Posted by Brian McCullough
Do you feel like your boss is the “boss from hell?” Are you having a hard time dealing with your boss? If this is the case, what should you do? How do you deal with a difficult boss?
First, take a step back. Make an honest assessment of the situation. Has your job performance gone down since the “boss from hell” came into the picture? If it has, try to focus to improving your performance. Concentrate on the projects you have at hand and do your best.
Second, try to understand the reasons behind your boss’ actions. If your boss used to be reasonable and his new behavior is the result of stress rather than flaws in his character, then try to make allowances for his behavior. Understand that he is not targeting you; he is simply under too much stress. However, if your boss has always been difficult and hostile, you may need to consider having a discussion with your boss because his actions are making it difficult for you to do your job.
Third, try to have a talk with your boss. Be ready to pay attention and listen to what he has to say. You may be surprised at what you will find out if you pay attention. Explain the difficulties you are encountering and ask for advice on how you can improve. This will make your boss feel valued. If he criticizes you, listen to what he has to say. Do not lose your temper or start an argument. Stay calm and focused.
Fourth, protect your reputation. Consider the possibility that your constant complaining about the situation can quickly earn you the title of “chronic complainer.” Others may start to wonder why you are unable to solve your own problems. Reflect on the issue. Is it really that bad? Is it possible that you are simply feeling “victimized” by other circumstances and are simply finding your boss as a convenient person to blame for all your ills?
Fifth, find a mentor. If you have already had a discussion with your boss, and nothing seems to have changed at all regarding his behavior, find someone within your organization who can give advice or mentor you.
Sixth, if all else fails, go straight up the chain of command. Report your boss. However, this may not be an effective way of dealing with a difficult boss. You may find that it only increases conflict in the workplace. Your boss might think you have deliberately sidestepped him and your co-workers may think you are untrustworthy.
The important thing to remember is – do something. Do not just sit there and quietly hope your problem will go away. Problems do not resolve themselves unless steps are taken to resolve them. It may just be possible that your boss has no idea that his behavior is causing you difficulty. Maybe no one has ever approached him about the issue. You will never know unless you try. There is no need to sacrifice your dream career unless you have exhausted all efforts.
What if you have done everything but you are simply unable to handle working for your boss any longer? Then you should consider requesting for a transfer to another department or finding other employment.
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