Growth 3 min read

How To Deal With A Difficult Boss

Don't sabotage your talent and work ethic.

In a perfect world, we would all work for employers who are helpful, value our work, and allow us the space to grow.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Conflict between a boss and employee can be detrimental to the workplace environment. Whether the boss is a micro manager or has anger issues, it is important to learn how to work with difficult personalities in order to meet your responsibilities and keep a peace of mind.

If you find yourself in a situation with a difficult authority figure, here are some tips on how to identify and deal with challenging bosses:

Discover The Triggers

If your boss has anger management issues, or a history of snapping irrationally at his/her employees – be sure to identify the triggers associated with their reactions to X and Y. 

For example, if you are aware that they're meticulous about employees arriving on time to work, make sure you arrive early. Or if you know they appreciate quicker responses to emails, make sure you set a rule for yourself to respond in a timely manner. But don't your boss get away with unacceptable behavior, either. Be sure to have a meaningful conversation if you ever feel things get out of hand. 

Ultimately, the key is to identify any what causes issues with your boss and try your best to steer clear of them. 

Don't Let It Affect Your Work

It’s not always easy to control your emotions in an environment where you are challenged by your superior, or any other person in power, but it is important to stay balanced.

Your boss' behavior shouldn't affect your ability to perform your job, work will with your peers and work effectively with other leaders in the company. 

If you find yourself in a situation where your boss’ management style is hard to handle, try speaking directly to your boss about the specific issue. If it helps, you can speak confidentially to another same-level manager in the company for help on ways to address the issue.

In the meantime, don’t allow issues to interfere with your job performance. 

Document Everything

Be sure to document every problematic interaction that you have with your difficult boss, including dates and times of conversation.

Consider asking for requests in writing, and if your boss is the type to give verbal requests, follow up with an email. The idea is to establish and keep a paper trail. Don’t be afraid to refer to it should the need arise.

If your company has a union, you might want to use them as a resource on how to deal with conflict management. If your rights have been violated, you can also contact the National Labor Relations Board for information on how to protect yourself.

Nevertheless, do not ever let someone make you feel uncomfortable or disrespected in the workplace. Be sure to do your part, and speak up whenever an issue goes on.


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