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7 Things To Do If You Work For A Bad Boss

7 Things To Do If You Work For A Bad Boss

Not everyone of us is fortunate enough to work for a supportive boss who knows how to strike the perfect balance between being democratic and a disciplinarian. In fact, if you firmly believe that you currently work for a bad boss, perhaps it’s better for you to simply take consolation in the fact that you are not alone.

If you have a recent experience of working with your boss and trying to engage them in a productive and professional relationship – and you have miserably failed – then this article is made for you.

Stop letting a bad boss ruin your career. Start playing out the disadvantages and transforming them into advantages instead. If you work for a bad boss, it’s better for you to:

1. Acknowledge that it’s really not you; it’s really them.

Take a look at how you’re doing at work. Listen to regular performance evaluations. Monitor your work progress objectively and see if your work performance is the cause of your boss’s hostility towards you.

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If you’ve objectively come to the conclusion that it’s not your fault your boss is acting this way, let go of the control.

The behavior of your boss is caused by an external factor outside of your control. You’re not at fault here, so don’t try to argue or reason with your boss anymore.

2. Avoid responding negatively.

If your boss is doing something unprofessional, like whining at you or blaming you for something that you didn’t do, be the bigger and better person instead. Maintain professionalism and don’t let your emotions get in the way. If your boss is acting like a child, be the grown up!

3. Work on your value and become an indispensable asset to your company.

Be sensitive to your department’s needs. Don’t wait for someone to tell you if something needs to be done. Take the proactive route and make them realize how valuable you are to the company.

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Even better, surreptitiously find out your boss’s weak spots and work on improving them. They may not give you the credit, but they may realize how important you are to the team.

4. Announce your support of your boss publicly.

If your boss is a major pain, keep your mouth shut and don’t bad mouth them – even if the whole company knows just how awful he or she is. Your workplace isn’t about venting and rumors. It’s about getting work done and getting compensated well for it.

In addition, keep in mind that the HR department isn’t your friend or your therapist, so when reporting anything to them, keep it objective, professional and clean.

5. Encourage accountability.

If your boss is always guilty of playing the blame game and taking the credit for your work, you can conveniently prevent future occurrences of this by documenting everything.

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During a meeting, write down what the agenda is, which person is responsible for which project and when the project is due. Make everyone sign on it and give them receiving copies of what has transpired. Putting it out there in the open and having substantial proof can do wonders for your workflow.

6. Look for thought leaders outside your company and consider them as mentors.

If you work for a bad boss, don’t bother changing them. It’s going to be a toxic waste of time and money anyway. Instead, go to conferences and seminars and try to connect with the thought leaders in your industry. Go to them for counsel and give them meaningful gifts to make them realize that you appreciate their time.

Successful people love making other people successful. Go to them.

7. Continue to work on your network.

Continue to be visible in your current network. You should always be prepared because you never know when the time will come to leave your job.

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In the end, evaluate your options and figure out if staying in the job is worth it.

Featured photo credit: 78H/RYAN MCGUIRE OF BELLS DESIGN via gratisography.com

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Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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