10 Brilliant Tips for Dealing with a Difficult Boss

Asma Niaz

Asma NiazWriter

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Job satisfaction mainly depends on the nature of the job, its environment, its culture, and the flexibility of your boss. So how do you deal with a difficult boss?

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With growing market competition, senior management has been under a lot of stress. This had led to a stricter set of rules enforced for more junior employees.

In the current business momentum, finding an ideal job with an ideal boss is truly remarkable. In order to cope with job stress and other conflicts at work, a healthy professional relationship with the employer is essential. This can be achieved by assessing the current relationship and identifying what difficulties you currently face when working with your boss.

1. Assess the professional relationship

Primarily, you should look at why you’re experiencing difficulties with your boss and what factors could be influencing this, i.e. the nature of job, the workplace environment, your attitude towards the job as well as identifying the motivations of your boss and what they’re most concerned about. We can call this practice an assessment of the situation process.

Before trying to fix your boss, make sure you are dealing with one. By assessing the situation, you will be aware of whether you’re guilty of contributing to the negativities and difficulties, or if there is some other reason. If you find that the problem is your own fault, then address this but if not, you need to look at how to remedies the situation. You should be farsighted enough to make truthful and fruitful efforts to work out the issues with your boss. Therefore, assess and discover the reasons for the problems in order to resolve them.

2. Be social yet professional

Bosses demand dedication, professionalism and good behavior of their employees. Non-professional and casual attitudes can cause friction between bosses and their employees, and lead to a stricter enforcement of rules.

You should overcome this issue by showing your boss your loyalty to the team and dedication to your work and the organization. This could be done by arriving at work on time and staying until quitting time, or putting in additional time when required without complaining and giving respect to your colleagues, especially to subordinates and junior staff members.

In case of complaints or issues, you should always act professionally by registering your complaints with Human Resource or senior management and maintain control of your emotions.

3. Understand their perspective

At the end of the day, try putting yourself in your boss’ shoes and understand their perspective. Observe their behavior or attitude towards you and your work and try to find out what triggers it. Understanding their perspective, and what triggers this behavior, is very important and can help you deal with it.

4. Work around their weaknesses

A bad or difficult boss can be difficult to deal with. One approach is to work around their weaknesses. This means supporting your boss in areas of their work where they may be lacking, for example, they may have poor organizational skills, so take responsibility and help them to organize their workload. Although this can be difficult to want to do, supporting them is likely to work in your favor.  Choosing to not support them will expose their incompetence and will only make the situation more difficult to deal with.

5. Tell them

Effective communication is the best way to handle any sort of unfavorable situation. You should try to build an effective communication system between you and your boss, which acts as a liaison. This includes having the ability to address your concerns with your boss directly and being able to speak up.

6. Always stand tall and keep your head high

If you are doing the best you can do, then do not give your boss the gratification of pushing you about. Allowing the abusive behavior to continue will simply encourage your boss to misbehave and disrespect you. Ensure you stand your ground when you believe you’re right and stick up for yourself when necessary.

7. Say the right things at the right time

Wise people always react after considering the facts, consequences of the situation and securing their position. When dealing with a difficult boss, you should analyze your situation and consider the consequences of your debate. When you think that your position is secure and you are competent enough to respond positively to the behavior of your boss, enter into the debate by saying the right things at the right time.  

8. Be responsible and be a leader

Sometimes, a difficult relationship with your boss arises due to their incompetence. In this situation, you need to behave and act as a leader. Observe where your boss is incompetent and take control to help tackle the situations. This will allow your boss to think that you are both responsible and dedicated to your job which will help develop a good relationship with them.

9. Keep a record

Documenting issues and conversations with your boss will help you to improve your relationship with them. If things get really serious, keeping a record of what has transpired in the past will help you to make your argument but may also allow you to see which areas where you can improve your performance and avoid conflict in the future.

10. Admit that you cannot change your boss

If your boss is aggressive and difficult to handle toward everyone and not just you, then it may be time to admit that things won’t change. It’s still important that they are informed of your concerns so everything can be done to try and improve the situation, but if you feel like you are forced to leave, at least you will know you have tried.

Author Bio: Asma Niaz is an academic writer at Zoe Talent Solutions who loves to write content on various educational topics, programs, trainings and courses. Zoe Talent Solutions is a premium teaching division, which offers highly professional HR courses to excel at your workplace.

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