Many young people entering the work force are surprised to learn that their boss is not perfect. Your boss is a unique individual that can get in a bad mood, make a bad decision, or exhibit imperfections just like anyone else. The key to achieving success at work is to work around the idiosyncrasies of Your boss.
Some bosses have been promoted up the ladder, not because of their great leadership skills, but more because of their great butt kissing skills. Working for a boss with poor leadership skills is no fun, and not good for your career either. Then there's the boss with the bad temper that likes to yell a lot.
It might surprise you to know that some bosses fake a bad temper. They believe, correctly sometimes, that an employee will keep exhibiting the same bad behavior unless they demonstrate, by acting very pissed off, that they are dead serious about the bad behavior stopping immediately. It just a way they get through to thick-headed employees. In actuality, it's an act. The boss is in complete control of them self.
On the other hand, there are bosses who actually are emotionally immature and yell their heads off because they can't control themselves. Blame it on their parents, they just weren't brought up right. This type of boss can cause you great stress. Don't let them get to you. Don't sacrifice your health because of an emotionally immature boss. Act impressed, but inside view it as a game and just laugh it off.
How to Deal With a Boss Who Has Poor Leadership Skills
Good bosses make themselves available and are easy to communicate with. Other bosses like to makes themselves scarce. They either don't want to, or for some reason just don't have time to communicate with employees. Many bosses are under a lot of pressure at work, maybe struggling with corporate politics, so they just don't have time to make themselves available to their workers.
Considering the impact they have on your success and happiness at work, it's important that you make an effort to communicate with your boss. The secret is to learn your bosses work habits. Some bosses come in early before working hours in order to get things done. Some bosses stay late after working hours hours to get things done.
Some bosses set aside a specific time period each day when "their office is open". Once you learn the times when your boss is available, you can approach them and ask them how they think you're doing on your assignments. Ask them if there was anything you could have done better. But always try to make conversations short and respect your bosses time. Remember, these are the time periods your boss sets aside to get things done, don't deprive them of that.
Some bosses, who like to involve them self in every detail of your assignment are referred to as micromanagers. I've seen cases where the boss gives an assignment, and then sits with the employee while they work on the assignment. Most of the time this happens with new employees because the boss has not yet developed trust in their work. If this happens to you, just put up with it until the boss learns to trust your work.
After the boss learns to trust your work, you still need to accommodate your bosses work style. Some bosses want to make all the decisions. Other bosses expect you to make all the decisions yourself. If your boss is a micromanager, The best way to get them to leave you alone is to give them confidence that you will keep them informed about the progress of your assignment with frequent updates, and that you will consult with them on every decision.
Some bosses with poor leadership skills show favoritism to certain employees. Those employees get all the good assignments, they get the good raises, and their mistakes are overlooked or blamed on someone else. In the short term, there's really nothing you can do about this. Just work with the boss's favorite employees the same as you would any other co-worker.
In the long run the favored employee will either get promoted out of your department, or they'll get in an argument with the boss and probably quit. Either way, most favoritism situations don't survive in the long run, so you should just overlook the situation and work with the favored employee the same as you would any other co-worker.
Some bosses with poor leadership skills take credit for an employees work. If your boss takes credit for your work, your best response is to just shrug it off. In an organization, everybody knows who is really responsible for any work that is accomplished.
How to Deal With a Boss That Makes Unreasonable Demands
Today's world is extremely competitive. It's not just U.S. corporations competing with companies in China and Asia, it's you competing with every worker on the planet. Millions of people who were working in rice fields only a few years ago, are now willing to work in a factory or office for a weekly salary that's the same as your hourly rate.
To compete in the global economy American companies need to get more productivity out of their employees. If your boss makes unreasonable demands on you, it may be because the global economy is making unreasonable demands on your company and on your boss. Or maybe your boss just has poor leadership skills. In either case keeping a task list and having good time management skills is the solution.
If your boss keeps piling on assignments without regard to the work he has already placed on your platter, you need to keep a task list and a time log. When your boss gives you an assignment, record it on your task list. When your boss gives you a second assignment, show them your task list and ask them where the new assignment fits in based on priority.
When your boss gives you a third assignment, again ask where it fits in based on priority. This lets your boss know that if they want to pile on another task, something else has to give. Many times tasks come from people who are not your direct boss. If that happens, show that person your task list and tell them you'll ask your boss where this new task fits in based on priority. This will usually cause them to drop the task, or go talk to your boss directly.
How to Deal With a Boss Who Allows Drama
Drama is when two (or more) employees are having a dispute about something involving work. Sometimes these disputes are related to cliques and company politics, and sometimes they're a separate squabble. Drama in the workplace has a detrimental affect on productivity. A boss with good leadership skills will quickly realize drama is occurring and confront the individuals involved.
However, you may be surprised to learn that some bosses not only allow drama, they love drama. You see, when one employee is out to get another employee it creates a competitive environment in the workplace. Both sides in the squabble will be brown-nosing and snitching on each other.
Each side will be trying to do more and better work than the other side and make fewer mistakes because if they don't, the other side will criticize them and snitch on them. Some managers love this. They feel it causes both sides of the squabble to be more productive and suck up more. This kind of boss makes every effort to pretend like they don't know the problem exists.
If you're working in an environment with excessive drama, don't participate in the drama, just focus on your work. Eventually one side of the squabble will win, and the other will move to a different part of the company or quit the company altogether, and the drama will cease - for a while.
If the drama is getting too excessive and is starting to involve you, don't bother reporting it to your boss. Believe me, your boss already knows and is one of those bosses who loves drama. Just be prepared to bail out of the department or the company if it becomes necessary.
How to Deal With a Boss That Has a Bad Temper
As I mentioned earlier, some bosses fake a bad temper. They do this because some employees just ignore what the boss says unless they get it beat into their thick head. There are also bosses who yell at people because they're emotionally immature and they can't control themselves.
If you have a boss who yells at you, act like you're impressed, but just ignore their temper tantrums. Don't respond by arguing and yelling back at your boss, you can't win. This type of boss can cause you great stress. Don't let them get to you. Don't sacrifice your health because of an emotionally immature boss.
The solution to working for a boss that has a bad temper is to develop your network within the company. The more your boss understands that you're not just an individual that they can abuse, but a person who has contacts throughout the company, the more they will fear the consequences of acting irrational in front of you. But don't badmouth your boss behind their back, that will make you look like an employee with an attitude problem.
Be Prepared to Bail
If your working for a boss that exhibits any of the problems discussed in this section, document the problem to protect yourself, and be prepared to bail out of that department or out of the company if it becomes necessary. Keep a journal of your bosses bad behavior incidents.
Nowadays when someone quits or gets fired, the company's human resources department gives them an exit interview. This is your opportunity to present your journal of your bosses bad behavior incidents. Don't think for a minute that this will cause your boss to get fired. But it will stay in your bosses company file, and if a few more exiting employees make the same comments, that may well cause your boss to get demoted or fired.
If you're working for a bad boss, develop your network within the company and keep your pulse on the job market outside your company. Usually a bad situation will eventually improve. But if the situation is putting too much stress on you and you don't see any way things can change any time soon, it may be time to bail.