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How to Cope With A Difficult Boss

On23/ 11 /16
Many of us will experience a difficult manager at some point in our careers. This can affect our morale, job satisfaction and performance.

In fact, 4 out of 10 employees have quit a job because of a bad boss. However, running for the nearest exit may not always be the best solution.

Here's some advice to help you find the positives, minimise stress and maintain a positive reputation at work.

Remain Professional

Try to remain effective and professional at all times, irrespective of your boss’s behaviour.

Don't try to even the score by being deliberately difficult or uncooperative. Also avoid going on a crusade to expose your boss’s faults.

These actions won't help you career in the long term and could even put your own position in jeopardy. Instead, refocus your energies on your own performance and being the best your can be in your daily role.

Be Proactive

One of the quickest ways to keep a difficult boss happy is by being proactive. 

Try to anticipate your boss's requests where possible and get things done in advance. This can ease the worriers of micro-managers, build trust and minimise the need for them to chase you.

Don't Let It Affect Your Work

When you have a difficult boss, it can quickly affect the quality of your work. You may feel demotivated and lose enthusiasm in your day to day tasks.

However, the truth is that if you let your work suffer, you're the one that's ultimately going to lose out. So, try to focus on producing the best work you can. Even when your efforts don’t seem to be recognised, you can do it for you and you only.

Document Everything

Try to ensure you have a paper trail of all requests and tasks. Some managers tend to communicate requests verbally - if your boss does this, simply follow each request up with a written summary of what you have discussed. Include all deliverables and ask whether you have all the details correct. 

This approach prevents any 'miscommunications' and if any issues do occur, you will be able to provide a full audit trail of what was asked. Following each request up in this way will also make you look efficient and organised

Leave Your Emotions at the Door

If your boss is emotional, it's important to remain objective and leave your own emotions at the door.

Try to keep calm, pause and take a deep breath before you speak. Anything said in anger in the ‘heat of the moment’ is unlikely to help.

It can be useful to view things from the perspective of an outsider – this can help you remove the ‘emotional charge’ from the situation.

View the Situation as an opportunity.

Try to view your boss as you would a challenging client - you are going to have to work with them if you want to get ahead. You just need to find the right approach.

Having a difficult boss can be the ideal opportunity to take responsibility for your own success. At the end of the day, the skills you learn could be the key to progressing in your career.
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