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Dealing with a Difficult Boss

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 7 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Dealing With A Difficult Boss

The people that you work with make a huge difference to how much you enjoy your work. Having to deal with a difficult boss can be a nightmare and really affect the quality of your work and wellbeing. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse so as much as you don’t want to, it is best to confront the issue in one way or another.

Get on Their Good Side

The first tactic to try when you need to tame a difficult boss is to make friends with them. This may not feel very genuine but attempting to bridge the gap may make them easier to work with. However mean or awkward they are, always be nice back. Try and find something that you have in common, whether it is a family, a hobby or a love of chocolate. Try and get them onto this subject so they see you as a person, rather than just their employee.

Be Honest

If being nice isn’t working, then it may be time to take more direct action. The last thing you probably want to do it tell your boss what you honestly think about them but it can be the best way to clear the air. Obviously, you need to be tactful and choose your words carefully but broaching the subject at least gives it a chance of being fixed. Write yourself a list of all the things that are making you unhappy and have specific examples of when it has happened. Then be able to offer solutions and practical ways in which your relationship could be improved.

Team Together With Colleagues

Often, if you are finding your boss is difficult then your colleagues will be too. Talk to them about it and see whether you can work together to fix the problem. Approaching your boss as a group will give you back up and make them have to take you more seriously. Elect a spokesperson but make sure you have specific examples and concerns from each person.

Keep a Diary

Although something might make you irate at the time that it happens, it is easy to forget the details soon after. The best way to make sure you can remember the incident is to keep a diary. Note down exactly what happened, what was said, what you tried to do to rectify the situation and how it made you feel. If you ever have to take further action against your boss, this will prove very valuable to chart the difficulties.

Move On

If the situation doesn’t improve then you may think about moving departments, or even jobs. It is horrible to feel like you are being defeated or pushed out, but fighting an ongoing battle will just leave you feeling depressed. If you are let go unfairly, then consider taking your boss to an employment tribunal.

Having a difficult boss can ruin your work day and impact on every other aspect of your life as well. It can be hard to get the confidence to address the situation but it is important that you don’t let them victimise you, Approach your boss with specific concerns and examples and try to get any other colleagues affected, involved. Keep a diary of the difficulties and if it comes to it, take them to an employment tribunal.

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Hi. I am working with a difficult boss/colleague. I put the slash betwwen the two as im not actually sure he has an official job title over me, whether the managers who are there less often simply asked him to keep an eye on the others, or whether he just takes it upon himself to order others around. I havent done anything particularly wrong but anything he thinks he can pull me up on he does. such as when i went on break slightly later because i was dealing with something important and came back later to reflect the same break time as usual he was going on his break and had a go at me in locker the room. He does not seem to moan at any of the others in this way. im starting to think he has a personal thing about trying to control me.
chinsters - 24-Sep-12 @ 11:25 AM
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