How to deal with a bad boss

Published on 26/03/2024

How to deal with a bad boss

Published on 26/03/2024
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How to deal with a bad boss

Not everyone who engages in business leadership is qualified for it. Your boss might be sexist or racist, take credit for every achievement you make, or treat you as if you have no life outside of work and make you consistently late getting home every day. In any of these cases, you have a bad boss. We’ll tell you some ways to deal with this situation to come out on top as best as possible.

You might have a boss who is sexist or racist. Or perhaps a boss who takes all the credit for what you do. Maybe your boss thinks you have no life outside of work and consistently makes you late getting home every day. Or perhaps a boss who gives too many tasks with impossible deadlines (or constantly changes the deadlines).

 Maybe your boss is a pathological liar. Or maybe the boss plays favorites. In all organizations, you can find bread bosses, whether they’re ogres, control freaks, jerks, micromanagers, or clueless fools.

Pop culture constantly mocks bad bosses, from the pointy-haired boss in the Dilbert comic strip to the utterly tasteless boss of “The Office”… but bad bosses aren’t funny when you have to face them every workday. Unfortunately, nowadays there are likely more overworked bosses and less training than ever before. 

However, poor performance may just be part of the corporate culture of the organization. One study found that nearly 80 percent of surveyed employees identified their boss as a terrible manager. And nearly 70 percent of that Delta Road study claimed their immediate superior “had no clue” what to do to become a good manager.

Make sure to do everything right

The first solution is an honest analysis of your actions and behavior. How have you acted at work? Have you always taken the high road, or have you acted unprofessionally? Have you occasionally stabbed others in the back, gossiped, or performed poorly? It’s likely that a bad boss has affected your performance, so try to ignore all these distractions and focus on your work to see if that changes anything.

 Look for other sources of positive reinforcement to do your job as best as you can. Your good performance will be your best defense against this bad boss. 

And if you use any tools to track your performance, then you’ll have irrefutable evidence as well. You can request a demo of our tool to track your productivity below.

Make a list of your boss’s bad behaviors

The second solution is a bit more complicated, but it should be a cathartic experience for you. Make a list of all the actions your boss is doing that are driving you crazy. When you compile the first version of the list, let it sit for a few days and review it again, adding or removing things after deeper reflection. 

Then, rank the items on the list from most to least annoying. Choose the two or three worst ones and develop some suggestions on how your boss could act differently in those situations. Make sure these suggestions are devoid of sarcasm or anger, and show them to a close friend who has no personal stake in the situation before sharing them with your boss. Once you feel comfortable with these suggestions, and truly believe they are positive and helpful, consider scheduling a meeting with your boss. 

Leave your emotions at the door, but be prepared for your boss not to, and have an emotional reaction. Your boss may not be aware of their actions, and both of you may benefit. But there is also the possibility that the meeting may end poorly.

Keep an incident journal

The third solution is similar to the previous one, but with some nuances. It involves documenting every bad behavior of your boss in a journal. Don’t judge or write emotional reactions; simply document the facts of the situation and how the bad behavior impacted your performance, as well as others in the department. Again, this process may be enough to relieve some stress so you can face it. 

However, at some point in the future, perhaps when you’re moving to a new job, you might consider bringing the journal to a trusted colleague in human resources or even a mentor within the company.

Find a mentor within the company

If you like the company but hate the boss, another solution you can opt for is to develop a mentoring relationship with a manager/supervisor elsewhere in the company.

 Mentoring is a fantastic strategy you should consider even if you have a good boss because a mentor is someone who can help you in many ways, from advising you to suggesting a promotion. And when dealing with a bad boss, a mentor can be a great help once you’ve documented all their harmful behaviors.

Don’t sacrifice your health or self-esteem

No job, boss, or company is worth the price of your health, sanity, or self-esteem. If your boss’s attitude is resulting in emotional and psychological wear and tear, and the situation is impossible to change (either because your boss is protected by higher-ups within the company, or simply, sad as it sounds, because the company doesn’t care about their behavior), then you have several options:

– Change your attitude: Stop falling into your boss’s toxic power circles simply because they’re your superior. The only thing you have complete freedom in is how you deal with your boss’s behaviors.

– Change jobs: If you’re not happy in your job, and you have no chances of professional growth, then consider finding another one. There are plenty of jobs out there; you don’t have to endure a job that becomes a daily torture.Project Management software - free trial

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