The reality is that we’re all likely to encounter a boss we don’t like or struggle to work with at one point in our career. Given we’re at work most of our lives burying our head in the sand isn’t always an option or the best route forward. So, aside from ranting on social media or quitting, if you’re committed to your job and you need to make it work, what can you do?
Here’s just a few tips on how to handle it or even more so thrive through it.
Talk to them.
Ok, so this may seem like a step too far, but you’d be amazed how many people never attempt to sit down to and discuss their issues. Trust us – a lot can happen with an open chat and you may even surprise yourself what can happen. If you sit for a calm and relaxed conversation with your boss where you honestly share your feelings and perhaps discuss specific events or actions that have upset you, then you may even be surprised to discover your boss had no idea how their actions were affecting you or that they’d upset you. If you are committed to going down this path, we recommend thinking through what you want to say, as well as the desired outcome and approaching it in a non blaming appropriate tone.
Be honest about your own part.
Maybe your boss is truly awful and is wielding their power, but did you spend much time thinking if you had played any part in the deterioration of your relationship? Often, if you’re completely honest you’re not blameless. Relationships do work both ways and if your boss maybe said something off the cuff once, have you been sulking and acting up to it ever since perhaps? Own your own part in your relationship, offer out an olive branch and you may see all change.
Focus on the positives.
If you do really hate your boss, then leaving may be the best option. If this isn’t an option for whatever reason or if you actually like your job, boss aside, then why not focus on all the positives and reasons to stay – the location is great, you love your work colleagues, it’s well paid or it’s going to help get you to where you want to be. Work out if the positives all add up to something you can live with and make your decision accordingly. Sometimes an honest look at all that is great about our job can help keep all in perspective.
Keep your sense of humour.
We’re a big believer in humour in most situations, so being able to laugh and find the lighter side in any situation can be the difference between getting through your working day with your sanity intact or not.
Find an outlet for your angst.
Sometimes when you’re feeling so stressed and emotionally charged at work, your emotions can affect you and your performance at work which may end up hurting your career. If you’re feeling angst and overwhelmed by all, it’s adviseable to to try and find ways to help take your mind off it. So, go for a walk, mediate or even consider doing to the gym before work or during your lunch hour to sweat it all out.
And if they’re truly out of line, write it all down.
Ultimately if your boss is treating you in a truly wrong or dare we say it, illegal way, such as sexually harassing you, then it’s essential that you keep a record of everything as you may need it down then line. Keep notes with dates and times, save emails and communications. All evidence will be important if you do need to go to the next stage. Even if what they’re doing isn’t illegal as such, all evidence of any wrong doing etc will be very handy if you ever need to support your claims with HR or someone else if they could potentially damage your career.
Take it to HR.
This is not an easy decision to make, yet alone if your boss is THE boss. Before you get to the point where leaving is your only option, consider talking to someone in the company such as HR. Sometimes there is no way out other than to go formal, but this should always be the last resort. Be prepared for immediate and quick actions, but if you get to this point, the chances are you’re on the way out one way or another.
After our parents, our bosses are the most blamed and hated people in our lives – it’s food for thought, right?