Many people will experience working with a challenging boss at least once during their careers. A bad relationship with your boss can negatively impact almost every element of your work life. Even though quitting your job may be your first thought in such circumstances, sometimes the best action is to stick it out.
You can decide to stay and find ways of dealing with a difficult boss by first trying to understand their intentions and maintaining professionalism as you do so. Whether your manager is a workplace bully, a micromanager, shows favoritism towards some employees, or is just incompetent, you need to figure out a way to get the job done.
When dealing with a difficult boss, find out their motivation, stay a step ahead of them, support them, and choose your words carefully when talking to them. Maybe your boss is a complete jerk who vents their rage on everybody in the office. You have to find ways of handling them in a way that does not compromise your job.
This article contains the best tips for dealing with a difficult boss and staying sane in the workplace. Keep reading to find out.
- Try to Figure Out your Boss’s Motivation
Ask yourself whether your boss is acting up on purpose or is just coping with a demanding work schedule. If your supervisor is under a lot of stress, which puts additional stress on you and other employees, you can point out to them that it’s affecting your productivity.
Try to look at things from your manager’s perspective. If possible, engage in conflict resolution discussions to better understand your manager’s intentions and behavior.
- Pick your Words Wisely
Although being honest and open in the workplace is essential, it’s also crucial to maintain tact and select your words carefully while speaking with a challenging supervisor. Saying the wrong thing might create more tension between you and your boss.
Keep your talks with your supervisor results-oriented, as this will help you communicate with them professionally. Keeping your discussions work-related will help you to avoid unwelcome utterances.
- Remain a Step Ahead
This tip works best when dealing with a difficult boss micromanager. Anticipate them and complete your tasks before the boss assigns them to you. Anticipating your manager’s expected duties and doing them far in advance is a smart way to keep them off your case.
Doing this will demonstrate to them that you’re taking care of business and won’t require them to always keep an eye on you.
- Adapt to your Boss’s Preferences
Keep an eye out for your boss’s preferred manner of behavior. Take note of their decision-making process. Do they take time to comprehend information, or do they make quick decisions? Also, note whether they prefer to interact via email, drop-in visits, or in-depth memoranda.
The more you adapt your communication style to your boss, the more likely they will pay attention to what you have to say.
- Support them
Supporting your boss might seem counterintuitive, but making them look bad and advocating for their failure won’t help your situation. Bringing their incompetence to light will worsen your problems and harm your reputation.
The best option is to assist your boss in concentrating on his inherent talents. Another is to be proactive and try to overcome his shortcomings.
For instance, If you know your boss is always disorganized, encourage them to get organized rather than complain about it. If they tend to forget things easily, take the initiative of documenting your meetings so that you can show when they contradict themselves in the future.
You build a strong foundation for yourself by doing what you can to make your boss successful.
- Act as a Leader
Use your challenging circumstance as a chance to hone your leadership skills. Whenever possible, make choices that you know will benefit the company. Your initiative may motivate your coworkers to imitate your actions to get things done. This can assist in transforming a bad situation into a proactive and positive one.
- Identify and Avoid their Triggers
Figure out what sets off your boss and be particularly vigilant about avoiding those situations. The tip works well if your boss struggles with anger management.
For instance, if your boss yells their lungs out when you arrive late for work, arrive early to avoid tipping them off.
- Avoid Gossip
Sharing your predicament with someone helps you to vent and is also suitable for your mental health. However, avoid having this kind of discussion with coworkers, as it might fuel negativity in the workplace.
Instead, look for a family member or trustworthy friend whose opinion you appreciate and vent. Seek an external perspective from people who can be supportive.
Importance of Finding a Way to Deal with a Difficult Boss
You benefit in various ways when you find a way to overcome a difficult boss’s challenges.
Here are some of the benefits;
Increased output at work – Getting anything done is challenging when you’re constantly watching your back without knowing what your boss wants. When you figure out how to deal with your boss, productivity is bound to increase.
Reduced stress at work – When you’re on good terms with your boss, you won’t dread going to work every morning. A stress-free work environment yields better results.
Job satisfaction – Your job satisfaction may suffer significantly when you deal with an unpleasant boss daily. You’ll feel more at ease and content after establishing a technique that works for you.
Better work relations – Being on good terms with your boss makes your job easier since you’ll have to collaborate with them occasionally.
Greater chance of professional development – Even if your boss is challenging, that doesn’t mean they don’t influence your career development. You’ll have a better chance of getting more promotions if you work to establish and maintain a solid connection.
Your manager’s responsibility is to foster a supportive work environment, foster trust, and show support no matter what obstacles they encounter at work or off. But some of them make it very hard to perform your duties.
If you haven’t already, you will probably encounter a difficult boss sometime in your career. Use the tips above to work out the situation and stay positive and productive.