Most of us spend a lot of time at work. Some of us spend more time there than we do at home. So if you have a difficult boss that can be a very tricky thing to deal with.
You’re no doubt torn between being respectful to someone who is in a more senior position than you are at work and sticking up for yourself.
In this article, we’ll help you deal with a difficult boss.
Why should I find a way to work with a difficult boss? Can’t I just leave?
Yes, you can leave your job. But what if your next boss is difficult, too? You’re going to find yourself jumping from job to job, which doesn’t look good on your CV. It is a much better idea to try to figure out a way to resolve your issues. This will help you grow as a person, and it will hopefully resolve the issues you have with your boss.
Resolving your issues with your difficult boss will help you:
- reduce work related stress,
- reduce the chance of illness,
- increase your happiness at work,
- increase your productivity,
- Increase the likelihood of a promotion.
Figure out your boss’s motivation
The first thing you should do is to attempt to figure out your boss’ motivation for being difficult. Are they doing it on purpose, or are they very busy and stressed, either at work or in their personal life? Working hard to determine why your boss is being this way will help you to open up a dialogue with your boss and with the rest of your team if needed. It is important that you spend some time trying to see things from your boss’ perspective, as it is highly unlikely they are being difficult for no reason.
If there is something else going on, it is really important that you work hard to empathise, even if you don’t particularly like the person.
Defensiveness is an inherent human trait, so it is easy to jump to the opinion that you have not done anything wrong, that your boss is being totally unfair, but it is very important that you think critically about this. Is your boss giving you a hard time because you have actually done something wrong?
If tensions are high, it can be tempting to lose your cool and shout at someone, but it is really important that you don’t do this. You must interact tactically and critically when you are broaching this subject with your boss or with anyone else. It is going to be much more difficult for people to take your claims seriously if you’ve been telling anyone who will listen. Focus on work and how it is being affected by the breakdown in your relationship, rather than individual personality issues or problems with the relationship.
Avoid discussing your issues with coworkers
We’ve mentioned this a little bit above, but it is really important that you don’t discuss this with co-workers if you can help it. The last thing you need is for this to look like a personal vendetta. If you do need to vent, consider doing so to someone who is not involved in the situation, and who cannot be negatively impacted or altered by the conversation.
Speak to HR
If you feel as though you have tried everything and the relationship is not improving, and if you believe that this is because your boss is difficult, you need to speak to your company’s HR team.
You must remember that your HR team work for the company and they are always going to conduct themselves in a way that works out best for the organisation, but a good HR team will still try to make sure that you are well looked after.
If the issues with your boss are verging on discrimination or bullying, it is still important that you speak to HR, but you might also consider speaking to a lawyer of your own. You should also do this if you are becoming ill as a result of your boss’s behaviour.
It’s a really good idea to document in detail what is happening and how it is making you feel, so that if you do need to speak to a lawyer, you have evidence of the sequence of events. This will make things much easier later down the line.
JMR Solicitors can help
If you’re having issues at work, JMR Solicitors can help. Our dedicated team of solicitors will work hard to get you the best possible outcome from any legal battle.
We’re an award-winning law firm based in Manchester and we have a wealth of experience solving cases just like yours.
For more information, call 0161 491 3933, or email firstname.lastname@example.org