Eight ways to deal with a difficult boss

Frustrated woman at work

Is your boss making your life hell? Don’t let them drive you insane. Here are eight ways you can deal with a difficult boss.

Do you dread going to work because you have a difficult boss? Do you constantly feel like a failure because of your boss and no matter how hard you try, do you never feel like you can meet your boss’s expectations? You are not alone. According to a Gallup poll of more 1 million employees, the top reason people quit their jobs is because of a bad boss, and 75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses and not the position itself.

Being happy at work is crucial to your overall wellbeing. Work affects our relationships, our health and sometimes even our self-esteem. And because we spend so much time at work, it is important to be happy at work.

If you are unhappy at work because of your boss, don’t fret. There are things you can do that will help you better deal with a difficult boss:

Always keep the goal in mind
Why are you working? If you constantly remind yourself of why you are working, that will help you overlook other things.

You are at work to make a living for yourself and your family and that should always motivate you to carry on no matter what you face.

Don’t always take it personally
Try and find out what is it that makes your boss unhappy. You may find that your boss has his or her own pressures and it has nothing to do with you personally.

The more you understand what your boss does and what is expected of him or her, the better you will be in dealing with them and understanding where they are coming from.

Know your boss’s expectations
Be clear on what your boss expects from you and how he or she defines success. Learn from the way he or she corrects you and find out what ticks him or her off.

When you do exactly what your boss likes, it will help strengthen your relationship.

Learn from the person your boss likes
If your boss has a favourite, try and see why he or she likes that person. If it’s because of the way they do work or conduct themselves, try and see if you can learn from them.

We are not saying be someone you are not, but it’s always good to learn from others, especially if it will help you to be better at work.

Play your part
The last thing you need is for your boss to be on your case because you are failing to do your work. Don’t give your boss a reason to complain. Always give your best and even go an extra mile if you must.

If your boss is not entirely satisfied with your job, look at other ways you can improve.

Address the issue
As the saying goes ‘a problem shared is a problem half solved’. You would be surprised by how communication can sometimes help solve issues.

You may find that your boss doesn’t even know that you feel she or he is making your life difficult, and by just addressing the issue, things might improve.

Choose to make peace
Two wrongs don’t make a right. If your boss doesn’t treat you right, do your best to maintain peace.
Be nice to them no matter what, and never make the mistake of making him or her feel small by highlighting his or her weaknesses or publicly criticising them.

Apply for another job
If push comes to shove, and you have tried everything and see that nothing is working, then it might be time for you to move to another job. This might even mean applying for jobs that pay less than what you are earning.

Remember you spend most of your time at work and it’s better to be happy than to take a big pay cheque home if you are miserable.

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