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We’ve all had one at some point in our careers – the demon boss who makes your working life miserable. There are all sorts of demon bosses out there: from the ones who watch the clock religiously – watching when you come into work, monitoring how long you take for lunch, or watching when you leave – to the ones who make insensitive comments in meetings, or set too much work and expect entirely too much. There’s no doubt about it – if you have a demon boss you probably don’t look forward to going in to work.
So what can you do about it?
In today’s tough economic climate, many people simply just put up with the daily demon. They don’t speak out for fear of losing their jobs, all the while looking for something else to try and escape.
With that in mind, 360 degree feedback provider ETSplc has come up with five tips for dealing with a tough boss. Believe it or not, you don’t have to put up with feeling miserable. With a little bit of work you can get by – at least until you find a new job with a boss who actually respects you.
- The first step in dealing with a demon boss is to avoid them as much as possible. This can be tough if you sit near them, or have to have regular one-on-one meetings... but it can be done! Start off by planning your work week in good time. Look at their calendar. Find out when they will be in the office. Work out what meetings they will be attending and avoid them if possible. You also know what work needs to be done when, so try and get it done in good time so you won't have to be chased.
Whatever you do, you can avoid your boss by thinking ahead and doing a bit of planning. The less they have to badger you, the less they have to speak to you, the better. Get your work done and let them do their management role. With a bit of luck you won't be part of their plans.
- Believe it or not, your boss may be higher up than you in the company food chain, but you can manage them too. Think about it. They may be in charge of setting your workload and reporting to their peers, but you are the one on the front line. With that in mind, try and give them as much work as possible to get them off your case. Whether that's new leads (if you are in sales), or reports delivered ahead of schedule. Try to keep them busy. A demon boss is at their worst when they have nothing to do.
- If your boss is just too much to take, one option is to confront them (sensitively!) face-to-face. Many people don't like doing this, and with good reason; but if they are making your life miserable you don't have to put up with it. If you call a meeting, you could tell them that you are not happy because you feel you are being treated inappropriately.
If you stay calm and outline situations in the past which have made you feel uncomfortable, you will have a strong case for changing their behavior. Stay calm, be polite, be honest, and be truthful. You never know - they may not realize that they made you feel that way.
- If you've tried confronting your boss but haven't seen any change in their behavior, the next step is to make a formal complaint. This can be hard if they are at the top of the company, but many businesses have HR departments you can turn to. They are there to make sure your work environment is happy and productive; so book a meeting with the manager to outline your concerns. Come armed with evidence, such as emails, comments made, and a witness if available.
If more than one person can't stand your boss then you're in an even stronger position to try and do something about it.
- If you just can't stand your boss anymore and it doesn't look like they'll be leaving anytime soon, it could be time to look elsewhere. If you are happy at your current company, but it's just your boss making your life miserable, start by looking for other roles within the company itself. It looks much better on your resume if you stay at a place for a long time, rather than continuously jumping ship. Speak to the HR team about your concerns and your skills to see if something more suitable is coming up.
If there's nothing on offer, it's time to face up to the fact that you just have to escape. Keep professional, work hard, and monitor the local job listings. With any luck you'll find something more suitable for your skills and end up in a career where you don't have to worry about the snide comments, clock-watching, and day-to-day nightmare you currently experience.
This guest post was provided by Dominic Wake from ETS. For information on how employee surveys can benefit your business, please see the website.