Touchdown with a Bad Boss

Job’s Great, Boss Is Terrible: Should You Quit?

Everything is perfect, except for one lil’ thing

Nearly half (49%) of employees are unsatisfied with their jobs. They don’t feel like they’re making a difference, or it’s just not where they thought they’d end up in life. But you? You love your job. Maybe it’s the company culture, the work itself, or a really nice paycheck. The only problem? Your boss is a nightmare.

This happens to workers all over the world. They like their jobs, or are paid well, so they can’t afford to quit. But that less-than-great boss makes things difficult. Thinking about quitting? Not so fast—you’ve got options.

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Boss Types, Part 1: The Bad and the Not-So-Great

There are 7.7 billion people in the world. Each one of them with their own values, culture, hopes and dreams. And some of those 7.7 billion people are bosses, each one of them different and unique.

And unique isn’t always a good thing.

Some bosses just aren’t that great. They come to work late, yell at employees, and everyone wonders how they got their position. They prioritize their own needs above those of the group, causing bad blood and major conflict.

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Is Your Relationship with Your Boss on the Rocks?

Group projects don’t end after high school. As adults, we call it work. Karen grew up, and now she’s a department manager.  Like Jerry, some coworkers are undependable. And like Karen, some managers are less than great. It gets even harder to perform well when you suspect your manager might have it out for you.

But how can you really know whether your manager has a problem with you?

They Micromanage You

Maybe it’s constantly checking in on you or scheduling private meetings every day. They don’t seem to believe you when you say you have a deadline covered. Whatever it is, they’re not doing it to anybody else on the team. And that’s a problem.

You’ll probably never really know the reason. Maybe you made a bad impression on your first day, or the last person to hold the position was a friend of your boss. It could even be something in your background or social history.

How do you fix that? By doing a self-analysis. Look at your accomplishments and behavior. Check your career development plan. Are you doing anything offensive or untoward? Did your boss previously approach you about a performance problem you still haven’t dealt with?

If you can’t find anything, politely approach your boss about it. Ask them if there’s anything you’re doing wrong. Note specifically how you are being treated differently.

They’re Short with You

If your boss doesn’t make any effort to engage with you, something is wrong. You try to ask for their assistance on a project and they only give yes or no answers.

For whatever reason, they don’t want to talk to you. Maybe they don’t find your work satisfactory or don’t see you as worth their time.

As soon as you can, engage in a conversation. Don’t let it fester. Ask them why it is they refuse to engage with you. It could be because they expect you to handle your responsibilities on your own, or it could be a personal issue. You won’t know unless you ask.

They Don’t Give You Credit for Your Work

If you’re doing your job well, you can expect to be given more responsibilities. That’s how you move up in your career. However, a boss that has less than friendly feelings for you might be tempted to take credit for your accomplishments.

Start to take note of your accomplishments; write down how you achieved or completed projects. Bring this information to your manager, and let them know that you are proud of your work and would like to be recognized for it. If they listen to you and you’re able to work with them, great!

However, if your boss refuses to listen to what you have to say, regardless of reason, you may need to go to their manager and let them know about the situation. If the situation still doesn’t improve, it may be time to start looking for a new job with a great boss. 

Have you ever had trouble with a bad boss? How did you handle the situation? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

What Type of Boss Do You Have?

And what does that mean for you, as an employee?

Throughout our lives, we’ve all worked for a variety of bosses. Some are compassionate and inspire us to excel in a number of ways. Others are independent leaders who have a tendency to be more assertive.

Daniel Goleman, of the Harvard Business School Press, outlines six basic boss types, illustrated below in an infographic by the Quid Corner, an online financial resource center. Although we all have our own ideal management type, the graphic also outlines the optimal ways to get along with each type of boss. So even if your manager isn’t naturally compatible with you, you’ll have some idea of how best to get along with them.

 

How to Deal with a Difficult Boss

It’s your third month on the job, and you’re finally starting to figure out how things work. You know who Meryl in accounting is, understand the ins and outs of your product, and know just where to park.

But as the months go by, you realize that your boss has a tendency to put you down. Suddenly your ideas “just aren’t right for the current project,” or “might be better for next year.”

You aren’t being taken seriously as a person or an employee.

Discovering that your boss doesn’t respect your expertise can ruin your work ethic and drain your enthusiasm. But if you aren’t in a position to quit, here are a few ways to excel, even with a disrespectful boss.

Be Civil

You don’t have to be a jerk just because your boss is. You don’t have to like them, but don’t try to go above them to their manager or spread rumors about them at the water cooler. Also stay away from complaints or insults. Regardless of how bad they are at managing you, they’re still your boss. Trying to upset that basic dynamic makes you look like the disruptive one. That could mean losing your job.

