What To Do When You Have A Bad Manager

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Every employee dreams of working in a blissful environment complete with a good, calm, and flexible boss. This is not often the case, as bosses tend to be harsh and strict. Many employees perceive such bosses as difficult people who make their working environment hard to survive in.

Having a bad manager can injure an employee's motivation and productivity. Many employees in this situation are likely to start looking for alternative job opportunities. Before planning an exit, however, it is important to decide how best to handle the current manager, regardless of their weaknesses. Working with a bad manager may not be a negative thing after all. They help employees learn and enhance their leadership skills, while enabling them to identify things they should avoid while managing staff. Nevertheless, it takes patience and optimism to identify and develop these leadership skills. 

Research has revealed that people do not leave their jobs due to getting overworked. A Danish study carried out on 4,500 public servants reported that contrary to popular belief, more people leave due to bad managers. Matias Brodsgaard Grynderup, a psychologist and a participant in the research, said that even though individuals tend to associate stress and depression with a heavy workload and work-related pressure, their study indicated that there was no connection between workload and workplace-related depression. 

There is always a way to handle difficult bosses. Think of the boss as an awkward client that you should find a way to work with regardless of their shortcomings. Find ways to cope with their difficult character without them knowing. Employees should understand they are bound to meet difficult bosses in the course of their work. Knowing how to live with them is paramount for a successful career. Below are tips to help employees cope with bad bosses, and increase their productivity while building their careers.

1. Understand where your manager derives their motivation

Understanding what motivates bosses is a crucial step towards learning their management style. This enables employees to adjust and create room for prosperity and delivery in their careers. Try and study what the manager finds important, what freaks them out, what they worry about, or how vital it is to them when people derive happiness from their efforts. Do  they fear failure? What’s their driving force? How much does being successful mean to them? Deciphering these questions helps employees understand their manager's expectations better. They can help employees to adjust themselves while creating a conducive working environment. It helps them operate according to their manager's expectations, preferences, and core values.


2. Be Supportive

Few employees would want to support a bad boss. Try not to expose their weaknesses to their seniors or fellow employees. Doing so may end up damaging the employee's reputation instead. Cope with the situation by paying attention to their strengths, or identifying opportunities within their weaknesses. Instead of complaining about a manager's disorganized nature, employees can step up and organize their desk. More often than not, finding solutions in place of complaints is likely to change the manager's character and perception towards their juniors. Identifying the manager's weaknesses and finding ways to help them improve goes a long way in creating a comfortable working environment. With time, the manager is bound to view the employee as a reliable person who wishes the best for them, and the company. This lays a strong foundation for both the manager and the employee to succeed in their endeavors and enhance the company's success.

3. Do not allow it to Hinder your Productivity

A bad boss should not be the reason an employee lags behind in their work. Of course working with a bad boss is likely to demotivate employees, making them lazy at their workstations. However, employees should strive to perform better regardless of their bad working environment. Keep the workplace professional, and share office struggles with friends and family to relieve stress. Employees should desist from discussing office problems in the workplace, as this is likely to cause tension and set them apart. A stressful working environment can lead to sudden resignation, depression, and resentment. Employees should strive to react differently from their bosses. Try to remain calm in the midst of shouting and trivial matters. This ability is a clear demonstration of professionalism in handling difficult managers. Gandhi once urged people to be the change they want to see in the world. It calls for employees to be the leaders they wish their managers were.

When options on how to best deal with the bad manager run out, it is best to desist from bad mouthing or spreading rumors about the boss. As much as this may cause employees some relief, it spoils the employee's reputation more than it does the boss's. It is better to follow the right process in raising a complaint with the seniors.

4. Raise your Concerns and Allow the Boss to Respond

Rather than making decisions hurriedly, why not take time and discuss your concerns with seniors? This may be difficult for many employees, but you may be surprised by how successful it can be. Do not suffer in silence or assume the boss understands your predicament. Gaining courage and discussing issues is bound to yield positive results and create a better working environment for both the employee and the manager.

5. Adapt to the boss's preferences

Study the manager's concerns, expectations, and character. Employees can build a good working relationship and enhance their communication by matching their boss's preferences. Taking part in personality tests helps one learn their strengths and their weaknesses. Perhaps finding out the boss's personality trait can help employees adjust their expectations, and avoid misunderstandings. Adapting to a boss's preferences is a major leadership skill in the workplace, no matter the kind of manager one works for.

6. Stand up for what you believe in

A yelling boss should not cow employees who are good at what they do. They should stand firm for what they believe in. Cowering gives the boss an opportunity to push them around as they wish. Request the boss explains things professionally, rather than showing fear or reacting angrily. This may not be easy, but with constant practice, employees can remain calm yet firm. Never confront the manager. If need be, make prior preparations and evaluate the pros and cons. Factor that this can have a negative outcome. As much as employees should stand for what they believe in, they should do it professionally, calmly and smartly.

7. Research

Managing a bad boss is best done without one. Before deciding to look for a new job, understand that every organization has a boss. The chances of bumping into a more difficult boss could be quite high. Carry out extensive research on your preferred organization. Be careful to study their management style, culture, and leadership style. Employees who decide to move within their current organization can find more about the team of managers. Do they inspire employees to perform their best, or do they instill fear?

8. Be Patient

Rather than react to a conflict, it is best to wait until one is calm and composed. Only then can they discuss their predicament and come up with a solution. Reacting out of anger can have negative repercussions.

9. Let everything get documented

Ensure every interaction with the boss is documented. This enables the employee to have a reference in the case the boss contradicts themselves. Strive to include verbal directions in writing, through emails, and ensure every detail is factored in. It gives the employee cover and proof.

Dealing with a bad boss can be intimidating and difficult. However, finding their strengths in the midst of their weaknesses helps boost employee's productivity. The tips mentioned above are a motivation to employees who are on the verge of giving up.

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Postat: 6 septembrie, 2017


Freelance Journalist & Reporter

Alice is a Community Correspondent at Freelancer.com. She drifts between London & Sydney.

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