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.
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.
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.
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.
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