Dealing With The Boss From Hell

It’s one thing dealing with difficult colleagues, you can avoid them and remain professional until you’re away from them but when it comes to dealing with a difficult boss it’s not as easy. Your boss is someone you have to have continuous contact with and if you don’t get on it can make coming to work very uncomfortable. Before you know how to deal with your difficult boss you need to know exactly what sort of boss you’re dealing with.

Bad At His Job

You probably think that if anyone has gotten to a position of seniority he must be very competent but this isn’t always the case. He might have got where he is because he know the right people or maybe he’s just been around so long they had no choice to promote him because he just hasn’t done anything bad enough to warrant getting rid of him. The bad boss is bad to work for because he either expects you to pick up after (or prevent) his screw ups or he’s making you look bad by association.

The Solution: If he’s got to the position he’s in there’s not much point waiting for him to just disappear you need to find a way to work with him at least for the time being. Befriend him and get to know his job too, it’s much easier to pick up after him or prevent his mistakes if you understand his job. Don’t forget the enemy of my enemy is my friend, or in this case, the boss of your boss is your friend. Make sure the senior management know how competent you are.

The Flirt

The flirt can be male or female and if you’ve got one as a boss it can make coming to work very awkward. They make lewd comments, make you feel uncomfortable and can easily but your career in jeopardy. If they’re a serial flirt they’ll know just where to draw the line so they don’t actually get in trouble or worse, they’ll find some way to hold power over you to stop you taking any action. Whether it’s something as simple as lying about your degree grade on your CV or quickly checking Facebook in office hours and no one can afford to be out of work at the moment.

The Solution: Always be open and honest, if you have a partner let them know and make it perfectly clear you’re not interested. Start making a note of all the little things they do you feel are inappropriate, make a note of what happened and when because if you do have to go to HR it will help make your case. If you feel confident enough treat it like a running joke, flirt back a little and let them see they’re not bothering you. So long as you’ve made it clear you’re not interested there’s no harm in a little light banter.


We all encounter bullies throughout our life; it’s not just in the playground. We find them at work, in our social circle and at our kid’s school parent teacher association. When they’re your boss they’re much harder to get around. You have to deal with them and they seem to take great delight in declaring your work useless or demanding you redo reports over again because they don’t like them. They don’t even have to be so overt about it, if your boss never has anything nice to say about your work and only ever talks to you when he doesn’t like your work it can make going in each day a nightmare.

The solution: As in the school yard – ignore them and they’ll go away. There’s a good chance your bully boss enjoys the power he feels from making your life miserable so if he’s not getting to you he won’t bother. The worst thing you can do with a bully boss is try and avoid him. If you’re working on a project make sure you’re consulting him through each step and make sure you’re having regular catch up meetings. If he has more contact with you he doesn’t have as long to get all worked up when he is angry.


Unfortunately the most common cause of the nightmare boss is also the hardest to deal with. We get to pick our friends and most the people in our lives and we can usually avoid people in our life we don’t like but when it’s the boss you’re stuck with him. You can’t fix a personality clash, if you don’t get on with your boss unfortunately it’s your problem and not his and this is going to make work difficult unless he actually crosses a line.

The Solution: Turn off all emotions at work, you can’t have a personality clash if you don’t have a personality and it’s much harder for him to upset you if you remain more detached. Work to the best of your abilities, make sure you always meet any deadlines he sets you and don’t ever risk trying to get the upper hand. You’re there to do your job, not make friends so just get your head down and get on with it.