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Surviving a Bad Boss

surviving a bad boss It's bad enough that you have to work at a job that is less than ideal, then to make matters worse you have a bad boss on top of it. That's not to say that everyone dislikes their jobs, but many people do, its just a paycheck.

How Can You Fix Your Manager?

So what are you to do about it? How will you make it through another day? What can you do to at least make dealing with your annoying boss more manageable? There will be three steps discussed in this process. First, you will need to determine exactly what it is that makes your supervisor so insufferable to work with. What actions or behaviors does he/she exhibit that need to be rectified? Second, why does your manager do these things? Do they have personality issues or are they just lousy managers lacking the proper set of skills? Last, a plan needs to be devised and executed in an attempt to correct these problems. If nothing works you may have no other choice, but to find another job. You will have to decide that for yourself, you are they only one who can determine when you've had enough. So let's proceed to tackle this problem and endeavor to make your job and workplace better.
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What Do You Do About It?

We have split this problem into three parts, it is simpler to solve a complex problem one piece at a time. We have listed each part below along with an explanation of what each one is, what each one means and what to do about it. OK now, let's begin …
  • What Issues Are You Dealing With?
    Take some time to write down the specific issues that are causing you distress. Are you bullied, micromanaged, belittled or harassed? Do you feel like you are being treated poorly or not as well as your coworkers? List each item then prioritize them according to the level severity. You could rate each item from one to ten with one being mildly annoying and ten being the most intolerable. Don't nitpick, this is serious business you are looking for real problems.
  • Why Does Your Boss Act This Way?
    There are many reasons why your boss may be exhibiting this behavior. They may not realize that they are causing you pain. They may be so focused on their ambition and success that they are oblivious to your feelings. Not that this is an excuse, but they could be getting pressure from upper management to perform, to get that big account, etc. Make a subtle attempt to find out what is at the root of their bad behavior. You could speak to your coworkers about this difficulty if it is appropriate to do so. If you are a secretary for example, and you are privy to your supervisor's phone calls, emails, letters or other correspondence, you could keep an eye out for anything that may offer clues as to why they do what they do. Take notice if they talk about their personal life, small snippets of information may slip out that could shed some light on why they act this way.

    surviving a bad boss Being a bad boss as a result of a person's lack of skills can be more easily remedied. A boss can be a bad manager because they are not properly trained for the position. If this is the case, proper training should have an affect on how they conduct themselves. If the supervisor doesn't know how to perform their job in the correct way being trained to do so should help them to be better at management.

    Being a bad boss as a result of past personal experiences can be remedied more easily. Being ridiculed or bullied themselves incorrectly teaches them how to not interact with people. Having an unhealthy upbringing or not being properly socialized could also be lumped into this category.

    Another reason could be that they have personality problems, meaning that they just don't think like normal people and don't know how to act and treat others. This could be due to a medical condition or other environmental factors. This is a more difficult situation to deal with. There could be a medical issue such as a chemical imbalance that requires treatment. If your boss doesn't get that treatment, then you could be out of luck because on some level their behavior may be the result of a biological condition.

    Some businesses have a subculture of accepting bad behavior because it has “always been that way” from the top down. Middle management follows suit, then these actions get handed down to the lower ranks. If your boss' manager has adopted this mindset too, then it can be difficult to effect change. How can you complain about your supervisor to their supervisor when their supervisor does the same thing? A tongue twister? Say it three times fast.
  • What Can You Do About It?
    This all sounds great, but how does it help make your work life better? You are probably thinking “Maybe I should just quit and work somewhere else.” That is certainly an option although you may like the people there, minus your boss, the salary, the hours and the job duties themselves. Everything might be good except for the aggravation your boss creates. Nothing is guaranteed, but you could try a few strategies before you “throw in the towel.” Disclaimer: Be advised that any time you confront your boss or “make waves,” you could be at risk of having negative repercussions directed toward you as a result of your well-intentioned efforts.
    1. Document each incident you have already experienced as well as any new incidents. Include the dates and times, the names of any witnesses, what occurred and how it affected you. Write what he/she said and what you said. This will help you be prepared for whichever approach you use to alleviate this problem.
    2. Speak to coworkers who have witnessed the incidents in case you need them to corroborate your story.
    3. Try to arrange it so the bad behavior occurs in front of your boss' boss, so they will be reprimanded.
    4. Have a private talk with your boss about how their negative behavior affects your performance, well-being, etc.
    5. A discussion with their supervisor or a formal complaint to the HR Department may be in order if you can't get anywhere when you deal with the wrongdoer directly.
    6. Do your best to stay out of their way. It probably won't work but you could try. You probably have already been doing that to no avail.
    7. Ask for a transfer to a different department or section.
    8. If you attempted to resolve your issue and it didn't work, you could quietly look for another job.
Unfortunately you will occasionally encounter people that are difficult to get along with, both at work and in your personal life. They may just be damaged in some way and regrettably you will have to deal with it in one way or another. Either by trying to improve the situation or by cutting your losses and seeking employment elsewhere. Good luck with resolving your issues and your career building struggle. No manager is infallible, read about some big mistakes bosses make during performance reviews which expand on this topic.