Try to have an honest and polite conversation with your boss about any problems you have. It’s entirely possible your boss doesn’t even realize they’re doing a poor job of managing you. If you can alert them to any issues that exist without accusing them of anything, you might be able to turn a negative situation into a positive one.

But how do you do that? If your boss refuses to value your insights, how do you address the problem without offending them?

The best thing you can do in that situation is research. Back your ideas up with facts and data. If your boss says no to that, you’re dealing with a deeper problem and might want to consider rejoining the job search.

Keep it Off Social Media

This one could have gone under “Be Civil,” but it’s so important that it needs its own section. Do NOT complain about your boss or work on social media. Not even cryptic messages such as “Feeling down today…” or “People can be so awful….” Odds are that other employees, or even your manager will find these posts, and it could be grounds for termination.

Become Your Own Manager

If your boss isn’t doing their job and continues to belittle you, you might have to become your own manager. Create a personal development plan and stick to it. Volunteer for any projects that you’re interested in. Learning new things and growing as an employee can be incredible motivators on their own.

You’re also free to seek out other managers or co-workers in the office that can act as your mentors or advisors. If you can’t learn from your manager, you might as well learn from somebody else.

Let It Go

The best way to deal with a bad boss is letting the pity party end. It’s completely valid to feel down or angry when you have a boss that doesn’t respect you, however, letting that feeling control your work life can be toxic.

You’ll always have an excuse for why you didn’t try as hard as you could have on a project, or why it’s OK to come in late every once in a while. It can become easy to think along the lines of “if my boss doesn’t care, why should I?” That stifles growth.

So let it go. Try not to hate your boss, and realize that their behavior most likely has nothing to do with you. Accept that their bad attitude is their problem, and not something that’s likely to change anytime soon. Focus on yourself and your own pursuits.

And if that boss makes your life absolutely miserable, review your job and where it stands on your career path. How much longer do you need to be here? Knowing that you have an exit point can make working with a bad boss much more bearable.

Ever had a bad boss? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below!

At a Loss With Your Boss? Starting Over at the Same Job

Startingover_nov2011_webMost of the time, workers have good relationships with their boss. A MSN-Zogby poll showed 58% of employees say they like their boss. But sometimes working relationships can strain and sour, which can make your job harder.

Whether it started with a disagreement, or built up over time because of frustrations with your manager’s constantly changing priorities, having a boss that you feel isn’t listening or respecting you can hinder your productivity and career. Here are some ways you can mend your working relationship with your supervisor and begin a fresh slate at work.

Be the Best You Can be
One of the best ways to repair work relationships is to step up your game. Your boss’ bonuses and performance reviews are based on how you and those you work with perform. If you make the extra effort to provide great results, go the extra mile, or volunteer to work on team projects, the benefits of your hard work will ease the tension and help restore communication and mutual respect.

By showing a willingness to work harder and produce better results, you will have proven success to lean on when you have difficult conversations. You can turn this challenge into an opportunity. Don’t let it stand between you, your boss, and your career. You may have to bite the bullet and be the one offering the hand of peace, but if you are producing good results at work, you are already prepping yourself to succeed.

Follow-up
While it’s important to be the one to instigate the willingness to repair tensions at work, it’s also important to follow up on your efforts. It could be beneficial to meet one-on-one with your manager if you feel like your boss isn’t treating you right. It will give you a chance to discuss what you are looking for and ways you can improve your work. It shows your willingness to learn, and after some good communication, circumstances should improve.

The key to making the dialogue work is to schedule follow-up meetings. After several weeks of working on the suggestions given to you, request a second meeting to see if your boss is satisfied with those changes. It shows managers that you value their opinion and are working hard to meet their requests.

Remember That Two Heads Are Better Than One
It can help to have an outsider’s opinion of the situation. Consider finding a mentor. If you feel like you’re not seeing eye to eye with your boss, talk to your trusted mentor. Hopefully they can give you some advice on how to deal with the conflict.  Having a reliable confidant to vent to will help you learn from their experiences when dealing with difficult managers and keep your thoughts in order before you accidentally say the wrong thing at work.

It’s never too late to start over with your boss. By following these tips, you can learn to understand where the conflict stems from and how to build a better working relationship from it. Who knows, you might even like your boss more after this. What are some ways you have made a fresh start in the workplace?

Touchdown!

Tackle-boss-1 The winning story for the Touchdown with a Bad Boss Contest is The Power of HR submitted by Tracey. Over 1300 votes were cast and The Power of HR received nearly 40% of those. Communication Kick Off received 32% of the votes so it was a close game.  Tracey will receive the Football Victory Package including a 40-inch LCD TV, a $100 Visa gift card, and a tailgate party gift basket.

Thanks for submitting your stories and voting! And remember, next time you have a problem with your boss, before you storm off to the sidelines, think of a way you can score a touchdown with a win-win.