Tips for Dealing With a Difficult Boss

Here at HMCW we know its not just the coworkers that make it difficult for us to get our work done so we have compiled a top 10 list of tips dealing with a difficult boss.

1. Make Sure You’re Dealing With a “Bad Boss”

Before trying to fix your bad boss, make sure you really are dealing with one. Is there a reason for her behavior, or are you being too hard on them? We know this can be a difficult task but at the same time you need to make sure its them and NOT YOU!

So, observe them for a few days and see how many things they do good and how many things they do bad. Then when they do something bad are they trying to correct it, admit the mistake or is it out of their control?

2. Identify Your Boss’ Motivation

Trying to under the ‘why’ is another way to try to understand why your boss does certain things and can give insight on their management style. This is why its number two on the list – see what your boss really cares about when it comes to managing their staff.

3. Don’t Let it Affect Your Work

We know this is a difficult one here at HMCW but at the same time we know we need to get that pay check. So, we ask if AT ALL POSSIBLE don’t let it affect your work. If you do, because lets be honest it will, then make sure it doesn’t affect your performance but taking a little extra time at lunch or break, then do it. Take that mental health or sick day before you decide to let your boss ‘have it’.

4. Stay One Step Ahead

This tip is key when you know its your boss and not you. By staying one step ahead you can cut-off all of their unreasonable request and ensure they can’t micromanage you anymore than needed (if that’s even possible).

By getting ahead of their request it could get them to stop being ‘bad’ and get them being on your side and then you’ll have an advocate on your side.

5. Set Boundaries

There’s nothing worse than having a boss who cuts into your breaks and lunches then decides to call and text you when you’re off work. We know that sometimes these boundaries can be crossed pretty quickly so by getting ahead of this will let your boss know you are not messing around.

6. Stop Assuming They Know Everything

We all have a boss that thinks they know everything and sometimes in some circumstances they actually do….while in the majority they don’t know everything about everything. They are human and just because they are your boss doesn’t mean they automatically have the knowledge of that position.

7. Act as the Leader

When you have a terrible boss sometimes it might be best to just step up and take over their role and responsibilities. We added this tip because it could help increase upper management to see your potential but we want to make sure when this happens that you set a time period on it. If not then you could find yourself doing your job AND your bosses.

No one wants that.

8. Identify Triggers

Bosses are human as much as don’t want to admit it sometimes so in that we need to see what their triggers are and work on avoiding them. The last thing we want to encourage is taking long lunches when you boss has issues centered around it. So, be cautious and look for those triggers.

9. Use Tips from Couples’ Therapy

We tend to spend more time at work than we do at home with those that care about us so instead of looking at the boss as someone you won’t see again…until the next morning. Try using therapy tips such as ‘what I’m hearing is’ or ‘i’m feeling that you are not hearing what I’m trying to convey’

10. Avoid Future Bad Bosses

This is probably the easiest tip and after working for a few bad bosses you can pick up on some of the reg flags. So, when you are in the interviewing process it might help if you ask your direct manager/boss some good questions on their leadership abilities such as:

“What would your previous staff members say are your top qualities and bad?”

“What has been the churn rate been for this part of the company?”

“How would you handle dealing with someone under you that did (insert scenario here)?”

Then if all else fails try to grab a coffee  with an employee at the new opportunity to get their candid response.

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