Remember the movie ‘Horrible Bosses’ (and its sequel)? Three professionals holding grudges against their bosses decide to do something about it – assassinate them. Well, so much for creative liberty. In real life, assassination is definitely not an option. However, one cannot deny the existence of horrible bosses in the world. Having said that, perception certainly overrides facts and in this case, most employees make having a bad boss a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perception or not, a Gallup study reveals that through the course of a career, at least one in two employees leave their job just to get away from their manager. That is a disturbing number. So, what should one do when faced with a ‘horrible boss’? In this article, we will talk about bad bosses and tips to help you manage your boss efficiently.
What really makes a manager a horrible boss?
- Endlessly Self-Centered
- Shouting and Screaming as a management tactic
- Fear mongering and intimidation
- Never accepts his/her mistake
- Trying to please the senior management with no regard for his/her team
- Bad communication skills
- Not caring enough to listen to the employees
- Thinking that he/she is always right
- Not available at critical times
- Never thanking or encouraging employees
- Bad decision making
- Takes all the credit for the hard work put by his/her team
Well, the list can go on. The truth is, most employees find some or the other trait in their managers making them bad bosses. In all fairness, while managers do need to work on their management skills, there is only so much that they can do. Hence, it is important that as an employee, you take steps to manage your boss by employing smart habits and effective skills. Here are some tips.
Tips to manage your boss efficiently
You spend most of your day at work. Therefore, if your relationship with your boss is strained, then your day at work will seldom be productive. Hence, it is important to successfully manage your relationships at work, especially the one with your boss. Here are some tips to help you manage your boss:
Solving problems instead of creating them
A good leader is a problem solver. However, if a manager has a team of around 50 employees and everyone starts approaching him with problems, he is going to have a tough time solving all of them. We can’t shy away from problems at work. However, an important trait of being a good employee and having a healthy relationship with your boss is to not have an image of being the one who creates drama and adds to the crisis.
Before you approach your boss with a problem, think about at least one possible solution to deal with it.
Take responsibility for your actions
At times, regardless of the effort, you put in, things can go south. If you find yourself in a spot that your actions have caused a mess or created a problem, then don’t cross your fingers hoping that your boss won’t find out. Instead, own up to your mistake before he realizes that a problem is headed his way. Talk to your boss, summarize what went wrong, offer a strategy to counter the problem, and communicate the steps that you will take to ensure that the same error does not recur.
Relationships need boundaries
If you work from 9 am to 9 pm every day and blame your boss for it, think again. In any relationship, your actions set the boundaries of expectations. Your boss will not exploit those boundaries if you are firm, assertive, and reasonable. For that matter, employees who set reasonable boundaries are usually considered smart and assertive by their bosses. Remember, while setting boundaries, don’t justify or apologize – just be calm and assertive.
Optimism is the key
In most cases, your boss has been where you are. He understands the pressures of being in your spot. However, you have never been in his shoes. This simple thought should establish some ground rules when you are trying to manage your boss:
- Don’t lie or make excuses – trust me he will know
- Avoid the temptation of being a part of the boss-bashing sessions – he has been there too
- Value your time – and so will he
- Help him in the time of a crisis – and he will do the same
And most importantly, stay optimistic. Nobody likes an always-complaining employee. Even if the situation looks unreasonable, think creatively and find a workaround. Optimism will find you in a great spot not just with your boss but also with your colleagues.
Also read: How to stop feeling miserable at work.
At Change Ur Story, we understand the importance of a boss-employee relationship. Through our Discovery Sessions, we help you determine the health of your current relationship with your boss and create a strategy to manage your boss efficiently. So, before you indulge in an anti-boss gossip at the post-office parties, give us a call and let’s start making you the most valuable employee of your organization and for your boss.
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