Bad bosses are everywhere. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly half of us think our boss is bad news. But you can turn a negative situation around. Simply follow these bad-boss-handling strategies from management expert Michelle Benjamin:
#1: Take a look at your own actions. Our first reaction to being criticized is defend ourselves – even if we just think it. So if the boss says, “This is the best you can do? Not good enough!” It’s natural to think, “What a jerk.” But were you focusing on the way he said it? Or were you focusing on what he said? Get past his tone – and focus on the content of his message. Was your work up to par? Did you phone it in? Can you do better? We can all improve. So rise to the challenge instead of fighting against it. Do that, and odds are, your boss’ mood will dramatically improve.
Then, keep in mind your boss isn’t perfect. Usually it’s not the boss that’s the problem - it’s their behavior. For example, say they blow up at you every time you turn in a project. It may not be because they’re nasty. But because they don’t communicate their expectations. To prevent problems in the future, ask point blank “Tell me exactly what you want in this marketing presentation. I want to nail it.”
And the final way to handle a bad boss: Have his back – because he’s probably getting screamed at by HIS boss. For example, say something like, “I know you want the product launch to go smoothly. Would you like me to call and confirm the order, just to make sure it’s going to arrive on time?” It’ll make your boss think, “Hmm. Larry’s being helpful. Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all.”