Bad bosses, we’ve likely all had one. I mean, they even made a movie about it, so it must be a common thing, right?
And a horrible manager can mean the difference between a job you enjoy and having to drag your lifeless corpse to work every morning because the mere thought of them makes you dead.
If you’ve never experienced such a feeling, then you can go ahead and return to your fantasy land, but for the rest of us, here’s how you can handle a bad boss without losing your cool.
Keep your quality of work high
It might seem like a great idea to just let your work turn to shit and hope that your manager cops a belting from their superiors, but you’re throwing yourself under the bus in the process.
Keep the quality of your work to a high standard. While you might think that it goes unnoticed, you’d be surprised at how much the higher-ups pay attention to.
Keep track of everything
Keep a log of all interactions with your boss, good or bad.
This will result in one of two things: you’ll realise that your boss isn’t actually that bad and you’re just being a big baby, or you’ll have a tidy little record to use if the situation ever arises.
An easy way to do this is request that all directives be given via email so that it’s all in writing. You’ll also be covering your ass should they try to pull any funny business on you.
Be a leader
If you’ve been somewhere for long enough, you’ll know what makes a good leadership decision (hopefully).
I’m not saying you should go out of your way to make huge decisions that could potentially sink the entire company, but if there’s a time that calls for leadership that will achieve positive results, go for it!
The company lords will appreciate the initiative, but your direct manager might perceive it as a threat, so make sure you know exactly what you’re doing and keep them informed, at least by email.
A good manager will facilitate your growth, assuming the decision is a good one.
Timing is everything
If tension boils over and all of a sudden you’re dealing with World War III – office edition, don’t take it to your boss straight away.
If you lead with your emotions, it may end with you throwing them out the window, along with their wanky desk chair.
Take some time to assess the situation and plan an approach that will give you a favourable outcome. Pay attention to their schedule and stress levels and time your meeting for when they will be most receptive.
If times are dire and your boss is completely incompetent or downright nasty, say something.
If you’ve exhausted all other avenues, sometimes the best approach is to gather as many examples of their failures as possible and take them to HR or the next superior up.
Speak to your colleagues to see if they feel the same way. The more people complaining, the more likely the company will take action.
At the end of the day, every business is different, meaning there will be different dynamics when it comes to dealing with useless managers. Make sure you assess your situation thoroughly before acting. Your job depends on it.