Bosses are like sunlight: many help light up your path, but some may scorch you. When you find yourself under a scorching boss, getting through work could become a daily struggle. However, some simple strategies could help you lighten that daily stress and stay off your bosses’ trouble.
Here are some tips on how you can walk through his or her fire and not get burnt.
Be sure that he is a difficult boss: Not all bosses tagged difficult by subordinates are actually difficult. In fact, most aren’t, and one of them could be yours. So, the first thing to do is to confirm your sentiments. To do that, scrutinize the actions of your boss that have led you to conclude that he or she is difficult. Try to objectively assess their logic and rationalize their reasons, it important that you just don’t dismiss their point of view, because you could be the wrong one. You should critically assess your actions and inactions and you may find out that the problem is actually from you. It could also just be a case of misunderstanding that can be cleared out with some honest discussion. After properly checking out your difficult boss and yourself, you will have a better picture of the situation. If indeed you have a difficult boss then, continue reading this article, you will find a lot of nice ideas to stay safe even in an office of tyrants.
Manage your boss: The ‘manage’ here means two things in the corporate sense, as a Branch Manager for example, and in the Nigerian colloquial sense, utilizing with care a product that is not in good shape. As a corporate manager, see your difficult boss as the difficult client that you have no option than to deliver your services to. Thus you apply the rule of “the client hence your boss is always right”. This does not necessarily mean that you blindly follow your boss even when he or she is totally wrong. Instead, it means that you always try to keep your calm even when offended, listen attentively no matter how off the mark your boss is, and avoid laying blames although he or she may be totally at fault. Managing your boss in the colloquial sense means to handle him or her with care. Treat your boss like a fragile material; understand his temperament and judiciously follow it. Steer away from the acts that are most likely to make him or her angry and try to abide by his procedures when working with him. Remember, regardless of how unnecessarily difficult your boss is, it is more of your responsibility to make your working relationship work.
Be professional: Never let your relationship with your difficult boss get personal. Keep it professional and remain focused on your work. If you have to, put in more effort in your official duties and be as diligent as possible in it. This way you let your achievements speak for you and you reduce the impact of your boss’s difficulty on your personal life. Rather than worrying that your boss doesn’t like you and trying too hard to win his admiration, things that may never happen, be more concerned about the results of your work. Your workplace should become just that, a place of work; be professional in your engagements with your boss, especially as he may be trying to find something against you. Maintaining official courtesy at all times ensures a greater level of smooth sail in your boss’s stormy waters. Thus, the watchword is to always remember that you are in the establishment to do a job, this should be your primary focus, and in tough scenarios, your only focus.
Don’t be like your boss: That your boss is unpleasant doesn’t mean you should be like him. In fact, you should always seek to take the high moral ground. Where he is domineering, try to be submissive, reply his offensiveness with politeness and never give into the urge to yell back when he does so at you. Bottom line is; never lock horns with your boss even if he invites you to. Such confrontations may become messy, and as is common, the first level of the blame will be on you for fighting your boss even if he was the wrong party. It is possible that taking too much heat may make you want to slack off a bit, always remember not to do so, it may just be the excuse that your boss has been looking for. Try to stay upbeat and engaged always, it would in the end speak greatly of your level of integrity. Having a difficult boss actually does have a good side; it could make a better professional and in the future the experiences could become your door opener.
Document everything: Facts are sacred, and can be your savior in your dealings with your difficult boss. When he or she passes you an instruction make sure it is properly saved and every ambiguity checked out. This can save you from the world of arguments, denials and counter denials. It also helps ensure that you do not mix up what you are asked to do. Even in discussions make sure to use your boss’s phrases to make your arguments, if there is need for one. Do not presume anything with him or her, ask clarifications and record their response. Not only does proper record keeping and documentation help save you from unnecessary arguments it also puts your boss in check since he knows that he too has to check what he says. Be ever ready to pull out your documentations, whether of the instructions from your boss, his or her explanations and even statements. Again, the best thing that can speak for you against your boss are the facts, and always have them near you.
How do you deal with your boss? Let us know in the comments.