Working for a bad boss can be a nightmare. It’s important to know when it’s time to take action before things get so bad there is no way to fix things.
Fortunately, there are ways to deal with an unhelpful or hostile supervisor that don’t require you to put your career in jeopardy. Here are five tips for business women who find themselves stuck in this difficult situation.
1. Create Boundaries and Stick to Them
A bad boss may try to push your boundaries, so it’s important to set them right away. Make sure you communicate clearly with your boss about what you’re willing and not willing to do and don’t be afraid to say no if they ask something of you that is outside of your job description or comfort level.
2. Stay Positive
Some bad bosses seem to love creating a negative work environment where everyone feels powerless and demoralized. If that describes your boss, then you have to do whatever you can to stay positive. Take breaks throughout the day, engage in activities outside of work that bring you and make you feel appreciated, and get together with friends after hours for some much needed relaxation time. A little positivity goes a long way!
3. Talk It Out
If at all possible, try talking things out with your boss first before taking any drastic measures —like finding another job — in order to resolve any issues. Be honest and direct while still being respectful. This can help create an open line of communication that can also make working together better in the future.
If that doesn’t work, you may have to speak with someone in your company’s human resources department (if there is one). They may be able to guide you in the right direction.
4. Seek Support
Don’t underestimate the power of having supportive colleagues and friends around you during a difficult work situation. Having someone who understands what you’re going through can help you stay positive and motivated at work despite the difficulties presented by a bad boss.
You might also turn to mentors inside or outside of your organization who can provide impartial advice on how best to handle the situation. Finally, you can consider professional counseling service. Sometimes an objective third-party perspective is all you need to gain clarity about your circumstances and move forward in a healthy way.
5. Know Your Rights and Document Everything
It’s important to understand that no matter how your boss behaves, they can’t legally fire you without cause. Laws exist to protect employees from mistreatment due to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability status, and more. Knowing what rights and protections you have can give you the confidence to stand up for yourself if necessary.
Also, document everything. If you have a bad boss, chances are there will be times when they’ll deny having said or done something that goes against company policy or is just plain wrong. Documenting everything that goes on — from conversations with your boss to emails, meetings, and so on — can protect you from false accusations or claims in the future.
Key Takeaways about How to Deal with a Bad Boss
By following the five tips above, you can equip yourself with the tools needed to handle the situation professionally while protecting yourself throughout the entire process. Of course, taking care of yourself should always come first, especially when dealing with difficult work situations like those involving a bad boss
If nothing else works and nothing changes, then it might be time for you to find another job where you won’t have to deal with the stress a bad boss causes on a daily basis (or even hourly).