5 Ways to Cope with a Difficult Boss

By: Marilyn Fettner

In an ideal world, we would all have fantastic bosses who help us succeed, make us feel valued, and are just all-around great people.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But whether the person you work for is a micromanager, has anger management problems, shows favoritism toward one person, or just isn’t very competent, you still have to make the best of the situation and get your job done.

It’s important to realize you’re not the only person to butt heads with your boss! In fact, studies show that when people leave a job it’s more often because of their manager, and not the company or even their job duties.

Take a look at these 5 ways to help you cope with your boss:

1. Make sure you’re dealing with a “bad boss”

Take a step back and try to see your boss through a different lens. Can you tell if there is a reason (but not an excuse) for his/her “bad boss” behavior? Is it possible you might be taking your boss’s behavior too personally?

2. Don’t let it affect your work

Do your best to avoid letting your boss’s bad behavior affect your work. You want to stay on good terms with other leaders in the company (and keep your job – ideally at least until you can leave on your own terms!).

3. Be tactful

It’s important to think things through carefully before you speak. When tensions are running high, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time risks making the situation worse, especially for yourself!

4. Don’t burn bridges

You never know when you might need this person as a reference—many prospective employers ask if they can contact your direct supervisor from previous jobs. Having to respond “no” could raise a red flag.

5. When it’s time to move on, do so. 

Not every situation is in your control. If you don’t see hope for a resolution that can create a healthy working environment, start your search for a new job.

With the stress of a challenging work situation, a professional who listens objectively, without judgment, and offers helpful strategies can make the difference between staying stuck and moving forward. Contact Marilyn today and start moving forward.