Sadly there are plenty of people that are willing to endure a terrible boss simply because they need a paycheck.

But what makes the boss terrible? Here are a few annoying traits:

·         They have a "Do as I say and not as I do" approach.

·         They are absent when the real work needs to be done.

·         They micromanage to the point of getting in the way.

·         They blame everyone else and never take responsibility.

·         They take credit for everyone else's successes.

·         They never listen; mostly they just talk... about themselves.

·         They are generally unkind.

These are common traits, more common then they should be. Fortunately rarely does a boss possess all of them and get to stick around too long.  Still many bosses are guilty of much of this bad behavior and you may have to endure some of it on your career path just to become the big boss yourself.  Here are some tips for handling this tricky situation.

1. Consider whether there are things you could be doing better.

People tend to blame their bosses when things are not going their way and their work output is called into question. Before jumping to the conclusion that your boss sucks, ask yourself if their "horrid" behavior toward you is a result of their poor communication skills or, perhaps, it's your lack of efficiency that is bringing out the worst in them. Try giving extra effort towards measurable items that you both agree upon and see if you are rewarded.

2. Keep doing your work to the best of your abilities to make yourself irreproachable. 

Bosses will get on an employee's case if they keep on making the same mistakes. To ensure that they do not hassle you, be diligent about doing your job to the best of your abilities. Working with that attention to detail will likely keep them away from bothering you. Try making a list of your  errors and systematically eliminating them. If you get to zero errors in your work and you are still getting pounded it is most likely not you.

3. Document everything. 

If you see that your boss is picking on you or bullying, start taking notes on every such incident, how they originate and how they develop. You never know when you might need to communicate this information and it is essential that every detail of every incident be in your control. You do not want to have to bring up these issues and not have anything to back yourself up with. If nothing else, you will have plenty of examples to avoid when you are someday the boss.

4. Avoid open conflict. 

Your boss giving you a hard time can be quite aggravating. It can draw the ire of every bone in your body. You might feel like sometimes you simply want to yell back every horrid thought at that horrible boss. And sometimes, you might be justified in answering hostility with hostility. Don't. The worst thing you can do is give them even more reasons to pick on you. Don't lose control and give into the hostilities. Instead , wait for the moment to cool down before responding in any fashion. Increasing the tension benefits no one.

5. Consider their perspective. 

"Keep your friends close, but keep your  enemies closer." Those wise words resonate when dealing with such potent opposition as a difficult boss. Consider what kinds of triggers set them off. Consider why they might behave the way they do toward you so that you can figure a way to end the torture. Know them well so that you can manage them better. Through genuine empathy you might even be able to rally them  to your side once they figure out you are actually on theirs, assuming you actually are of course.

6. Create a list of solutions to current problems between you. 

Study the conflicts between the two of you and then draft up some solutions to the problem for yourself and for your boss. In solving any problem, putting together a list of potential solutions and means of executing them is the way toward success. For the ones you can solve yourself, do, and see if there is any positive effect. If there is, try and communicate ways you can work together to improve even more.

7. Set up a time to meet with them to discuss issues and propose solutions. 

The best way to solve many interpersonal issues is simply to talk it out in a safe environment for both parties. If you see a problem with your boss, approach him or her and ask for some time to talk about the issues that you see. Offer those solutions to them and try to reach a compromise for the betterment of the working  environment. Of course don't go in on the attack. Start with a spirit of inquiry and be ready to listen and learn.

8. Talk to other managers if problems persist. 

Unfortunately, not every problem has a quick and easy solution. When dealing with another party, the solution may simply not be in your hands. If you see the problems persist despite your own behavioral change, and the boss is not looking to adapt his or her behavior, then it is time to bring it up with other management team members. Bringing in a third party can either help bridge the divide or solve the problem outright by imposing strict discipline on the offending party.

9. When it's time to move on, do. 

Not every situation is in your control. If the two of you can't get to resolution that makes for a happy and healthy working environment, seek career development elsewhere. Life is too short to be miserable, so find a place that is a  culture fit and makes you happy to go to work everyday. You will perform better and hopefully rise to be the boss for whom you would like to work someday.

Published on: Aug 10, 2016
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