Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dealing with a Difficult Boss

If you’re working for a difficult boss, you know firsthand how it impacts your job satisfaction and performance, not to mention the undue stress it causes. Consider using the following ideas to initiate some control over the relationship you have with your boss.
  • See things from the boss’s perspective: Try to understand your boss’s role and responsibilities, including the goals and work pressures he/she may face. In many cases, your boss’s behavior may be a response to his/her own boss’s unrealistic expectations, intense and impractical deadlines, or even just getting caught in office politics cross-fire.

  • Analyze your performance: Analyze your job performance objectively and consider asking your co-workers for input. You may find you’re not carrying your fair share of the workload, not following directions, or focusing too much time on tasks your boss doesn’t deem important.

  • Make sure expectations are clear: Are you clear on your boss’s expectations for you? How is your boss measuring your success?

  • Maintain communication: Understand what information your boss needs from you and diligently seek out the information you need from your boss to do your job well.

  • Control your reactions: Try not to react emotionally or defensively to your boss’s criticism. Look at this as self-development and an opportunity for growth.

  • Confront constructively and professionally: Constructively discuss important work issues and concerns with your boss. Avoid using language that places blame or sounds as if you’re complaining.

Most importantly, do not waiver on your values or allow your boss’s poor behavior to negatively impact your self-esteem. Remember to maintain your professional integrity at all times and don’t forget you do have options. For example, you can confidentially discuss matters with a mentor or the company’s human resource manager. And if problems with your boss can’t be resolved, you can always pursue a new position with another department or another company altogether.

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