In a utopian world, you’d land your dream job, have the nicest and most helpful colleagues, and at the same time a perfect boss, but that is highly unlikely to happen in real life. Difficult bosses are everywhere, and each of us had to work with one at least once in our careers. While every job has its different type of stress and pressure, adding to it a difficult manager makes things even harder and sometimes hinders our efforts to grow where we work.
While every boss has their different management style, there are certain types of managers that every employee will find difficult and challenging to deal with such as:
- The micromanager
- The manager who doesn’t listen
- The manager who never gives credit or support.
- The constantly critical manager
- The disrespectful manager
- The over-demanding manager
Since we understand how stressful it is to work with a difficult boss, we have gathered some advice that can help make things easier for you with your manager.
- Identify Triggers
The first thing you need to do in order to be able to deal with a difficult boss is to know what triggers them so you avoid it. For instance, if your manager gets angry when you arrive late or after them to the office, make sure you work on your punctuality. Another example, if your manager gets annoyed by the lack of planning or expects you to have answers to things they would ask about in a certain project, you have to be on top of the game and always prepared.
- Try to understand your manager’s communication style.
In general, human beings communicate differently, tellingly, the same applies to work. Understanding your manager’s communication style will make things easier for both of you. For instance, if your manager prefers primarily discussing things in person, then schedule a time with them where you can sit and brief them about everything then send an email for summing up and approvals.
- Adapt to your manager’s work style and preferences.
Let’s say your manager is fast-paced and prefers to finalize matters quickly, taking too long on a task will accordingly irritate them and put you in a place of blame from their point of view. On the other hand, if your manager likes more time to take a certain decision, don’t rush them by sending numerous follow-up emails.
- Be proactive.
This is very important, especially with a needy manager. Having worked with your manager for some time, you must have grasped the fact that they can be a bit demanding and have identified the things your manager will ask about. In such a scenario, you need to be steps ahead and get things done and ready before they ask.
- Be a problem solver, not a problem maker.
Why be the bearer of bad news when instead you can shine at the workplace as a problem solver? Any manager, not just a difficult one, wouldn’t really like it if you bring problems along with you every time you knock on their door. Instead, if you are facing a problem at work, take some time alone first to think of a couple of solutions to propose to your manager while discussing the problem. Instead of relying on your manager to fix everything for you, you should find ways to help in solving problems with them.
- Avoid gossiping about your manager with your colleagues.
This is very common and happens almost in every workplace. When we have a hard time with our managers, we sometimes gossip with our colleagues as a way of venting. But bear in mind that the consequences of such an action can make things get way worse. Firstly, you might end up in a very bad situation if what you say spreads around and reaches your manager. Secondly, taking advice from here and there won’t necessarily be in your favor.
- Take responsibility for your actions when necessary.
Everyone is at risk of making mistakes at work. That doesn’t necessarily mean we are careless, however, repeating the same mistake over and over means you are not focusing enough. When and if you are in a situation where your manager is discussing a mistake of yours at work, instead of debating and arguing, own up to it and take corrective action. Debating will only make the situation worse. Yet, if there is a misunderstanding, clear it out calmly and respectfully.
We acknowledge that working with a difficult boss is very hard, but it is not really impossible if you try to find ways to work the situation out. However, if all fails and it started to affect your well-being, then finding another job is mandatory.