10 Ways To Handle A Difficult Boss. In an ideal world, we would all have fantastic managers and bosses who helped us succeed, who made us feel valued, and who were just all-around great people. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But before you start planning an exit strategy, it would be wise to rethink how you can better manage the boss you already have, for all their flaws and shortcomings.
1. Don’t Let it Affect Your Work
No matter how bad your boss’ behavior, avoid letting it affect your work. You want to stay on good terms with other leaders in the company . Don’t try to even the score by working slower, or taking excessive or longer lunches. It will only put you further behind in your workload and build a case for your boss to give you the old heave-ho before you’re ready to go.
2. Stay One Step Ahead
Especially when you’re dealing with a micro-manager, head off your boss’ requests by anticipating them and getting things done before they come to you. A great start to halting micromanagement in its tracks is to anticipate the tasks that your manager expects and get them done well ahead of time.
3. Document Everything
Make sure to document interactions with your boss, be it requests or criticisms so you can refer back to them if she ever contradicts herself. When your boss asks you for something, get it in writing. You need to create a paper trail of all requests as well as everything you produce.
4. Wait It Out
Dealing with a conflict? Make sure to give it some time before reacting. Timing is often everything when managing conflict with a boss. Sometimes it makes more sense to wait it out than confront the situation head on. If your boss has a lot on her plate this month, her stress level may be high and she might not take as kindly to your issues.
5. Act As The Leader
When dealing with an incompetent boss, sometimes it’s best to make some leadership decisions on your own. If you know your area well enough, there is no reason to not go ahead creating and pursuing a direction you know will achieve good results for your company.
6. Identify Triggers
If your boss has anger management problems, identify what triggers her meltdowns and be extra militant about avoiding those. For example, if your editor flips when you misspell a source’s name, be sure to double and triple-check your notes. And if your boss starts foaming at the mouth if you arrive a moment after 8 AM, plan to get there at 7:45—Every day.
7. Do Your Research
Of course the best way to manage a bad boss is not to have one in the first place. So whenever you are looking to move into a new role in the same company or move to another organization all together, invest some time to get a sense of the culture, the leadership and the sort of management practices that are tolerated and supported.
8. Don’t Be Intimidated By A Bully: Stand Tall
If your boss is a yeller, a criticizer, or a judge, stand firm. If you’re doing the best job you can do, keep your head held high and don’t give him the satisfaction of pushing you about. Rather ask questions, seek to understand, and work to defuse a difficult situation instead of cowering or responding in anger.
9. Avoid Future Bad Bosses
When interviewing with a new company, do your research ahead of time to make sure you’re not getting into another situation with a less-than-ideal manager. Have coffee or lunch with one or more staffers at the new company. Ostensibly, your purpose is to learn general information about the company and its culture.
10. Take The High Road
If you feel you’ve run out of options for dealing with him reasonably, then don’t go rumor-mongering or bad-mouthing him to everyone within earshot. That will ultimately say more about you than it does about your boss. Rather, follow proper procedures for registering complaints with Human Resources or with higher-level superiors, documenting each step of the way.