Careers | How to handle a bad boss

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Everyone has that one bad boss that dents your confidence, and in some cases inability to perform a position to the best of your ability.

There is a reason a movie called Horrible Bosses was created. Almost everyone in their working life meets a bad boss. For some, walking away is the only solution.

Others, however, are unwilling to give up their dream role due to a demanding and frustrating boss.

Instead of spending your time and energy focusing on the bad qualities of your boss, learns ways to better manage them. Career experts say the secret is to ‘manage up’ without them ever realising you are doing it. Think of the them as a difficult client – one you have to work with to get the ideal end result.

Try to understand what your boss really does, and what their expectations are. What would he love more of and what would he love less of on a daily basis? How does he measure success? These type of questions will help you understand their needs and wants, and help you deliver their desired results and avoid lose:lose situations. This also allows you to frame your opinions and use language that your boss speaks.

It is easy to get narky and highlight the weaknesses in your boss. Doing so, especially in the company of others, will alienate you further. Instead, focus on their natural strengths and work around their weaknesses. For example, if they are disorganised, help them to be on top of things rather than whining about their lack of organisational skills. Making yourself indispensable and someone that your boss can rely on to help him to do their job better, the easier your job will be.

It is also quite easy to mentally check out of your job when you have to deal with a bad boss. However, doing so undermines your own integrity while it can also put you at risk of being branded as a slacker or whiner.

Can you manage up to your boss?