent work, poor quality work, incomplete work, poor communication skills, wrong attire, untidy desks, etc – are all known triggers for hostility from bosses. Hostility, which is justified! For a successful career, employees must grow out of such tendencies. The boss in fact acts like as a signpost warning one of their journey towards career destruction.

Have a frank, face-to-face: Appraisals are that time of the year when bosses and employees are supposed to have frank conversations. However in large teams, appraisals may happen at the last minute, with very little feedback coming about the hostility. It’s better to not wait till then and seek opportunities to have a frank talk with the boss. If the boss is open to the idea, this can be done over a drink or dinner. People are always a little more relaxed when they are outside the workplace and outside the work-hours. But if this is not possible, try to have the conversation when the boss appears relaxed.

Know his/her working style: Some bosses are sticklers for timings. Some are more result oriented. Some like micro-management, while some are big-picture bosses. Some are forgetful while some have razor-sharp memories. Be empathetic to the boss’ nature and working style and blend into it. In case you desire some flexibility, communicate that frankly and try not to deviate further. The last thing a boss likes is a nasty surprise.

Show integrity: The above point of blending into the boss’s style is misused by some employees, who try to become a yes man to your boss. This can only work in the short run and sooner or later, the boss begins to suspect the employee’s integrity. Once trust is eroded, it’s difficult to earn it back leading to more hostility than before. Remember, employees are not just responsible to the bosses. Their larger responsibility is to their work and company. Compromising on that can create problems for the company which can make the boss’s position awkward.

Know where to draw the line: If none of this works out and the hostility continues, it’s good to look for alternatives. If the company has opportunities for a team- or location- transfer, one can explore that. Else, it’s good to leave the company, but however, on amicable terms. Remember, your prospective employer will talk with your boss. It’s good to leave on positive terms, so as to not affect future career prospects either at another company or at the same company in the future.

End of the day, one must remember that bad bosses have been around since the dawn of time and will be there in the future too. Exactly the same is true of tactful employees who handle such bosses with skill. One thing such employees understand is to not take such behavior from the boss personally. It could happen to anybody in their place. This way, by being level-headed and keeping the long-term in mind, one can turnaround a nasty boss and make him/her into an ally gradually.

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1 Comment

    • Vidhya

      Thank you Takahiro & Shigeko. Happy to know that you are following us. Looking forward for more such comments which will inspire us to do more.

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