Having a difficult boss in a professional journey is not at all abnormal. Most of us have to struggle to make those curt and insecure managers happy at times, and some of us even feel like quitting the position out of frustration. But though dealing with an impossible boss may give you a hard time, there are still ways to handle the situation wisely and get the best out of it. This article will help you out with the best advice and tips to find some common ground with your ‘dragon’ boss or at least maintain sanity until you shift. Check out the 7 best ways to address managers who are challenging to work with.
Different Types of Bosses You May Encounter
A fantastic boss, who is all-around a great person, is only found in an ideal world scenario. the Chances are high that your boss drives you crazy and makes your work-life ‘impossible’ instead of helping you succeed. So, first, you need to understand the type of boss you are working for. We have deduced the types of boss you are likely to confront in your workplace:
Self-centered and self-obsessed boss, who always proves you wrong by thriving on his bloated ego and grabs the spotlight for your achievement
Nosy micromanager with an overbearing nature, who obstructs your workspace as well as freedom of expression each time by throwing in his inputs
An extremely busy boss, who is never present for an urgent proposal and always engaged in non-constructive activities, thereby leaving you feeling frustrated
Chaotic and angry boss, who makes the environment tense and nerve-wracking all the time with his constant foul mood
Picky and partial boss, who discriminates against employees and ignores the selected ones to be in support of his incompetent favorites
An intense workspace bully, who tries to intimidate you by yelling at you, criticizing you hard, and judging you every single moment
Why Learn Addressing a Difficult Boss?
Before exploring the strategies to tackle the significant challenge in your workplace called ‘boss’, it is important to know why you must learn it. The first thing that you should understand is that people do not leave jobs because they are overworked. Instead, they actually leave their ‘managers’. Workplace Stress and depression are more associated with a relentless boss than workload and work pressure. A survey by The Predictive Index revealed that almost 41% of employees dislike their bosses both professionally and personally, while 77% of people with bad managers plan to quit as soon as possible (1). Hence, it is no surprise that an ‘impossible’ boss can make you feel undervalued even when you have an otherwise rewarding role in the company.
But resigning from the position is not always the answer. Rather managing a not-so-inspiring supervisor can provide you with incredible opportunities in your corporate career by enhancing your self-leadership skills. Check out below the benefits of addressing a difficult boss (2):
- Decreases the stress and anxiety related to work
- Keeps up health by reducing the scopes of illness
- Boosts the level of productivity in the workplace
- Increases job satisfaction significantly
- Strengthens the potential to proceed at work
- Helps develop executive leadership skills
- Impacts various aspects of life positively
7 Best Strategies to Handle Impossible Bosses
When you have a tenacious boss, all you need to do is better manage him regardless of his difficult personality. Here are the secret in-depth strategies to help you achieve a calm and peaceful working environment by blocking out his actions:
1. Exhibit Strong Expertise and Skills
If your boss always behaves like a raging bull and each of your sessions turns grueling, demonstrate your efficiency and make him satisfied. Strong willpower and hard work can help you stop your boss from complaining about your talent, qualities, and reliability. Once your capability is proved, your boss may feel comfortable relying upon you.
2. Do Not React Against Screams
Some bosses have the least control over their tempers. They find it the easiest way to deal with their anger by making scenes of every issue. If you want to handle such situations tactfully, practice patience and look straight into his eyes instead of looking down. Hold onto your emotions, stay composed, and behave as nothing happened at all to make him feel shameful. Your coolness may defeat his aggression successfully.
3. Stop Being Defensive in the Worst Time
We all experience those bad days in the workplace when we feel all our resistance has been crushed. It is even more true when the manager is already horrible. But make sure that you stay passive rather than throwing a few angry words at your boss, which can lead to an unending argument and make you a potential rival to him. Keep a check on your frustration to avoid any feud that may turn the working atmosphere even uglier.
4. Be Confident to Cope with Rudeness
Certain bosses deny interacting with company staff. They are extremely rude and never want to face the issues that are going on at the organization’s operational level by creating a boundary around them. Be courteous yet confident while approaching such a boss. Or else, you will never get heard. You should also be very punctual and precise while expressing yourself to make things go on smoothly.
5. Count Pending Leaves before Seeking One
If you have a proper reason and enough pending leaves in your account, nobody can reject your leave application. But lots of bosses immediately say ‘no’ when an employee applies for leave. Therefore, it is recommended that you keep a count of how many leaves you have already taken and how many are left so that you can remind your boss about them. Also, do not forget to keep your HR in CC while sending the leave application.
6. Stand Tall Against Bullying Behavior
If you are doing your best and still being bullied by your boss, do not feel intimidated. Cowering, showing anger, responding in fear, etc., will give him more power and satisfy his ego eventually. Rather, hold your head high and work to defuse a tough situation by asking questions and seeking to understand. If you stand strong and behave smart, no bully can stop you from being successful.
7. Draw Lines on Abusive Behavior and Language
Quite a few bosses are there, who love to insult their employees and that too openly. Their own limitations make them insecure, and they try to hide those shortcomings by ‘utilizing’ their power to harass their staff. If the behavior or the language of your boss becomes abusive, raise your voice against it. If it does not stop him, complain to the person above him on the hierarchy or the HR personnel by stating everything clearly.
Finally, it is important to determine the situation you are in before taking any action. Do not analyze the nature of your boss and start judging him based on your assumptions. You should also look at yourself to figure out your own flaws, if any, and rectify them. Things will definitely get better as time passes.
A fantastic boss is rare in the real world. Bosses make the work-life of employees ‘impossible’ instead of helping them succeed. You may confront different types of bosses in your workplace including self-centered and self-obsessed, micromanagers, busy bees, chaotic and angry, picky and partial, intense workspace bullies, etc. However, managing a challenging supervisor regardless of his difficult personality can provide you with incredible opportunities in your corporate career. Some secret strategies to tackle a tenacious boss are exhibiting strong expertise and skills, not reacting against screams, not being defensive in the worst time, being confident to cope with rudeness, standing tall against bullying behavior, drawing lines on abusive behavior, and language, and so on. Finally, determine the situation you are in before taking any action and rectify your own flaws if there are any.
- “The Predictive Index People Management Study”, PredictiveIndex.com
- “How to Handle a Bad Boss: 7 Strategies for ‘Managing Up”, Forbes.com