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Strategies For Dealing With A Difficult Boss
8 Strategies For Dealing With A Difficult Boss
1. Determine your boss’ motivations
Trying to better understand why your supervisor acts the way they do can help you determine whether this person is acting negatively on purpose or simply dealing with a high-pressure job. If your supervisor is under a great deal of pressure and in turn puts more pressure on you and other employees, you may be able to voice how this is affecting your work life to your boss.
2. Take responsibility when necessary
Sometimes a relationship with a supervisor can be challenging due to both individuals’ behaviors. While it may be easy to blame your boss for their negative behavior, it’s important to assess your role in the relationship and take responsibility for any contribution to the challenging nature of the relationship when necessary.
3. Choose your words carefully
While expressing honesty and being open in the workplace is certainly important, it’s also important to remain tactful and choose your words thoughtfully when interacting with a difficult supervisor. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, being disrespectful or being perceived as disrespectful will likely only increase the tension between you and your manager.
As challenging a situation as this might be, put yourself in your boss’ shoes to understand better what this person might be going through. Your boss may have to deal with the heads of the organization. They may be going through a challenging time personally. All these things can affect your boss’s behavior and understanding their position might give you a new outlook on their behavior. More importantly, these things can help you better accept and cope with challenging situations as you understand that you are not the problem.
5. Don’t discuss your boss with coworkers
Speaking with someone about your difficult relationship with your boss can be an important part of taking care of yourself and venting some of your frustration. However, it’s important you refrain from having this type of conversation with other coworkers. Doing so may further encourage negativity in the workplace. Instead, try talking to a trusted friend or family member whose opinion you respect.
6. Anticipate expectations
Take the time to become well-acquainted with your boss’s habits, demands and expectations. In doing so, you can anticipate their requests and avoid exacerbating any tension in your relationship. More than that, if your boss sees that you don’t need to be micromanaged, they may provide you with more freedom and require you to check in with them less.
7. Practice your leadership skills
You can use your difficult situation as an opportunity to practice your leadership skills. Take the initiative and make decisions when possible that you know will lead to positive results for the organization. Your co-workers may be affected by your initiative and start following your steps to achieve results. This can help to turn a negative environment into a positive and proactive one.
8. Study your boss’ communication style
Taking the time to determine your manager’s preferred communication style can help foster more effective communication within the workplace. For example, if your boss prefers to communicate primarily via email, make it a habit to first send them an email before confronting them in person about a work-related matter. The better you understand how to communicate with your manager, the more likely your relationship will improve.