Steps to Help You Deal With a Nightmare Boss

Lauren Krause
Posted by in Administrative & Clerical Services

Dealing with a bad boss makes everything about your job more difficult, from getting through team meetings to performing some of your most basic job duties. As an administrative assistant, having a bad boss can even prevent you from getting the recognition you deserve, whether that means a nice raise or a promotion within your department. Fortunately, there are several ways to defuse tough situations and make working with a difficult boss more tolerable.

If your boss is constantly yelling or switching from a good mood to a bad mood in a matter of seconds, one of the best things you can do is figure out what causes your boss to go off. Identifying the triggers can help you avoid actions that are sure to anger your boss and make it difficult for you to do your job. For example, does your boss tend to yell if you interrupt him while he's on the telephone? If so, make it a point not to interrupt a phone call unless it is an absolute emergency. If you know your boss hates clutter, don't leave work until you tidy your desk and make sure everything is organized.

Getting into confrontations with an angry boss is no way to advance your career. If your boss starts to criticize you, take some time to cool down. If possible, walk away for a few minutes so you can compose yourself and handle the situation calmly. In the event you can't walk away from your boss, take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down before responding to the criticism. If you engage in a shouting match with a bad boss, you'll only hurt your professional reputation and make other people in your company hesitant to recommend you for promotions.

Showing some empathy for a bad boss is another good way to handle conflict. If your boss starts yelling or criticizing you, acknowledge that he seems to be having a tough day. Then ask if there is anything you can do to help. It's not good for a boss to take his frustrations out on you and other employees, but offering up a little empathy can cut some of the tension. In some cases, extending an olive branch shows a bad boss just how badly he is behaving, prompting an apology — or at least an improvement in his behavior.

Dealing with a difficult boss causes a lot of stress and makes it difficult for you to do your job. If your boss starts yelling at you or criticizing you for no reason, see if you can figure out what triggers the behavior. If you can't identify any specific triggers, offer some empathy to defuse the situation. Following these tips can make working with a bad boss just a little more tolerable.

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