Wednesday 5 June, 2013
It's a horrible feeling when the same person who invited you to their business for a coffee to discuss 'career options', the same person who hired you, that smiling, lovely boss turns out to be your worst enemy, the devil (that doesn't always wear Prada). Going to work everyday is often a drag. Combine this with stressful work loads, difficult clients, long hours or the ultimate dilemma, when the milk in the office fridge goes sour, and your workplace can soon become a hell. When your boss turns out to be the devil of this hell, matters don't get any better. If you've just secured a place working for a new business, it's often hard to part-ways simply because the boss makes you quiver or want to put your head in a bucket. The questions arise, 'Who knows how long it will be until I find another position', 'The pay is so good here, do I really want to leave' ... and you eventually decide to soldier on. In this case, it's important that your learn how to manage your devil-boss because, chances are, they aren't likely to change the way they manage their business any time soon. So what are the tips for dealing with the devil? 1. Make friends with the other employees in the workplace: chances are, if you find the boss difficult to work with, they will too. Perhaps they can give you some tips on what really sets them over the edge. Your colleagues can help you understand that the boss may have it in for everyone, not just you. 2. Make sure your boss can trust you: if you say you'll meet a deadline, make sure the work is submitted on time. If you tell them you'll follow it up with someone, get on that phone quick smart. One of the biggest mistakes an employee makes is to ensure jobs will be done and then, not finishing them. This means that your boss is responsible for following-up unfinished tasks and this wastes their time and resources and gives them a bad image of you. 3. Be nice, and they'll be nice back: OK, so this tip's a little Buddhist-inspired but as the saying goes, try to be nice to your boss, offer to buy them coffee, ask how their weekend was, and this should make them think of you as a person as well as an employee. Sometimes a busy manager or boss can lose sight that their employees often see the business they run as a job to pay the bills rather than a life and a hobby. 4. Find out what their work habits are: is your boss always 10 minutes early? Do they send an email thanking someone for their time after a meeting? Do they speak to you face-to-face rather than sending you an email? Chances are, they expect their employees to copy their working examples. Try to mirror what they do and you'll avoid giving them an opportunity to be annoyed at you 5. Try and be innovative: some bosses hate to tell their employees what to do. Many like initiative and innovation shown in the workplace. If the blog's webpage looks like a dinosaur was the last to trawl its pages, write up some new corrections and show them to your boss. Chances are, they have been thinking of the same thing for the past five years and have never had the time to implement the changes. 6. Create a venting space (away from your boss): sometimes the pressure gets too much for everyone. Try and find a place away from the office where you can take a breather. Whatever you do, try to avoid saving your venting for after work. No flat mate, partner or family needs to hear your trials with a bad boss every night. 7. Remember why you wanted to work there in the first place: it's helpful to think of your work and why you decided to take on the role. If your boss isn't stopping you from doing the work you love, try to not let their attitudes get to you and focus on the tasks in front. 8. Remember, no boss is perfect: try and remember that everyone experiences difficulties with their boss. You will sometimes disagree and occasionally experience an emotional reaction but try and not hold grudges. Disagreement is normal in a workplace. You are unlikely to always get your way. 9. Talk to them: obviously this advice is a long way down the list. Let's face it, talking about issues is something everyone should do when confronted with a bad boss but it's always the thing we leave to last. Why? Because often, the boss is too intimidating, too rude, is not a good listener or is always too busy (the reasons why they are a difficult boss in the first place). If your work load is too much, tell them. If you want to have more space to work independently on things, tell them. Things should only get better ... we hope. 10. If the challenge to deal with a problem boss really becomes too much, try talking to the bosses' boss, the HR department or, try and relocate to a different department. These are obviously more drastic measures to dealing with the devil but there are occasions when this step needs to be taken. At the end of the day, it's important to understand that a boss is a boss is a boss. Everyone has one and some are really lucky; they love their boss! Others get by and some feel as if their life in the workplace just isn't worth living. Managing ways to deal with a devil boss should keep you at bay, sane, and focused on the task ahead.