Having a tough time with your boss already this new year? One of the main reasons that workers become unhappy at work is bad management. A tough boss can turn even a good working environment into an uncomfortable and unhappy workplace. They have the ability to assign good or bad tasks, and ultimately to fire us. This power imbalance is why a good relationship with your manager is so important. If you want to know how to deal with a bad boss and to improve your work environment, continue reading.
- IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BOSS.
- Speak up: If you are struggling to have a good relationship with your boss, then you shouldn’t stay in silence. Talking to your boss about the problems you’re having in a calm, polite, and professional manner can help you work together to resolve them. Of course, the type of relationship you have and the type of person your boss is can affect how you approach your conversation, but in general, saying something and trying to improve the relationship is superior to getting angry and frustrated and not being able to get your work done. You’d be surprised by how many bosses have no idea that the people they are managing are feeling overlooked, angry, frustrated, or like they’re getting mixed signals. When you voice your concerns with your boss, then he or she will be grateful that you said something. If you never say anything to your boss about it, then there are almost no chances that your work relationship or your work environment will improve. Saying something is unpleasant, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. You should carefully plan what you’ll say, ask your boss to set a time to talk, and come prepared with evidence and examples of times when you were frustrated with your situation.
- Work with your boss, not against him or her: Though it may feel good to undermine your boss or to make him or her look foolish or incompetent, in the long run, it’s far better to help your boss look better and to achieve goals that are good for you and the company. If you spend your time making your boss look incompetent at meetings or sabotaging your boss’s efforts to get work done, then you’ll only be poisoning your relationship and your work environment. Instead of making things work for yourself, try to help your boss achieve goals and everything will run more smoothly. Sure, the last thing you may want to do is to work with someone you don’t really respect all that much. But this is far better than constantly being at odds with someone you work with.
- Keep track of all of your interactions: Though documenting all of the annoying or horrible things your boss has done to you may not sound like the greatest way to spend your time, you should start doing this once you feel like the situation has gotten out of hand. Keep all of your negative email correspondences, save memos that show that your boss is giving mixed messages, and just do whatever you can to document all of the problems you have had in your professional relationship. If you and your boss discuss your problematic relationship and your boss acts like he or she doesn’t know what you’re talking about, then you have something to point to as proof. If your boss just hears that you’re getting mixed messages, it’s less effective than showing him or her two emails with completely different messages.Secondly, If your boss is the type to bring false charges against you, then documenting all of your interactions, or even having your communication in front of others, can help you set the record straight.
- Don’t bad mouth your boss to your coworkers: Saying negative things about your boss to your coworkers will only fuel the fire at best or get you in trouble at worst. Though you may feel tempted to vent about your boss’s managerial style, you should keep your negative feelings to yourself. Having your coworkers join you in complaining about your boss won’t make the problem go away, and if the wrong coworker catches word of what you’re saying, it may get back to your boss in a very unpleasant way. You should especially avoid saying anything negative about your boss to your superiors. This won’t help your reputation. Remember that you want to look like the agreeable person who gets along with everyone, not like the crank who is always complaining about everyone in the office.
- Anticipate problems before they happen: Another way to improve your relationship with your boss to is to watch out for future problems and try to make them go away before something blows up. Think of it as anticipating the tantrum of a toddler. If you hear your boss begin to fume on the other side of the hallway, you better have prepared something to say to calm him down, or have found a way to stay out of the situation. If you know your boss pretty well, then you should know the kinds of things that set him or her off, and you’d be better off if you came up with a game plan before things exploded. If you know that a coworker is going to introduce a major problem in the office at a meeting, you can talk to your boss about the problem in advance so he or she feels prepared. If you know that your boss is in a foul mood whenever it’s raining and he is stuck in traffic, be prepared for some good news when he or she walks in the door.
- Work around your boss’s weaknesses: Sure, it may be tempting to exploit your boss’s weaknesses, but that won’t get you very far in your company or your work environment. Instead, work to help your boss to counteract his or her weaknesses so that everything runs more efficiently and with less conflict. If your boss is chronically late to meetings, offer to kick off the next meeting for him or her. If your boss is disorganized, offer to get the next report into shape before you have to present it to your clients. Look for places where you can really help your boss and jump at the opportunity. If you help your boss get things in order, then your relationship will have to improve. Your boss may even be grateful for it.
- Praise your boss when he or she gets it right: Many managers never receive praise because somehow, it is mistakenly believed that praise should only flow from managers to employees. You may be nervous about approaching your manager to offer advice, but good managers are truly grateful for constructive, useful feedback, and will appreciate any opportunity they get to learn how to do a better job. However, be careful not to flatter a bad boss, because that won’t get you anywhere. Your boss will be impressed at your attempt to make him or her feel more positive about his or her managing style and everything will run more smoothly.
We will continue with part II of this write up next week.