Is your boss a jerk? There is nothing more dreadful than having to work under an authority figure that you don’t gel with. And unfortunately, it’s an extremely common thing in the workplace. Fortunately, there are many ways to cope if you end up in this type of situation.
Find out their motivations
If you know what fundamentally motivates your boss, you’ll find it easier to navigate your relationship with them. Get more insight on:
- What your boss truly cares about
- What keeps your boss up at night
- How your boss measures success
- What your boss thinks of failure
- What terrifies your boss
- Why does your boss like their job?
- Why your boss hired you
- What your boss ultimately wants from you
Be 100% honest with yourself when you answer these questions, because real answers will reveal true motivations that can give you a very good understanding of your boss’s why and how they operate.
Fully understand your boss’s strengths & weaknesses
Although your boss may not be your favorite person in the world, they certainly have some strengths. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have become your boss in the first place.
They did something right in hiring you–especially if you’re still around. You would be well-advised to identify your boss’s strengths and find ways to complement them, so that you have a better chance of staying on their good side.
At the same time, you should also work around your boss’s weaknesses to support your boss’s success.
We all have our blind spots and your boss isn’t exempt from that. If you really want their respect, keep them aware of their blind spots in a way that doesn’t make them feel threatened or slighted by you.
For instance, if your boss isn’t computer-savvy, tactfully help your boss in this regard instead of complaining about your boss’s lack of knowledge. In this way, you become irreplaceable.
If your boss is a bully…
When the butthole boss is a real bully, you don’t have to put up with it silently. You are actually encouraging your boss to further bully you by tolerating their bad behavior and choosing not to speak up.
Your attitude constantly teaches other people how to treat you. Wanted to be treated with respect? Stand your ground on what behavior you will or won’t allow–with no apologies.
If you decide to call the bully boss out on trash behavior, it’s best to prepare for the confrontation ahead of time. When you communicate your feelings to your boss, your message has to be clear, but your attitude must also be kind. You attract more bees with honey than vinegar. Needless to say, it’s a bit hard for your boss to criticize you when you approach the conversation in a positive manner.
If your boss is unbearable…
This is the unpleasant realism that many professionals have to accept: You can’t change your boss. If your boss is impossible to deal with, you may want to consider changing your jobs so that you can keep your sanity. Either see if you can transfer to a different department within your organization, or find a new job elsewhere. Do your research beforehand so you can come up with the best solution.