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How to deal with a difficult boss

How to deal with a difficult boss – Live Great – Great Eastern Life

We're often told that we can't pick our parents. Well, we can't pick our bosses either. And just as we're bound to lock horns with mom or dad at some point in our lives, there's a good chance that we'll experience the odd difference of opinion with our line managers. It's only natural.

Most bosses are open, approachable and relatively easy to get along with. Sadly some are not – and this can prove hugely frustrating. But you must try to stay calm and to keep any criticism constructive. Your manager is not somebody you can afford to fall out with.

Most battles blow over without too much damage. But in the heat of those battles, bear a few things in mind.

  • It's good to talk rather than bottle up aggravation, so find support systems inside and outside the office. Know your allies and you'll feel a lot better, whether a given situation is resolvable or not.
  • Don't snap. Write down your issues and devise potential solutions. Take these to your boss and there's a strong chance you can strike a compromise. Rage can have strong repercussions.
  • Work your boss out. Play to his or her individual traits and quirks, and this will reduce conflict. Apply this rule to all you do in the office, but bring it to the fore on those occasions when you are at odds with one another.

Get it off your Chest
A problem shared is a problem diminished, so find friends who will listen and support you in the event of a battle with the boss. Talking things over decreases stress and increases options for dealing with the issue.

Your work colleagues will prove invaluable in times of trouble. It's highly likely that they have either had run-ins with your manager or can offer advice about improving relations.

But when you're suffering in the workplace, sometimes the workplace is the last thing you want to think about. Find compassion and companionship among those who know you best. Have a drink, have a laugh and remind yourself that there's so much more to life than your job.

Manage your Anger
We all get frustrated – and some of us deal with frustration better than others. But it's imperative not to expose any irritation or anger in front of your boss. He or she may be disappointed by your behavior, or in the worst case scenario may use it as a weapon against you.

Your friends and colleagues aren't your only outlet. Write your feelings down. Consider what seems fair, and what could be interpreted as moaning or unconstructive criticism. Keep the fair comment in mind, consider ways to articulate it suitably and take your thoughts to your manager.

This technique will not always get you what you want. But you're more likely to succeed than you are if you engage in a slanging match! No boss, however brilliant or bad, likes to be undermined.

Learn to Adapt
Just because you and your boss aren't cut from the same cloth, that doesn't mean you can't coexist comfortably in the same workplace. Life – and particularly working life – requires adaptability. It'll make your life easier in the long run.

Think about the way your manager behaves. Could you alter your behaviors to make ease relations between the two of you? You don't have to change who you are. Just think about what your boss likes and dislikes. What does your boss respond well to? What makes him or her angry? Little adjustments to your professional character can ensure you fall on the right side almost every time.

Keep Working Hard
The best thing you can do to please any boss is to keep your mind on the job and do your work well. Don't allow any disputes or difficulties to prevent you achieving what you're there to achieve. There's one thing a manager cannot argue with – and that's a diligent, productive employee.

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