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Managing Difficult Bosses

It’s one thing to find the motivation to get up from your bed to go to work every day; it’s another thing to have a problematic boss who is rude and unreasonable and makes you dread the thought of stepping into that office. I can handle the first one perfectly, but for the other, we must find a solution.

Hey, street squad! We are back again with another tea to make your business life hotter; let’s dive in.

When setting out to go into the business world, one prayer you shouldn’t forget to pray is “God send me a boss that won’t make my life difficult” because there is no such thing as a perfect workplace; it’s either you are too reserved for your co-workers, or the pay cheque is too little compared to the service you render but trust me nothing would affect you more than a bad boss.

In most cases, your boss is meant to turn out to be a mentor to you by being supportive and encouraging, but what do you do when your boss is the complete opposite, and you know quitting is not an option?

Here are my best tips. 
  1. Understand your boss’s perspective: Before you start cursing your boss, try to understand why they act as they do. They may be under a lot of pressure, have personal problems at home, or even be insecure or clueless. Whatever the reason, try to see things from their point of view and find some empathy for them.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they say or do. It just means you must acknowledge that they are human too, and they have their reasons for being difficult. This might help you calm down and maybe enjoy working with them better.

  1. Communicate effectively with your boss: One reason you think your boss might be quite difficult is probably because of poor communication between both of you. You need to communicate clearly and respectfully with your boss to avoid misunderstandings.
For example, you can:
  • Keep your boss updated on your work progress and achievements
  • Ask for clarification and feedback when needed
  • Express your concerns and suggestions in a constructive way
  • Listen to your boss’s feedback and respond accordingly
  • Avoid gossiping, complaining, or blaming your boss
  1. Focus on what you can control: You can’t change your boss’s personality or behaviour, but you can control how you react to them. Instead of wasting your energy on resenting your boss, focus on what you can do to improve your situation. For example, you can set boundaries and expectations with your boss and seek out mentors or allies who can offer you advice or assistance. Most importantly, you can take care of yourself by managing your stress, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and pursuing your personal and professional goals. And above all, when you can’t see things getting better soon, hatch a plan to either move up or move on.
  1. Learn from the experience: Having a difficult boss can be a challenge, but it can also be an opportunity to grow and learn. You can use the experience to develop communication, negotiation, problem-solving, and resilience skills. You can also use it to discover your strengths, values, and passions and how they align with your current role and organization. You can use it to prepare yourself for future leadership positions by learning what not to do as a boss and how to treat your employees with respect and empathy.

Managing difficult bosses is not easy, but it is possible. By following these tips, you might be able to turn a negative situation into a positive one or at least make it more bearable. And who knows, you might even end up liking your boss or finding a new one.

Best of luck!

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