The statistics show that most people don’t quit a job, they quit a manager. Dissatisfaction occurs most often when an employee is frustrated by the work environment and influenced by the people around them. A bad boss can affect your mood and your performance, so learning how to work with someone you don’t like can be an important process. While you can’t change how someone acts, you can change how you react to them. Here are five steps you can take to deal with your bad boss.
1. Emphasize Communications
Even if your boss doesn’t communicate effectively, you can initiate communication. Tell them when you’re starting a project, where you are in the process, and what your expected outcome will be. Don’t wait for them to talk to you, take initiative and do what you say you will without letting a deadline go by.
2. Be an Open Book
Many people figure if the manager isn’t going to be communicative, they shouldn’t have to be either. But transparency can actually help resolve the situation, or at least make it difficult for your boss to find fault to nitpick. This also means you can’t cover up mistakes. Own what happens and work on resolutions without being asked.
3. Learn More About Them
It’s easy to just dismiss a person you don’t like, but there may be an underlying cause to their behavior. The more you learn about them, the more you can adjust your reactions. Learn about what motivates them or why they’re aggressive or passive-aggressive around others. You may find they act this way for a reason.
4. Document Everything
Because you can’t always predict the behavior of a bad boss, you need to ensure you have a record of your interactions and accomplishments. This can cover you if you have any challenges within the organization. Keep emails in a safe place or print them out. Keep a journal with any negative conversations you’ve had including the dates and times. If there are concerns about your performance or that of your boss, this documentation may be your best evidence.
5. Have Solutions, Not Problems
You need to know you can’t fight fire with fire in these circumstances. If you have a challenge, don’t respond with negativity or complaints. Always be prepared to find a solution to every problem and stay positive. Your boss doesn’t need more reasons to consider you an adversary. If they are impossible to please, you’ve learned this isn’t about their gratification, but to preserve your own.
Are you concerned about your boss?
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