difficult boss

Tips For Dealing With A Difficult Boss

Dealing with a difficult person is draining and zaps you emotionally, especially if the difficult person you are dealing with is your boss. It can be mentally demanding and stressful. It also affects almost every area of your life: your work performance, your personal life, your relationship with the people around you and your relationship with yourself.

You are probably considering quitting your job just to get away from your boss. However, it is hard to quit a job when you don’t have another job lined-up, and it is hard to look for another job if you are unmotivated because you are emotionally depleted. You also feel that you do not have the time to look for another job because you are too engaged and emotionally spent/exhausted in your current job. 

Dealing with a difficult boss should be taken seriously. If quitting your job is not in your options at the moment, then there are things you can do to reduce the damage to yourself for having a difficult boss.

1. Identify what motivates your boss.

Put yourself into the shoes of your boss.  How does your boss see the world? What are the goals of your boss for the company? What does he care about?

It is important that you know what drives your boss, and what keeps him up at night. You can decipher this by listening carefully to what he is saying during your meetings. He/she may sometimes appear gnarly and sound egocentric, but your boss might have a point to what he is saying and has a valid reason why your boss snaps. So keep an open mind.

2. Don’t let your boss break you spirit.

No matter how bad the behavior of your boss is, don’t let your boss get on your nerves and affect your work. It may sound impossible to do, but it is doable. You should just not take the hurtful feedback and comments of your boss personally. You should learn how to detach your emotions and not be too sensitive about it; instead, take your boss’s comments as constructive criticism. 

3. Stay one step ahead.

You should always be prepared for what might come next and be one step ahead of your boss. You may start by knowing what problems your boss is trying to solve or the things that he might need at work. You could also try to identify what makes them motivated, so that you can get a better understanding of what they are expecting from their employees and you can anticipate what they might need. Once you have anticipated the probable request needed from you, you start to plan or work on it in advance. Your boss will remind you less and will see you as a responsible employee.

4. Work in accordance of your boss’s preference.

Sync your work style with your boss’s preference. Examine your boss’ behavior at work. Does your boss work on a fast pace? Then you should work on a fast pace too. Does your boss prefer email communication instead of face-to-face communication? Then don’t barge in your boss’s office if you want to speak and raise any matter. It is also important that you know his personal mission and vision and work ethics, so that you can refer to those every time you presenting your ideas. 

5. Talk to your Human Resources (HR).

If you feel that you have tried everything, you also even tried talking to your boss but nothing happened, then maybe it is time to talk to you Human Resources (HR). Arrange an appointment with your HR to discuss your concerns about your boss. You need to prepare a draft of topics that you want to raise with your HR and also proof and documents to back you up. Lastly, be calm, composed and be mindful on the tone of your voice. No matter how you despise you boss, you should not badmouth your boss.

Dealing with a difficult boss is a challenge. If you still find your boss unbearable after practicing these tips, then maybe it’s time to update your resume and leave your current company. Working in a toxic environment won’t bring any good; your physical and mental health will be affected, and we don’t want that to happen.

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About The Author

Esther B.

Esther B.

Esther is a writer whose work focuses on career and personal development. She has also been YourTango’s Expert Partner where she wrote articles mostly for women to encourage them to have a meaningful life and healthier relationships. Her articles were constantly in YourTango’s weekly top ten for highest number of page views and her works have been featured in MSN and POPSUGAR. She also has almost 8 years of experience working for top publishing companies (Wiley and Cengage Learning) helping authors publish their books and research papers. When she is not on the computer, you’ll likely find her in the kitchen busy looking for snacks to eat.