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Survive a bad boss

If you have a boss who makes your life hell, then read on to know how to tackle it.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2010 01:07 IST

Most people can say they have worked for a bad boss. So, if you too are dealing with a similar situation, what can you do to survive?

Get training for your boss
It is possible it’s a training problem. Maybe the boss never had any training in leadership, supervision or diversity. Talk to the human resources department. If not, you might need to talk to your boss. Directly, but politely, tell him or her about your needs for timely, specific feedback or goals.

Develop a positive relationship
The boss is more apt to help you if he or she likes you. Of course, depending on what negative things the boss does, this might not be a plausible strategy. If it makes sense to do this, then get to know your boss as a person. The more you understand him or her, the more you might be able to help meet his or her needs and yours as a result.

Understand your boss’ moods
While it would be great if we never had to worry about the boss’ moods and reactions to things, the reality is that we do need to know these things. Maybe there are certain times such as end-of-the-month number crunching when it would be smart to postpone a talk with the boss. It just means you need to pay attention to your boss and learn how and when to best communicate.

Keep your boss informed
It is important to periodically keep your boss informed about things you are doing to support the department or the firm. Bosses don’t know everything that is going on. They do like to hear what you are doing to support their agenda and mission in the firm.

Find a mentor with the company
If you love the nature of your work or your firm but hate your boss, another solution is to develop a mentoring relationship with a manager or peer in another department or part of the company. Mentors can provide the career guidance and visibility you need to help you move forward in the organization. They can also provide you with needed psycho-social support and offer sound advice.

The Washington Post

First Published: Sep 11, 2010 17:25 IST