WORKPLACE / JUL. 11, 2015
version 4, draft 4

Working for a Nasty Boss? Here is What to Do

Many people have had the experience of working for a boss that has a nasty personality. Such bosses are not only difficult to relate to, but can also seriously sabotage someone’s career. So, what do you do when you find yourself working for such a boss?

See Also: How to Effectively Work for a Micromanaging Boss

Examine yourself

Before you begin accusing your boss of treating you badly, take time to examine your behavior and actions. How are you performing in your job? Do you get to work on time? Are you meeting your targets? How is your attitude towards your boss, colleagues and clients? At times, your boss might be hard on you because your work is not satisfactory or your attitude is wrong. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are doing what is expected of you at the workplace.

Don’t respond negatively

When dealing with a bad boss, it is very tempting to react emotionally to their actions. For example, when they shout at you, you could find yourself shouting back at them. Alternatively, you might decide to rant at your colleagues or on social media about how stupid your boss is. However, you need to make a decision to act professionally no matter how your boss acts. If they yell at you, respond with a calm voice. When you stop mirroring their actions, they are likely to change for the better.  

Have everything in writing

Many bad bosses have a tendency of blaming their subordinates for mistakes which they did not commit. Some will even take credit for the work of others. One of the best ways of avoiding this is by keeping proper records of everything. For instance, during meetings, be sure to have everything in writing. When is the project due? Who is responsible for what? You could then make copies for all the parties involved, including your boss. This will prevent misunderstandings down the line.

Have a meeting with your boss

At times, it would be advisable to arrange a meeting with your boss to discuss all the issues that are bothering you. If possible, this meeting should be held outside the office in a non-threatening environment such as a café. Be candid with your boss and let them know how their behavior affects you. Mention specific incidents when they acted in an inappropriate manner. However, be sure to avoid getting emotional as you speak. If your boss is reasonable, they will accept responsibility and make amends. However, having a meeting with your boss might just backfire on you and make things worse than they were before.  

Report your boss

If the bad behavior by your boss persists despite all your efforts, you could opt to report him to someone in human resources or their superior. However, when you are making the complaint, make sure you have sufficient evidence to back up your claims. This is why it is important to document all the incidents of unfair treatment. If the person you are reporting to is objective, they will take the necessary action to alleviate the situation. However, the situation could get worse, especially when the boss finds out that you reported them.

Make your exit

Working for a bad boss can have a very detrimental effect on your self-esteem, sanity and health. The longer you stay, the more you will suffer. Therefore, if you cannot find a solution to the problems with your boss, it would be advisable to begin working on your exit plan. If you still want to work within the organization, request for a transfer to a different department. Alternatively, you could apply for jobs elsewhere. However, unless you have another source of income, don’t quit before you have found another job.

See Also: How to Work For a Perfectionist Boss

Bad bosses are unbearable, but there are always ways of dealing with them. You just need to find out which one best works for you and your situation. What other strategies have you used to deal with a bad boss? Please share with us in the comments section below.

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