Last week a wrote an article on the topic of bad boss. The issues with bad bosses are completely your responsibility and problem. It comes directly from you locus of control.
This article is the sequential part of the first. We will discuss tested techniques on how to manage your bad boss problem.
The Bad Boss Relationship
The bad boss relationship, as the words say, is a relationship that you have (or are willing to have) with your boss. As with any relationship, it is an interaction between two people being brought together by something common. In this case – the job at hand.
Employees often look for the easiest way out when dealing with a bad boss situation. THEY QUIT. But let’s face it – no one really wants to quit their job. Especially if you really like some, or most aspects of it.
Naturally, approaching the bad boss problem as a small barrier to your happiness at work requires for you to work on your relationship with you bad boss. Although the definition of a bad boss is purely individual, I am going to show you three techniques that will help you deal with most of these situations.
Answer 3 easy questions
Before we continue please take the time to answer the following three questions:
- What do you expect from your boss?
- What would you expect from the perfect boss?
- Which areas match? Which do not?
Now keep your answers and use them as a reference throughout this article.
A KIND REMINDER – USE THE FOLLOWING TECHNIQUES FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY. SET A DEADLINE AND STICK TO IT. THEN MAKE THE DECISION TO STICK OR MOVE ON.
REMEMBER – YOU ARE DOING THIS FOR YOU (YOU LOVE YOUR JOB, BUT SHOULD LOVE YOURSELF EVEN MORE)
Technique 1 – Put expectations on paper
A relationship is a two-way process. Expectations exist on both sides equally. As soon as you identify your boss’s expectations, be sure to put them on paper (literally). Few ideas:
- Coaching and mentorship
- Career growth
- Opportunities for promotion
- Fair compensation
- Clear communication
- Respect of work/home balance and more.
Then set priorities and KPIs for each. This is your internal guide.
Now do take the time to schedule a meeting with you boss. Make an agenda and send the email.
The purpose of the meeting – to find out what is expected from you. Now you might ask yourself the following question – “I already have a clear job description. Why do I need this?”
In reality, a job description is just a piece of paper not necessarily written by the boss. Even worse, often the boss is not familiar with it in details. Through this discussion you are going to get a clear picture of what is expected from you. Once you do this, continue by defining your KPIs. Why do you need a KPI? Because it is a tangible and measurable way to express expectations. Be sure to add deadlines and resources.
Just after you finish with your boss’s expectations, present your expectations as well. Make sure you have already prepared KPIs for them as well.
This process will sort of feel like negotiation, so expect to compromise, but stand your ground. You can only benefit. Once finished, be sure to put everything on paper.
- Define expectations about your boss
- Prioritize expectations
- Define KPIs of measuring these expectations
- Schedule a meeting
- Find your boss’s expectations
- Define KPIs of measuring these expectations
- Negotiate and compromise
- Write everything down
- Pat yourself on the back for a job well done
Technique 2 – Be a psychologist
As I continue writing, I will continue to emphasize just how individual is your perspective of the bad boss problem. Bosses are people too. They have their needs and wants. Life is never fair and it has its challenges.
To come to the root of your bad boss problem, you will need to do some DIY psychology. Basically you will need to find out his/her perspective. Find the answers to the following questions:
- Why is he/she acting this way?
- What are the triggers?
- Is it the same for everyone?
- Do these behaviour patterns repeat constantly? Or are they temporary?
Sometimes, for any relationship to work, all it takes is just a little change of perspective. If you can come to the root of your cause of the problem, your life will just be easier. You will either decide to work on the relationship or simply end it.
Some things in people never change. Move on.
Technique 3 – Provide Support
You will be surprised to find out that even in a professional setting, people act out of animal instincts. They are mostly related to survival. Since you are reading this, you definitely have leadership traits.
Sometimes in every relationship you should provide support and guidance. If you can see that the results of your boss are failing, be the person to provide the needed support. Giving without asking goes long ways.
Tips for Success
Be sure to never gossip about any of the issues.
Deal with these issues only in one-on-one sessions with your boss.
Give regular feedback to your boss even if that is not a common thing to do.
Remember that you have nothing to lose! You can always walk away.
Bringing It Together
Is there truly a perfect boss? Or is this your problem? We can continue to discuss this below.