By Sunny Simon
From time to time a client walks in my door, sits down with a heavy, stress-laden sigh and tells me about his or her boss. You probably guessed, I’m not referring to the benevolent manager-mentor variety, I’m talking about the wicked witch of the west type boss who causes an involuntary grind-your-guts reaction each time you pass his or her office.
Yes, bad bosses are out there. Inept managers get placed in a leadership roles every day. Often they are excellent sales people who know how to launch themselves into management, but it doesn’t really matter how they got the lead job. The question is, how do you deal with a boss who is a version of “The Devil Wears Prada?” Bottom line, sometimes you can wait them out and sometimes you must walk out.
If you’re working for the manager-from-hell and are determined to stay put, start employing some strategies to make life more tolerable. For example, perhaps you report to a person who is accustomed to spewing lies, as in, giving you a week to complete an important assignment then midstream swearing she said it was due in 48 hours. My motto is, it doesn’t exist unless it’s in writing. Clarify the instructions you were given in an email. Document all meetings and conversations held with your superior. It doesn’t take long and your notes will come in handy.
Next, pick your battles carefully, but don’t be afraid to confront the issues. If your loudmouth boss has a habit of dressing you down in front of your peers, stop tolerating it. It’s time to deal with the rude behavior. One option is to get counsel from a respected HR professional. Set up a meeting and have HR help you role play a scenario with your flawed leader addressing the belligerent behavior in a calm and professional manner. Remember, timing is everything. Schedule the meeting with your boss behind closed doors at a time when her deadlines are not imminent and her day is less chaotic.
A final piece of advice, if your manager’s behavior is taking a toll on your self-esteem and mental sanity, my advice is run for the hills. Dealing with a demented boss who takes credit for your work, belittles you in front of others and micromanages your every move is simply not worth it. Take out your resume, dust it off and transform it into a great marketing piece. If you need help, hire a professional to write it for you. Take action and get moving. Soon you’ll be strutting your stuff with a smile on your face. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com