The micromanager. The glory hog. The manipulator. The politician.
Bad bosses are a diverse breed, but there are things employees can do to make working with them more tolerable.
While the job market is pretty feeble right now, Alison Green, author of How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager, says at the end of the day, employees need to ask themselves:" is it worth the trouble?"
“Clarity is hugely important,” advises Green. “If you factor in your salary, colleagues and benefits, and you decide the job is worth it, then you can start figuring out the best way to deal with your boss.”
Here are five expert tips to help you manage a bad boss and make it through the workweek without losing your cool.
Keep it Professional and Private
When expressing concerns to a bad boss, maintaining professionalism is a must.
Career coach Donna Sweidan suggests avoiding a personal attack on a boss by creating a list of management changes that can positively improve the workplace as a whole.
She also urges keeping the situation private. Gossip is unprofessional and it’s important to avoid publicly attacking your boss; you risk losing respect from your colleagues.
Don’t Beat Around the Bush
When confronting unacceptable behavior from a boss cut straight to the point, the experts suggest.
If your boss starts behaving inappropriately, Asher Adelman founder of ebosswatch.com, a site that allows employees to rate bosses, recommends the "shock and awe" strategy to stop bad leadership practices before they creates a hostile work environment.
“At the first sign of trouble, clearly and assertively tell your boss that his or her inappropriate behavior is unacceptable,” advises Adelman. “Many people who remain silent in hopes that there boss's bad behavior will be short lived end up finding themselves trapped in a deteriorating cycle of work-place bullying.”
When you directly present your boss with a problem, be sure to have a solution in hand. Adelman says unorganized bosses are often appreciative of occasional tips that can help improve their productivity.
“Suggest efficiency-boosting tips in a positive and non-critical manner when you're alone with your boss,” he adds.
Pull Your Weight
“One of your main goals at work should be to make your boss look successful,” according to Adelman. “Don't worry about your boss getting the credit for the excellent work that you do. Other executives will notice your contribution and you will be rewarded for your selfless actions and loyalty sooner or later.”
Meanwhile, Sweidan recommends setting up meetings or progress reports with your boss to update him or her on your latest projects, which could ultimately lead to a healthy boss/employee relationship.
If you have an ineffective manager, Green recommends managing up to your boss. Anticipate their questions, and prepare well in advance by asking your boss what’s on the radar for the week or month.
Know What to Do When Things get Too Bad
Working for a toxic boss can be frustrating and damaging to your career, and it’s important to properly evaluate potential employers and bosses before you accept a new position.
If your situation becomes unbearable, change departments, take it to human resources or quit.
“Only you know your own worth, and if you don't feel respected, motivated and so on, then move on,” Sweidan adds. “However, keep in mind that getting a job is not easy, and keeping it requires a great deal of work. If the only culprit at work is your boss, learn to play the cards you're dealt and make the most of what you don't have.”