People don’t quit their jobs but actually quit their bosses! Well…This old saying is surprisingly becoming more commonplace! Fact is, difficult bosses exist everywhere! Whether they are micromanagers, have anger management issues or are simply not very competent, chances are you will most likely deal with a difficult boss at some point in your career.
Nothing is more negative in the workplace than having a toxic boss which makes going to work a dreaded task! Quitting you job is the first thought that comes to your mind but that can hurt your career eventually, especially since dealing with difficult people is a great skill to develop. So, how do you handle a difficult boss? To start with, there is definitely no single way! You might also be surprised that sometimes the problem may be you.
Whatever be the scenario, the trick is to tackle the problem head on. You can also try some of our tips to find some common ground with your boss or at least stay sound till you find yourself a new gig.
So how do you handle the archetypical “difficult boss”? You can start with these…
Decode your boss:
Bosses are human and just like everyone else have their pressures to deal with in their personal lives. So before trying to fix them, make sure you’re actually dealing with a difficult boss. Is there a reason for their behaviour, or are you being simply too hard on them? Observe your boss for a few days and monitor their moods. They might be most ill-tempered in the mornings but mellow out as the day continues. Sometimes, their incompetence is a momentary outcome of a personal crisis. It’s good to document their reactions to see if you can classify a pattern. By doing this, you can set boundaries! Figure out if your boss is impatient, a micromanager or maybe just new to leadership.
Identify if you are the problem?
After you’ve studied your boss’s behaviour, it’s time for you to do an honest evaluation of yourself! Analyse your own behaviour. How do you handle yourself in your job? Is the difficulty you are facing actually caused by your boss or is the resentment justified? Maybe you’ve resorted to occasional gossiping, backstabbing or underperforming? Or maybe you are contributing to the anxiety? Ask yourself if your work is at a suitable standard and whether you are meeting expectations that you should be? It’s difficult to be objective about your own work so it might be good to ask your colleagues to neutrally appraise your work.
Talk it out:
If you do find yourself in constant conflict with your boss, then addressing the matter in a professional manner is the best thing to do. You have to have the bold conversation with your boss, wherein you dig deep and address the concerns that are affecting you. Tell him things you need from him in terms of direction, support and constructive feedback. Be respectful and stress on your needs. Telling your boss he’s difficult to work with is damaging and won’t help you with your goals. So tone it down and pick the right words when you talk to your boss. Take full accountability for your part in that dynamics. If you handle the situation with modesty, your boss might well volunteer some things they would do differently.
A boss might be difficult because he has a stoic style of work. Instead of flinching at his rigidity, peacefully create a line of communication that focuses on your collective goals and innovative solutions. In doing this, you might agree that the most important aspect of your work together is fluid communication.
Don’t cave in:
A lot of times, taking the course of least resistance seems like the easier thing to do while dealing with a difficult boss. You become a “yes” person, who simply follows trickle-down pressure. The approach might help you short term, but you’ll eventually lose your originality and creativity which could hamper your career progression long-term.
Don’t sacrifice your self-esteem:
Nobody can affect you without your own permission! It’s your own job to control and “filter” negative thoughts. So set boundaries! No job, company or boss is worth losing your sanity, or self-respect. If you can’t find means to resolve issues between you and your boss, you should instantly start exploring new opportunities within or outside the company. A transfer might be a great option if you absolutely love the company.
Taking care of these little things can help you to understand your boss’ personality better and show you ways how to handle them smartly. It is significant to have the nerve to speak up rather than choosing to leave your job altogether. Unfortunately many a times employees quit rather than trying sto have a difficult conversation. But you owe it both to yourself and your boss to try and work things out.