Dealing with a difficult boss

Much has been said about the drudgery of Dealing with a difficult boss at work place. It’s a well-known adage “People join organisations, but leave managers”. In the corporate hierarchy, immediate manager is seen as the person who personifies the company’s value, cultures, ideals and expected to foster an amicable environment that propagates growth of an individual.

Unfortunately though, there are times when you can’t meet eye – to – eye with your superior.  While the frustration builds up slowly to the point an individual is unable to focus on work, can this be salvaged in the early stages? Few of my suggestions are tabled below:

  • Self-Introspect :

Before you get it in the open, introspect where the source of conflict is, whether it’s the nature of the other person or any compatibility issues that could be sorted out. If the expectations and deliverables gap could be bridged or if you could meet midway, attempt to accomplish it. Irrespective of all differences, ask the question” What’s best for business” and go by it. 

  • Have a candid conversation:

Reason out. Explain the fact that you need space to work and someone constantly interfering or overlooking your efforts is causing a negative impact. Explain your working style and the help you need in order to carry it flawlessly.

  • Backup :

Support yourself. At times, there are situations, no matter what, your work will be constantly belittled, looked over or faulted with. While you cannot control everything that happens around you, be proactive to have all the data handy and an account of the work done by you. Any substantiating numbers, mails or other tangible record will aid your discussions.

  • Knowing when to walk away :

Try not to take things personally, rather understand that the way a person behaves is a reflection of them. Arguing with unreasonable people will only hamper your peace of mind and a person with power in the organisation has the tendency to project you as difficult. If you have made your case clear and yet misunderstood, walk away, explore other options. 

  • Involve a third party :

Everyone’s got a manager, so does the boss. Highlight your concerns to the HR or other appropriate authority. Explain your concerns and the efforts taken by you to resolve the conflict.

  • Seek out :

If everything fails, search for a job outside where you feel your values and work will be appreciated, rather than being in a puddle and stressing yourself. Of course, it would take time, but venture out before you are frustrated emotionally.

  • Exit interview :

While exit interview is seen as a mere formality, utilise this to pinpoint your reasons for leaving. Similar feedback for an individual in question from considerable number of employees will draw attention of the HR/higher management in due time.

While a reasonable limit of feedback or constructive criticism is needed for growth, it’s pertinent to draw the line at some point. Never let anyone take advantage of your tolerance.  Having a healthy atmosphere at work is vital to build a career, so strive to work in a place that will appreciate, nurture and provide you with opportunities to grow along with the company.


You may also want to read other articles written by the  author: ‘Stop limiting yourself‘, ‘Doing what you love – hobbies and passion to opportunity‘, ‘ Maximise your productivity to unleash your potential‘, ‘Be your own boss‘, ‘Broaden your intellectual horizon‘, ‘Career metamorphosis – Expert to beginner’, ‘Importance of networking for success in your career’, ‘Busy Day vs Productive Day‘, ‘Money matters for womens financial independence‘, ‘ ‘Being overlooked for promotion‘ , ‘Addressing the gender paygap disparity ‘ , ‘ The art of saying No at work‘  , ‘ Reviving from an unfavourable performance appraisal ‘ .

About the author:

Nithya Jagadish – I am a commerce graduate with an overall experience of 10 years in the Corporate Industry and handled diversified assignments at HSBC and Hewlett Packard. After gaining considerable knowledge and success during my tenure, I decided to focus my attention on other areas of interest. Now, a doting mother of a one year old, I spend my day reading, apprising on my topics of interest and baby-sitting.

An avid reader and poetry enthusiast, my love for writing started while at school and my dreams have borne fruits after motherhood. I strongly believe in living life to the fullest and making the most of each beautiful day.

(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)

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