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Is your boss about to drive you crazy? Do you feel that it is impossible or hard to be engaged and love your job because your boss is a nightmare?
Here are some practical steps to help you cope:
1. Take action at once. It is vitally important that you do something as soon as you realize you are being victimized by a bad boss.
2. Make sure you are doing everything right. Analyze your behavior and how are you dealing with things. It’s likely your bad boss has affected your performance, so try ignoring all these distractions and focus on your work to see if that changes anything. Find other sources of positive reinforcement for doing your job to the best of your abilities.
3. Document your work. Keep track of your accomplishments and of compliments you get from co-workers or managers of other departments. Record the date of these incidents. When documenting these items, try to record as well the significance of the accomplishment. What problem existed at the time? What would have happened had you not acted? How did your action have a positive effect on the entire organization? Keep this information on a system other than your work computer or company network - that is, keep it in a place where you can still access it even if you leave or are terminated.
4. Use objective evidence and confront with evidence. When documenting your accomplishments, try to use objective measurements when recording your work. Confronting your boss with detailed evidence gives you more power.
5. Choose the right time to talk and never approach your boss in the middle of a meeting or when you see him or her in the hallway. Make sure you’re in a quiet, undisturbed place so that you have his complete attention, and you are calm and collected. Try to show how his/her actions reduce motivation, hurt business, or increase expenses. Suggesting specific alternatives makes it easier to introduce positive changes. Agree to follow up at a later date, to evaluate the new situation.
6. Report your bad boss. If you talked to your boss, and did everything right and nothing has changed, consider reporting the bad actions/performance of your boss to his/her supervisor or to someone in human resources. While logic would hold that the company would not want a manager who is hurting performance or productivity, the reality is often that you become branded as a trouble-maker/whiner/complainer and your days at the company quickly become numbered.
7. Don’t step on the little people. Be nice on the way up, you never know who you’ll meet on the way back down.
8. Use humor to cope. Humor is a great way to deal with unpleasant situations. Rather than being upset about a past encounter, try laughing about it. You could even take it one step further.
9. Be guided by your values. Don’t lose sight of who you are or why you’re there. But, if the job is leading you to question your own values or requires you to compromise them, then maybe it’s time to just reconsider.
10. Don’t sacrifice your health or self-esteem. The worst thing you can do is simply to do nothing, hoping the problems will get resolved. No job, boss, or company is worth losing your health, sanity, or self-esteem. If you can't find a way to resolve these issues and/or your boss simply will never change his/her behavior, you should immediately start working your network and begin looking for a new job. Try not to quit before you find a new job, but again, if work just becomes too unbearable, you may need to consider quitting to save yourself.
Hope these steps help you coping with a bad boss and overcoming the obstacles. Don’t forget that sometimes people see things from different perspectives, so keep your thoughts open and seek professional advice before taking any final decision.
THE BUSINESS LOBBY TEAM