How to deal with difficult bosses, from incompetent to narcissistic

How to deal with difficult bosses, from incompetent to narcissistic

  • Business
  • December 2, 2022
  • No Comment
  • 12

Most people have probably had, or will have, a bad boss or two at some point in their careers.

Bosses in the workplace are difficult to deal with — from incompetent to narcissistic — and each requires a different type of response from employees who want to be effective at their jobs.

Insecure bosses with fragile egos, for example, require careful handling. On the other hand, when you’re being mentored by a micromanager, it’s important to be assertive.

And there are degrees of bad bosses too – from the benign to the intolerable and abusive.

Here are tips from workplace experts on how to ease the emotional and physical strain of working for a bad boss and when it’s time to look for another job.

Employees quit as job dissatisfaction rises 02:06

Dealing with a Narcissist

Among the most difficult types of leaders are those who are narcissistic and only care about themselves.

“It might seem like you’re being favored for a period of time, and usually that’s because they need something from you,” said Louise Carnachan, author of Work Jerks: How to Cope with Difficult Bosses and Colleagues. . “My advice in this regard is to look around and see what has happened to other people. Start noticing if there is always someone preferred and then they fall to the bottom of the heap.”

According to Amy Cooper Hakim, an organizational psychologist and author of Working with Difficult People, narcissistic bosses have a hard time accepting criticism and often don’t take responsibility when they make mistakes. She suggests allying yourself with such a boss to show that you are on his team.

“Let them know you’re on their side. Say, ‘I think we did a great job on this project.’ They’re more likely to back you up and pick someone they don’t think is on their team,” Cooper Hakim said.

Narcissistic bosses are more likely to criticize their own poor performance or blame others who they suspect are struggling with them, she added.

But while minor narcissistic tendencies are one thing, says Carnachan, if your boss is genuinely abusive, it’s time to escalate the issue to HR — and start looking for another job.

“When people are actually being abused by being humiliated or being yelled at, you probably need some help from someone who has authority over that person,” Carnachan said. “No one should put up with abuse. It saps confidence and is bad news. Get what you can from the experience and move on.”

“Don’t be a punching bag”

Bad bosses can sometimes be stubborn when it comes to criticism. Make sure you save any abusive interactions in email correspondence, text messages, or other messaging apps so you have a record of them should you decide to file a complaint in the future.

For those working from home, remote work offers the opportunity to distance themselves from demanding and overpowering bosses. Laptops and cell phones are easier to shake than a physically floating manager.

“The great thing about telecommuting is that you can get away from it all a bit,” Carnachan said. “It’s hard when they’re in your office or on the floor yelling at you. But if you get blown up in a Zoom meeting or on Slack, you always have the option to mute. Take care punching bag.”

The Micromanager

While micromanaging bosses are less toxic than narcissistic managers, their need to manage every detail can still be annoying and even disruptive.

“They don’t seem to have learned how to be managers and they feel like they actually have to take charge of the work and it’s so frustrating,” Carnachan said.

In response to micromanaging bosses, Tracy Brower, sociologist and author of The Secrets to Happiness at Work, suggests that employees should be assertive and voice their own needs.

“Tell your boss that you value autonomy or flexibility,” Brower said.

Another approach is to be very direct. Clarify which specific aspects of your work your boss is complaining about. Brower suggests saying, “If this is a style issue, can I do it my way?”

And don’t let your fear of appearing needy get in the way.

“It’s important to ask for what you need. People are so afraid of seeming incompetent that they don’t want to ask for clarification or get on the bad side of the boss, so they just go along with it,” Cooper Hakim said.

According to Brower, one way to improve interactions with any difficult boss is to perform brilliantly. “Do a really good job that’s beyond reproach,” she said.

A little flattery never hurts

Your relationship with your boss is important and worthy of your time and investment.

“It’s a critical relationship at work. Not only is it comforting to have a boss that you understand and respect, it also impacts how productive and creative you are,” said Amy Gallo, author of Getting Along: How to Work with Everyone (even difficult people).”

Think about what motivates your boss and try to align yourself with their goals.

For example, if they care about looking good in front of their own boss, try to improve their work or contribute in a way that earns them recognition.

If they’re worried about their own ego, flattery can help, Gallo said.

“Nobody wants to do it, but sometimes calming their ego can go a long way to making the relationship better,” she said.

Record number of employees out of work for sick children 04:31

Incompetent boss or just stressed?

A boss who appears incompetent doesn’t necessarily have to be malevolent or malevolent. Like other workers, more managers were burdened with sick family members during COVID-19 and juggling extra responsibilities like childcare, resulting in short backups at work. They might also struggle to manage the return to the physical workplace after years of working from home.

When a boss suddenly feels bad — with no history of mismanagement — the predicament could be temporary.

“The COVID thing has been tremendously challenging,” said psychologist and executive coach Marilyn Puder-York. “They could be a good guy under a lot of stress and maybe they miscommunicated because they’re under pressure to adjust to the new reality and they weren’t as wise as they could have been.”

your advice? “Give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t assume they will be difficult in the future. You can be a good guy under stress and it can go back to how life used to be.”

Trending News

Related post

Talks collapse, LAUSD strike and school closures scheduled for Tuesday

Talks collapse, LAUSD strike and school closures scheduled for…

Last-minute talks have failed to avert a strike Tuesday that will shut down Los Angeles public schools and lead to massive…
Biden vetoes his first presidency, rejecting the GOP-led bill to reverse the ESG investment rule

Biden vetoes his first presidency, rejecting the GOP-led bill…

Millions are retiring with no savings Millions of Americans nearing retirement with no savings 02:22 WASHINGTON — President Biden on Monday…
Magic Johnson joins a bidding group to buy Commanders

Magic Johnson joins a bidding group to buy Commanders

Earvin “Magic” Johnson has joined a group led by Josh Harris bidding for ownership of the Washington Commanders, sources told ESPN…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *