Never waste a good opportunity to learn from a bad boss
A bad boss can make a once enjoyable job unbearable, and a good boss can make you into something greater than you previously imagined. If you have the misfortune to spend time with a bad boss than you must focus on what you can do to make the situation a positive one. When dealing with a difficult character the most important thing is to hold on to your confidence and morale. It's almost impossible to change the persona of your boss, especially if they've been like that for years but one thing you can change is your reaction to them. Here are 3 powerful ways to constructively deal with a bad boss:
1. Become familiar with their character profile
Play detective. The more you understand the "why" behind your boss's actions, the more you will be able to manage them, and any other difficult character that may cross your path in life. The best tip is to try to put yourself in their shoes and see their world, and your workplace, as they might.
- What do they care about?
- What keeps him them up at night?
- What would they love more of and what would they love less of on a daily basis?
- What frightens them?
- How much importance do they place on impressing others?
- How do they measure success?
- What do they think about failure?
When you know what drives your boss (even if your boss isn’t aware) you can begin to respond to them in a way that resonates with their core values and concerns. They will become much easier to manage once you understand how to listen and respond in their language.
2. Learn to be more direct
Always have the courage to stand up for what you need instead of settling for a miserable set of circumstances - or even worse fleeing your employment without confronting your issues. You at least owe your boss the opportunity to respond. Don't prejudge and assume they aren't able to take feedback, or don't care how miserable you are. When you approach them with respect and with a genuine desire to find an amicable resolution you can open the door to whole new levels of trust, collaboration, and resolutions.
3. Don’t allow it to influence your character
Never let your boss’s bad behavior be an excuse for your own. More often than not, people start feeling entitled to work less, take longer and longer lunches, lose interest or stop performing well all because of their bad boss. Don’t do the same. Keep your mind focused on top performance, at the end of the day it reflects on you. Complain to your spouse or your friends all you want, but when in the workplace be the person you were before your bad boss. Handling a difficult boss well can have big advantages too, you never know who is watching and people will think more of you if you can manage a particularly difficult personality. Finally, remember - if you have really run out of resolutions, you should not bad mouth or gossip about your boss. Instead, follow proper procedures for registering complaints with Human Resources or with higher-level superiors, documenting each step of the way.