8 Ways To Handle A Difficult Boss


In a perfect world, we would all have fantastic managers—bosses who’ll help nurture us, who’ll help us succeed, who’ll make us feel wanted and appreciated. Brilliant bosses are hard to come by. If you’re one of the lucky ones (who’s never had to work with a difficult boss) – most people will bite your hand off to be in that position.

If you are unfortunate enough to be paired up with a foul-mouthed, misogynistic, keyboard smashing dragon of a boss, you may think your life is ruined. However bad you think your situation is, there’s always some small way to make best of the situation and try to put your differences aside.

We’ve collectively, put our heads together here at Michael Lewin Solicitors and thought of a 8 step guide on the ways you can find common ground with your boss so you can put up with him for the reminder of your time there.

Let’s begin…

Is Your Boss Actually A ‘Bad Boss’

In your head you are probably screaming “Yes, I am totally sure he is a bad boss”. Although, you may be positive about this, it’s important to spend a couple of days observing him assessing the things your boss does well versus poorly. Here are some example traits of a bad manager:

  • Making false promises
  • Changing the goal posts every 5 minutes
  • Talking down to you
  • Bad leadership skills
  • Unable to praise staff
  • Unable to give constructive criticism
  • Bad temper

Does your manager ever display these traits?

Don’t Avoid Your Boss

You may feel at times you don’t want anything to do with your boss. This is understandable. However, you can’t let this affect your work. It’s important that you continue attending the same meetings as your boss and do not avoid your manager’s calls. You don’t want to give your manager any leverage over you.

Don’t Let This Affect Your Work

This step is very important! You can’t let your bosses’ bad behaviour affect the quality of work you produce. You still need to maintain good relationships with other leaders at the company to show you are still committed.

Try not to retaliate against your boss by turning up to work late and working slowly deliberately; to annoy him. This doesn’t do anyone any favours. Keep doing your job well and most likely things will change for the better.

Take An Interest In Your Manager’s Life

If you feel the relationship with your boss is repairable via social interaction; then, I would insist on taking this step. By taking an interest in your boss’s life maybe the tables will turn for you and your boss will start to make more time for you and change his ways. Start with asking a question like “what have you been up to over the weekend”. You will be surprised with where a simple conversational starter can take you.

Keep A Record Of All Communications Between Your Boss

Make sure you keep a record of ALL communications you’ve had with your troublesome boss (even verbal conversations). This information would be useful to have if your manager ever accuses you of not hitting your deadlines for example. You will have written accounts ready to use if the situation ever transpires.

Work His Hours

Try and copy the working hours of your bad boss. Working his hours proves that you are a ready, willing, and an available employee prepared to go the extra mile for the company and for your own personal development. This only applies to bosses who put in the long hours.

Confirm Deadlines

Memorialise all deadlines in writing to avoid miscommunications or misunderstandings with your boss. By missing deadlines, this will reflect poorly on yourself and there will be no way of talking yourself out of it. No doubt this would worsen your relationship.

Avoid Future Bad Bosses

I bet your thinking. Bad bosses and I are magnetic! To help solve this illusion, here’s a simple way to help decrease the chances of working with a horrible boss again. When interviewing with a new company, do your research ahead of time, making sure you do not get into the same situation again.

Go the extra mile by doing some further investigatory work, arrange a coffee meet up with a couple of staff members working at your prospective future employer. You can take this opportunity to learn more about the company and learn most importantly about your future boss. Don’t make this same mistake again!

On balance, sometimes you need to remember, your boss is only human and can make mistakes from time to time. Your boss could be stressed up to his/her eye balls at work or is going through a personal issue. As much as you may hate your boss, remember to treat them as if they are human beings.

If you’ve been treated unfairly by your employer. Michael Lewin Solicitors can help you through this difficult time. We have a team of dedicated solicitors with extensive experience in dealing with stress at work cases.

Article written by Hayden Lloyd, Digital Marketing Assistant for the Marketing Department at Michael Lewin Solicitors.Hayden Lloyd Digital Marketing Assistant

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