Sometimes, the performance of employees in an organization depends on their boss. A good boss will always inspire and motivate their employees to be more productive. However, if you have a boss who continually micromanages, criticizes, and makes you feel unappreciated, it will positively affect the workplace. It will make the environment toxic and lead to gross underperformance in the environment. In this article, I will share with you some of the ways to deal with terrible bosses.
Nothing demoralizes employees more than a terrible boss who promotes toxicity in the workplace. And if you don’t come up with strategic ways to handle terrible bosses, they will make your stay in the organization a living hell.
So, here are 5 ways to deal with terrible bosses without taking the law into your own hands;
#1. Identify Your Boss’s Motivation
One of the easiest ways to deal with terrible bosses is to identify their motivation. Take your time to observe your boss, study their work pattern, what they care about, their management style, and what they like doing a lot.
However, if your observation didn’t get you what you need, try to figure out their motivation. Once you understand your boss’s motivation, it’s easier to deliver results, manage their expectations, avoid losing situations, etc.
When trying to figure out your boss’s motivation, try to be empathetic. See the entire workplace the way your boss will see it. And ask yourself the following questions;
- What do they care about the most?
- What keeps them awake most nights?
- Do they place any importance on impressing others?
- What do they love doing the most? And what do they dislike most?
- Does anything frighten them?
- What is their method of measuring success, and how do they see failure?
The answers to these questions will give you all the information you need to know about your boss, including their drivers and motivation.
Once you have this information, you can discuss your concerns with them using language in a way that conforms with their core values, concerns, and priorities.
#2. Support Their Successes and Work Around Their Weaknesses
Nobody is infallible, not even your boss. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. And that’s why working around your boss’s flaws is one of the ways to deal with terrible bosses.
I know this may sound strange, but you must support the success of a bad boss. After all, you won’t lose anything if you celebrate their victory and work around their weaknesses.
Trust me, trying to make your boss’s incompetence public will only make things worse for you. So, try to help your boss focus on their natural strength and work around their weaknesses.
For instance, if your boss is disorganized, you don’t have to lament about them. Help them stay organized. Whining about it won’t change anything; it will only fall back to you.
Again, if they have a habit of coming late to every team meeting, offer to anchor the next meeting on their behalf. Initially, they may hesitate, but over time they will see the bigger picture.
And if your boss is always forgetful or changes their mind frequently, always document your conversation with them. It will serve as a reference the next time they try to contradict themselves.
Lastly, if they seldom respond, keep working on the project until they give you feedback. Your boss will see you as a valuable asset if you are great at managing their inefficiencies.
Look at it this way when you support your boss to succeed, you are laying a great foundation for yourself.
#3. Stay Focused On Top Performance
Staying focused on your performance is one of the ways to deal with terrible bosses. Of course, it can be demoralizing when you have a bad boss.
But you must not allow your boss’s behavior to change your personality. Don’t take your boss’s attitude as an excuse to slack off, spend longer time during lunches, or lose interest in the job.
You can complain about your boss to your family and friends. But while in the office, stay focused on your goals. Remain undistracted and engaged.
If you can handle a difficult boss proactively, it will set you apart from other employees. And if you ask me, that’s a point on your scorecard.
In a nutshell, always maintain a calm and professional demeanor whenever you are working with a difficult boss.
#4. Speak Up, Don’t Cower in Silence
One of the ways to deal with terrible bosses is to speak up. It’s not advisable to cower in silence when working in a toxic environment. Speak with your boss about your concerns and let them know how their attitude or behavior affects your performance.
Try to be civil in your conversation and put your emotions in check. During your conversation, you can suggest possible solutions to improve the situation.
Again, sometimes, having a conversation with your boss may not change anything. But it’s important to let your boss know how you feel.
#5. Act As the Leader
Acting as the leader is amongst the ways to deal with terrible bosses. Don’t get me wrong, acting as the leader doesn’t mean you are sidelining your boss. But it’s a way of taking important decisions that will hide your boss’s inefficiencies.
So, instead of blaming your boss for certain actions, make decisions on your own. But before you make such a decision, you must be an experienced professional in your niche.
Once you start acting as the leader, your team members will naturally follow you. However, try not to undermine your boss even when your peers follow you. So, always keep your boss updated about your next step.
There you have it – 5 ways to deal with terrible bosses. Even if you have the worst boss in the world, you can tolerate and work with them to apply some of these tips.