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Tips to Deal with a Bad Boss

April 5th, 2017

They are out there. And you may be unfortunate enough to encounter one or more of them. They are bad bosses. There are plenty of good bosses out there, and count yourself lucky if you have one, but there are plenty of bad ones as well. If you should be unlucky enough to have a bad boss, what can you do about it? Here are some thoughts.

1. Assess the situation

Think about your relationship with your supervisor. What exactly is the problem? Is it the way he or she treats you, is it his lack of communication, is it his unavailability, or something else? Is this particular problem something that you can tolerate, or are there actions that you can take to improve the situation?

2. Talk to your supervisor

If the problem is something that is really affecting your ability to do your job or even harming your health, you obviously have to take action. The first thing to do is talk to your supervisor. It may be a type of problem that you can work out.

If the problem is something like abusive behavior, politely but firmly explain to him or her what the problem is, and that you would like him to stop and to be treated in a decent manner.

If you are lucky, that may resolve the issue. However, standing up for yourself may simply aggravate your supervisor even more. But this response is actually helpful to you also. First, it tells you how little your boss thinks of you, and second, it also reveals something about his character.

If confronting your supervisor does not work, your next step should be to go up the chain of command. Talk to human resources to see if they can offer any help, and talk to your supervisor’s boss to see if that yields any results. See if you can possibly wrangle a transfer to another department.

3. Talk to others

It may also be helpful to talk to friends and colleagues about your situation and to get their take on it. They may have some useful advice. They may know the supervisor in question and may be able to offer some advice on how to deal with him.

4. Look for another job

If nothing you have tried has worked, and the situation remains intolerable, it is time to start looking for another job. Do the best that you can under the circumstances and start sending out the resumes.

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