7 Tips for Dealing with Your Bad Boss

Going to work every day if you have a bad boss can be a nightmare, making you miserable both at work, and even at home. You might even have nightmares about your supervisor. So what can you do if your boss is driving you crazy? Here are a few tips:

Think about whether you are being too sensitive

Before you do anything, you may be sure that you are not overreacting, and that your complaints are real. So check your premises first. Are you somebody who gets irritated with every boss, or is the first supervisor you have ever had problems with? Be willing to acknowledge that the problem could be with you. You might want to think about asking an impartial third party – preferably not in your current workplace — about what is going on.

Follow your boss’ instructions

If you have been butting heads with your boss, make the effort to pay close attention to what your supervisor wants, and then follow it. Nothing can infuriate a supervisor more than when staffers do not do what they want. So be sure you do everything requested of you. In addition, send an email or note whenever you complete an assignment, to show that you are getting your work done. If you work for a reasonable person, this should alleviate much of the issues. If not, you may need to pay attention to the following suggestions.

Document everything

That is not the only time you may need to document things. If what your boss is doing is something that you may eventually need to tell somebody in upper management about, document everything. For example, if you have a boss who makes you work extra hours, but refuses to pay for it, even though you are entitled to overtime, you may need to document what is going on. On an even more serious note, if your boss is harassing you or discriminating against you, you need to document that as well. You can do this by keeping a diary or even sending emails to yourself, to keep track of what is going on and to have evidence of dates.

Do not vent to others at the workplace

The quickest way to the unemployment line is to get caught badmouthing your boss. Even if your supervisor isn’t loyal to you, it will do no career no favors to be discovered to be saying terrible things about your boss. Save your venting for your spouse or your close friends.

Change your reaction

It is a truism in that we cannot change other people, especially not our bosses. However, we can change our reactions to other people. Think about constructive ways that you can deal with the situation with your supervisor without losing your cool. You can take deep breaths, go for a walk, or use other coping mechanisms to keep you from blowing your top.

See if you can meet with your boss – or upper management

If it is a minor issue that you have to deal with regarding your manager, you may be able to meet with your supervisor and settle what is bothering him or her. If it is more major, you can meet with the supervisor, but you might need to meet with human resources or with your boss’s boss in order to get resolution.

If all else fails, move on

If you have tried everything you can to work things out with your boss, it may be time for you to move on. When it comes to a reference, see if there is somebody else at your workplace who can help with that. At any rate, life is too short to stay in an intolerable situation forever.
Lisa Swan writes for the Institute for Coaching, a career, executive, and life coaching company.

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