A difficult boss can turn an otherwise enjoyable work environment into a horrible one. While it may seem best to sit back and take it, you’re almost always better off when you attack the issue head-on. If you don’t stand up for yourself at work, people will continue to treat you unfairly so, the sooner you address the issue with your boss, the better off you’ll be. If you’re dealing with a difficult boss, it’s essential to be proactive but consider your steps carefully. In this article, we’ll go over how to identify the problem and the best ways to go about solving them.
Figure Out If YOU Are The Problem
Before you start jumping to conclusions about your boss, take a moment for some self-examination. Most of the time, bosses are mainly concerned with the well-being of their company. As a result, it’s their job to make sure everybody else is doing theirs. We’re all guilty of wasting time occasionally, but if you’re continually getting reprimanded, there’s a chance it’s because you’re off-task too much. Take a moment and examine why your boss gives you a hard time. If you’re actually goofing off as much as they say, it’s time to change your attitude about the situation. Be honest with yourself; this is part of adulting. But if you’re not the problem, then your boss truly is difficult, so read on.
Don’t Take It Personally—Get Perspective
Before you go and deal with your boss, you need to gain some perspective. You work at a company with a command structure, which means that your boss is appointed over you. That’s all it is–you need to deal with your boss like a superior in an organization; your boss is not superior to you as a person. In most cases, your boss probably also has a boss, and it may be time to find the checks and balances within your workplace to help address the issue. Don’t go running to upper management right away, however. Once you’ve identified the problem, keep it to yourself and prepare to speak to your boss privately. Don’t go blabbering to co-workers, as anything you say before talking to your boss could get back to them first, which will reflect poorly on you.
Use Your Words—Strategically
Identify the problem, then approach your boss with your concerns. Be professional and lay it out; explain why you feel targeted and present evidence to back up your case. Listen to your boss and respond honestly to any accusations or questions. If a misunderstanding is the root of the problem, clear it up and make amends. If you manage to resolve the issue, try not to harbor any lasting resentment for the past. It’s better for everyone when employees and management get along within an organization, and everybody will benefit if you move on and behave professionally.
Remember, always go to your boss first whenever possible. If you jump up the ladder and avoid the person in question, you’ll seem sneaky. Of course, if your boss behaves inappropriately to you, then it’s necessary to circumvent them to protect yourself. If the issue is strictly a work-related matter, it’s essential to approach them directly. When it comes to having a conversation with a difficult boss, merely exposing the issue is enough. But, remember to steer clear of character attacks, because this isn’t a personal issue. If your boss makes it one, that’s unprofessional on their part. Rise above it, and present your problems coherently without talking trash. If the meeting doesn’t work, then it’s time to approach your boss’s superior.
If upper management does nothing (or worse– punishes you!),it’s time to scoot. Maybe this isn’t the career for you, or perhaps you need a different job. Staying in a toxic work environment only perpetuates misery.
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