Dealing With a Difficult Boss?
Working for a boss who makes difficult-to-meet demands can present a challenge and make your time on the job more mentally and emotionally taxing. Because your boss largely sets the tone within the workplace, the attitude of the higher-up for whom you directly work can have a palpable impact on your daily on-the-job life.
While, unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to adjust the attitude of a boss who isn’t as supportive and jovial as you would like, there are some simple tactics you can use to potentially improve your standing with your boss and, in doing so, perhaps modify the way she treats you.
Put in Extra Effort
Some bosses make it a point to give new hires a hard time; for some reason, they see this as a trial of sorts. Instead of allowing a difficult boss to get you down, use this challenge as a motivating factor. Work to better yourself and, by doing so, show your boss you’re an asset to the business.
On your quest for self-improvement, involve yourself in the business community as regularly as you can, and take part in extracurriculars like charity events. Also, work to build your value as an employee by seeking more education, perhaps earning a new credential in a field related to the industry in which you work.
For example, show your boss you’re serious about your own success by picking up a business administration degree through an online education program at night while working your days away for him.
Get to Know Your Boss
When working with a difficult boss, you’ll likely find yourself less than eager to spend any more time with your supervisor than absolutely necessary. However, spending this extra time could make all the difference in your level of job satisfaction.
Instead of fleeing meeting rooms the second your boss stops speaking or venturing to his office only when he demands your presence, hang around him a little more than you have to and, while doing so, work to build a relationship. Though you may never be friends with your boss, becoming friendly with him could make your workplace a more comfortable environment in which to spend your days and make your boss a more agreeable individual to spend time with.
Say Yes as Often as Possible
While you don’t want to allow your boss to walk all over you, you can endear yourself to your supervisor and potentially make your workplace more comfortable by making yes your go-to word. All bosses love to hear an emphatic “Sure!” when they make requests of their employees.
If you can answer in the affirmative when your boss asks you to do something, you not only make his job easier, but also show that you respect him and recognize his authority. As his appreciation for you as a worker increases, he may become less of a bear to deal with.
Alert a Higher-Up
Going above your boss’ head and speaking to her superior should never be your first plan of action when trying to handle a supervisor with whom you simply don’t get along; however, sometimes this is the only feasible option. If you simply have a personality conflict with your boss, don’t alert a higher-up to this as it will likely reflect negatively on you; such a complaint could be seen as a testament to your inability to get along with others.
If, on the other hand, your boss is engaging in illegal, immoral or unethical behavior, it’s your duty to report it. To ensure that you submit this report in the proper manner, visit your company’s HR department and inquire about how to file a grievance. The last thing you want to do is to simply corner your boss’ boss to confront her with this information.
Though the attitude your boss displays on a day-to-day basis can have an impact on your work life, it’s important to remember that you’re still in control of your own attitude. Even if your attempts to get into the good graces of a difficult boss are met with failure, keep displaying a positive attitude and remain cooperative and productive.
Ultimately, you’ll find your way out from under the wing of the tyrant you currently call boss and your hard work will be recognized and appreciated.
About the author: Melissa Crossman writes about personal and professional development on behalf of AIU.