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How to deal with a difficult boss - top ten tips
Dealing with a difficult boss
To deal with a difficult boss is a challenge alright but it could also be a huge demotivating factor for many employees. This is an occupational hazard that comes with most jobs. I remember having a boss, a woman who was cynical and critical of anything I did. I almost quit the job because of her, fortunately for me a mentor taught me how to deal with her. It was easy after that. Dealing with your boss/manager is an important part of your job description, though you may not actually find it on printed paper. Since it is your boss who decides whether your career graph takes an upward or downward swing, it would be worthwhile to pick up a few tips on how to deal with your difficult boss. It is not easy, I can assure you, like all things it takes time, effort and commitment to make it work. If you are ready we could start now.
Handle a with a difficult boss with ease
Top ten tips to deal with a difficult boss
It is important to get along well with you boss, not only because he /she decides on your advancement, but also because it ensures that you have peace of mind and function at your highest potential. This does not mean that you have to curry favour with your boss at the cost of your dignity. You could keep your chin up while you deal effectively with him/her. Remember that your boss difficult or not needs you as much as you need him or her. This reason is enough to make you hopeful that your methods of dealing with your boss is an achievable task.
Know your boss. Yes, knowing and understanding what makes him/her tick is the major part of the job. Knowing the stress, the pressure or work load that your boss is coping with may be your direct route to dealing with your difficult boss. Your boss faces as much pressure if not more. So take time to understand you boss’s work routine, the way he or she functions and make your plan of action.
Avoid any problem areas or any pet peeves that you boss may have. It is not worth it to be on the wrong side of your boss annoying him or her. Knowing these could tell you what you have to handle diplomatically and what you really need to avoid for your own self-preservation. You could find the most agreeable time to raise concerns and issues for discussion. Confronting a difficult boss about his/her pet peeves is not a sensible thing to do either.
Take criticism in a positive way as a means to improve your performance. Taking it personally could cause you a lot of heartache and ruin the quality of your work. It would also undermine your confidence levels. Being defensive and emotional in the way you react to criticism could hurt you badly. It would work well for you if you could respond to situations instead of reacting to them. This would be true in any situation whether you are dealing with a difficult boss or dealing with a difficult person or a close friend or relative.
Knowing what stresses your boss out and being proactive in that area would often help improve relations. If you boss gets stressed or overworked with additional responsibilities, offering to take up some work would not only ease the pressure off your boss but put you in a positive light. It helps to be proactive in areas which are known to be your bosses weak links and doing a bit more than your chunk of work to keep that area problem free and highly transparent could help you and your boss collaborate well together. You would have your boss thanking you for it and giving you credit for your efforts. I have had to handle a difficulty and nit picky manager while I was into recruitment. I would very diligently work with resumes, collaborate with many more placement agencies and even take help from his own departmental staff to get the right personnel for his department. Soon I had won him over to my side and he was the reason for my quick promotion.
That brings me to the next point. Develop the right contacts. It is very important to work on building your contacts. It would be immensely important to know who your boss values highly or respects the most. Developing a great relationship with the person and earning his /her good will is another easy and effective way of handling your boss. Word spreads around faster and more effectively, bringing you the right kind of attention and treatment. Having a mentor, a senior in the field, is another wonderful resource. He/she could provide you with the required inputs when you need them the most.
Communicate. When assigned a task, start discussion, ask question, clarify issues or areas that are not very clear, make sure you summarise and let your boss know that your aim is to do the job well. Often, when you boss sees your interest and energy His/her perception of you undergoes a modification. It is as important to follow through, as it is important to create a good impression, that is where most fail. Make sure that you are not all talk and no action.
Use all the resources at your command to get your job done to your highest satisfaction. Often a job well done receives more appreciation and respect than fawning or flattery ever does. Most often we use those resources that we are comfortable with, not really exploring newer and better resources that are at our command. Some of us are comfortable with what we do and refuse to step out of our comfort zones and learn new tricks that could simplify our lives and make work more effective.
Take pride in your work, which also means taking responsibility for your work. As much as you love to take credit for your work you need to be quick to acknowledge your faults. This is the only way you can improve the quality of your work. This send signals to your boss saying I am your man, the buck stops here.
Growing a thick skin or learn to ignore small but irritating things, being in control of your emotions and picking the right battles to fight are all effective strategies in dealing with a difficult boss. Friction of any kind that could be avoided is best left that way. Your aim should be to increase and improve the lines of communication between you and your boss, making things pleasant and comfortable not annoying and messy.
Hook up your goals with those of your boss and your team. This will ensure progress in a unified and planned manner. It would also ensure that your goals are not in conflict with those of your boss, which could make things even more difficult. Knowing your bosses goals and methods of achieving goals could help you be proactive and work ahead to ensure that both your goals are achieved. Coordination and collaboration is the crux of team work. Without collaboration and interdependence nothing much can be achieved.
Finally consider your boss from a human angle, praise the good qualities in him or her. Everyone loves to be appreciated, everyone loves to hear that they are good at something, your boss is no exception. You do not have to flatter and fawn but speak the truth as it appears to you. Put these into action and win your boss over to your side.