Did you know that most people don’t quit a job, they quit a manager? That means when you’re feeling dissatisfied with your job, it may be your relationship with your boss that’s causing the lion’s share of your frustration. We are always influenced by our environment, so it’s important that we learn effective strategies to work with people we might not always like. Here are five things you can do to deal with a bad boss in the workplace.
1. Communicate Everything
If part of your frustration is your boss’s lack of communication, take up the slack and be extra communicative with them. Talk to them about starting a project, every milestone along the way, and your expected outcome. Take initiative and start these conversations without waiting for your boss to ask what you’re working on.
2. Be Transparent
You want to make it difficult for your manager to find fault in what you’re doing day to day. To that end, be an open book. If your boss likes to nitpick little things you are or aren’t doing on the job, be open about everything with complete honesty. That also means you can’t sweep mistakes under the rug. Part of transparency is taking responsibility for your actions and fixing them.
3. Get to Know Them
If you don’t like someone, you probably won’t take the time to get to know them. But know that everyone is a complex person and there may be more layers than what you get to see. If you learn what makes your boss tick, you can adjust your reactions to the things they do. You will begin to see patterns in their motivation and behavior and you may learn some insight that will help you work with them in a more productive way.
4. Document Everything
If your boss is unpredictable, then make sure you’re protecting yourself. Document every interaction so you can refer to it if there is a major problem in the future. Keep any emails, especially those that can be seen as problematic, in a safe place or print them out to store securely. You can also keep a notebook or journal that documents your face-to-face interactions, especially if you have concerns. In the future, if your boss brings up negative circumstances that could reflect poorly on your performance, you’ll have your documentation to back up your side of the story.
5. Be Solutions Oriented
Just because your bad boss wants to be aggressive or passive-aggressive in their interactions doesn’t mean you have the luxury to act the same way. When confronted or challenged, don’t get defensive or complain. Instead, be prepared to find a solution to the problem. If you can be solutions oriented, even a bad boss will have a hard time finding fault in your performance. Don’t be adversarial just because you’re frustrated. Instead, focus your energy on being productive.
Are You Concerned About Your Boss and Looking For a Better Environment?