—Continued from last week
Being upset over every little thing your boss does won’t help improve your work satisfaction. You will live in hatred for most of your waking, even sleeping hours. You do not go to your job to fall in love with everyone, but to use talents and abilities as best you can to achieve an outcome. So let people be people, including your boss, knowing they won’t change.
How then do I relate with my difficult boss? Here are some tips:
Before trying to fix your bad boss, make sure you really are dealing with one. Observe your boss for a few days and try to notice how many things she does well versus poorly. Is it truly her fault, or could it be something out of her control?
Understanding why your boss does or cares about certain things can give you insight into his or her management style; try to figure out your boss’ motivation.
Don’t try to even the score by working slower or taking excessive “mental health” days or longer lunches. It will only put you further behind in your workload and build a case for your boss to give you the old heave-ho before you’re ready to go.
Make sure to document interactions with your boss, be it requests or criticisms, so you can refer back to them if they ever contradict her.
If your boss is the type who gives you directions verbally, follow up with an email that outlines the discussion to ensure that you heard everything correctly. Be prepared to pull out your documented proof if your boss questions your outputs Timing is often everything when managing conflict with a boss. It is also just as important in timing to find your focus. If all you are looking for are the things your boss does wrong, then that’s all you’ll find. Instead, focus on what you want to see more of; good boss behaviour.
When your boss is yelling at you, it feels personal, but it’s often not. Listen, nod, provide results immediately and move on. You’re better served to ask if the reaction was all meant for you or directed toward you, once they have cooled down. Then the answer is likely to be no and sometimes an apology.
Once you label your boss as bad, you expect him to act that way. Your expectations create your responses. Your responses drive your behaviour and if you have difficult behaviour, what are you likely to get back?
No one wants to work in a position in which the stress is high, the boss is crazy and you’re constantly in agony or in fear for your job.
If it’s more than you can bear or feel you deserve and the boss is just bonkers, then make an effort to move on. You lose the right to complain about your plight if you refuse to lift a finger to fix it or to find another option.
Bosses are people too and most are not intending to be difficult. They either don’t know how to handle stress or lead people. If you work with a manager who’s been promoted but seems to have lost the desire to care, recognise that these steps can work magic —even without a wand.