But what if you aren’t ready to leave just yet?
Nothing is more destructive in the workplace than difficult bosses. Every employee expects that their bosses are competent, kind, and even, worthy of trust and respect. A boss who selects a proper management style for each workplace situation.
Unfortunately, too often, employees have difficult bosses who impact their desire to engage and contribute to work. It is no surprise that employees who quit their job are most frequently leaving their bosses, not necessarily the company or their job.
You might have heard it time and time again that people don’t leave a company — they leave a boss. A study done by Forbes indicates that 50% of employees leave their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career”. Fifty percent! That’s huge!
But what if you aren’t ready to leave just yet?
If you’re not ready to move on from your current place of work, you need to manage your boss. Here are some tips to make your work-life more tolerable;
Incorporating mindfulness at work can be a huge game changer. It drastically lowers stress levels, which is critical when it comes to dealing with a difficult boss. Practice focusing on the present moment – not dwelling on what your boss said to you yesterday, or worrying about what she might say tomorrow. Another mindfulness tip is to focus on your breathing. The next time your boss says something that it about to throw you into a fit of emotions, sit and practice deep breathing. Inhale through your nose, hold briefly, and exhale out through your mouth. Repeat until you feel calmer. Simple exercises like these will help you keep your cool and allow you to look at things with a clearer head.
Hold on for a second before you scream. While this step may feel difficult, try to be the bigger person and reflect on what your boss might be going through. Is she dealing with a difficult manager or under extreme stress? Perhaps there’s something going on in her personal life that is affecting how she handles things at work. Practicing empathy can help you understand his/her perspective and perhaps even realize that their behavior towards you isn’t personal.
Is your boss bringing everyone else on the team down, or is she mainly focused on you? If you notice that you’re one of the only people that has a negative relationship with your boss, take a step back and ask yourself how it got that way? Did something happen that you can take responsibility for? If that’s the case, step up and rectify the situation right away. If it isn’t the case, go ahead and vent…but not in the office.
Have the courage to speak up rather than cower in silence for fear of an awkward conversation.
Don’t prejudge and assume they aren’t able to take feedback, or don’t care how miserable you are. When you approach them with respect and with a genuine desire to make things work better, you can open the door to whole new levels of trust, collaboration and outcomes. A door that will remain permanently closed otherwise.
Vent outside of the office and talk to someone:
It’s healthy, normal, and totally necessary to process your emotions, especially when you’re under constant stress. Otherwise, you may find yourself with pent-up anger, ready to blow at any moment. Talk it out with a friend or family member, and then let those feelings go. This will make you more pleasant to be around, and you’ll have a greater capacity to handle whatever your boss throws your way. Whatever you do, don’t unleash the drama on your colleagues; that’s how you begin to frustrate yourself in the office.
Be Proactive: Do your research before jumping ship.
Of course the best way to manage a bad boss is not to have one in the first place. So whenever you are looking to move into a new role in the same company or move to another organization all together, invest some time to get a sense of the culture, the leadership and the sort of management practices that are tolerated and supported.
If you are moving to a new organization, do your research to make sure you’re not jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Sometimes in our desperation to escape a toxic work environment we fail to take notice of the warning signs that the new job we’re taking will only be worse. Investing a few hours up front could spare you a few years of frustration.
Dust up your resume:
Dealing with a difficult boss is no joke. If you’ve practiced these techniques and still find your boss to be intolerable, well, get your resume and consider leaving ASAP. Staying in a toxic work environment isn’t worth it. The last thing you want to do is compromise your sanity or your health.
The next time you find yourself in a tough situation with your manager, remember that while you can’t control your boss, you can control how you react.