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How to Work With Bad Bosses and Difficult Managers

There are good bosses and bad bosses.  There are great bosses and REALLY REALLY REALLY BAD bosses — ones who eat, breathe, and sleep incompetence.

Like it or not, they’re here to stay.  So might as well learn how to work with them (much easier said than done.  If I repeat the sentence long enough, maybe, just maybe, I’ll get brainwashed)!

Last night, I came across an article in InTouch (Sept. 2008), categorizing bosses into four personality types. BAD BOSSES : What the Bible says about working for difficult managers provides Biblical insights on how to work with difficult managers:

The Angry Boss (Nebuchadnezzar)

  • Stick to the issues and keep emotions out. Never fight fire with fire (I can’t be human?!).  Remove from the situation or remain silent.
  • After a day or two, schedule a discussion with your boss on how her angry comments make you feel and affect your productivity.
  • Document explosive incidents and, if necessary, report abuse through proper channels.

The Absent Boss (Potiphar)

  • Communicate like crazy. With an absentee boss, your communication efforts are vital.  You need to be assertive in your requests.
  • Your boss may even be unaware of how her lack of direction impacts you; tell her.
  • Be proactive in your communications. Request periodic meetings or provide weekly updates of what you’ve accomplished.

The Moody Boss (Saul)

  • Stay cool.  Resist the temptation to get defensive. Instead of saying, “Why are you treating me this way?” say “You seem to be having a rough day.”  This puts the negative emotion back on the boss.
  • Moodiness is about your boss, not you.  Don’t internalize these emotions.  Find an outlet such as exercise, venting to a non-coworker, or venting to God.

The Wimpy Boss (Xerxes)

  • Position yourself to lobby for what is right, good, and true. An organization with a wimpy boss is fertile breeding grounds for dysfunction or worse (subordinates jockey for power in the leadership vacuum s/he creates).  Work with, not against, your boss.
  • Ask open-ended questions to get as much input as possible; then act decisively.
  • Perform your tasks with excellence and even give your boss the credit. She will realize the source of her new success and make sure she has you by her side.  Soon she’ll be championing you.

The Bible also says, “Remove the wicked from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness” (Prov, 25:5 NIV).

Maybe you can’t fire the evil doers in your workplace, but you can out-influence them.  Your boss’ ineptness doesn’t excuse your low profile.  It creates an opportunity for you to be salt and light in an otherwise gloomy situation.

THANK YOU GOD!  Thank you InTouch Ministries for your timely wisdom!

Thoughts? 🙂

May 17, 2009 - Posted by | Attitude, Business, Change, Christianity, Education, God, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Mind, Passion, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Stress, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. That is a good suggestion, but sometimes there are those boss’es that no matter what they continually treat you worse than any one else. Imagine being a woman getting the heaviest and nastiest jobs. No other woman is treated that way. If you don’t break your neck to do what he tell’s you to do; he comes back asking why you haven’t done it yet. Knowing that he want’s you to complain so that he can say that if you can’t do what he ask’s you; he don’t need you. If he senses any glimpse that you don’t like it, it seems to give him another notche on his belt. He constantly torment’s you and seems to get pleasure in it. It wan’t do any good to tell him that it’s not right; I know first hand. I try to give the situation to God because it is truly a situation that is too big for me.

    Comment by annb106 | May 17, 2009 | Reply

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