We’ve all had to deal with a bad boss at some point in our professional careers. As the old adage says, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave people.”
This is particularly true when talking about corporate positions, where hierarchical structure thrives. It’s not uncommon for employees in these roles to struggle with bad bosses whom they feel they can’t escape.
While everyone in every relationship has times of friction, if you find that your relationship with your boss is inhibiting your ability to do a good job or causing you to develop lasting resentment over a long period of time, it’s time to do something about it.
First, give yourself permission to quit. Sit down and have a conversation with yourself. Ask yourself if you really want to quit or stay. Often, frustrations with a boss or job can be exacerbated by the feeling of being trapped. If we feel like a victim, we are far less likely to seek ways to better a situation. If you give yourself the choice and then decide that you really would prefer to stay in your position, then you will reduce your feeling of being trapped and focus your mind on finding a solution. It’s not necessary to call it quits just because you have differing views than the person managing you. In some cases, the issue can be handled internally—if you know the right steps to take.
Locate your source of frustration and resentment. Obviously, it is coming from your boss. But why? Is it a matter of personality, conflict of values, a communication issue or a feeling of being undervalued? Often, understanding the source of your feelings can help you determine whether the situation can be remedied.
Next, consider what may be behind your boss’s behavior. Many times, understanding someone else’s perspective can soften your attitude. Perhaps you both want the same things but are going about it in different ways. Can any tangible actions be taken to fix the problem? If so, approach your boss to address your concerns and see what changes can be made.
If directly speaking to the boss is unfeasible or too uncomfortable, a second option exists. Seek advice from your company’s Human Resources department. With the help of these representatives, you can orchestrate a third-party intervention and lessen the pressure you would face if speaking to your boss alone.
Keep in mind, however, how you handle this approach is essential to your future with the company. You wouldn’t want to sour the relationship with your boss in the process, as you will continue working with them going forward. So, be respectful in your communications to avoid burning bridges.
That being said, bosses are humans too. And humans accept fault and embrace change at different rates. Finally, remember that not all that’s broken can be fixed. At the end of the day, if none of your efforts work, it may be time to find a different job. As great as your position may be, it’s not worth staying in if a bad boss is sabotaging your career satisfaction.
Do you have experience dealing with a bad boss? If so, what action did you take?
Let us know in the comments below!