Working For a Bad Boss
By Stephen Bucaro
Bosses Are People Too
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.