It seems that successfully managing a difficult boss is a challenge but often feasible. Some ways to deal with difficult bosses are:
- Understand the problem. – Recognize that, unless your boss is a bully, their behavior is probably due to ignorance.
- Manage your own negative emotions. – Do not engage in self-defeating behavior such as stonewalling, or counter-attacking your boss. Control your emotions.
- Talk to the boss. Tell him what you need from him in term of direction, feedback and support. Be polite and focus on your needs. You should discuss your concerns — not confront your boss. Telling the boss heâ€™s a bad boss is counterproductive and wonâ€™t help you meet your goals.
- Try to support the boss. – Ask the boss how you can help him reach his goals. Make sure you listen well and provide the needed assistance. You will be seen as a team player and may be able to advance in the organization with or without your boss.
- Stand up for yourself. – Supporting your boss isn’t the same as being a doormat. Don’t tolerate being yelled at or otherwise treated badly. If your boss does something unacceptable, say so as directly and unemotionally as possible.
- Seek a mentor. – With the full knowledge of your current boss, find a mentor from among other managers or more skilled peers, to enlarge your opportunity for experience.
- Document the problem. – If your boss is a bully, keep a written record of incidents and when they occur. Where possible, have a witness.
- Ask for a transfer – If you think the problem is that your boss canâ€™t â€“ or wonâ€™t â€“ change, and you like your employer and your work, ask for transfer to another department.
- Look for a new job. – If the situation does not improve, you may need to look for a workplace that does not tolerate bad bosses. Remember, you deserve to have a boss who treats you with respect.
- Dealing With a Bad Boss – by About.com Human Resources.
- Five Ways to Deal With a Bad Boss – by Tag and Catherine Goulet.
- Anxiety at Work – Managing Your Boss – by Marilyn Puder-York.
- Boss quiz – by M.P. Hummingbird. For the boss to self rate on 10 questions. Then to compare it against anonymous rating by the employees.
- Managing Your Manager – by Katherine Spencer Lee, RHIConsulting.
- The Boss – He’s every employee’s worst nightmare. He wasn’t born mean and unscrupulous, he worked hard at it. And succeeded. As for stupidity, well, some things are inborn.
- Pointy Haired Boss – The phrase has acquired a generic usage to refer to incompetent managers.