Not every boss is nice. Not every boss is reasonable. Some are outright jerks who rule with fear tactics and insults. It’s their way or the highway – and they won’t be afraid to single you out publically if you make a mistake. There may be times you need to be prepared to make a hasty exit, but there are also ways to deal with these types of bosses, here are a few leadership tips:
Take the High Road
Restrain yourself from resorting to their tactics. If your boss uses harsh words and sarcasm, don’t retaliate with the same. This just belittles you and knocks you down to their level. Instead, rise above the pettiness. This doesn’t mean that you should act as if you are better than your boss, just behave in a respectful way, be a good example to everyone else.
Find Ways to Serve Them
Maybe your boss is acting in a negative way because he doesn’t think that anyone listens to him, or he is young and inexperienced at the job. Sometimes finding a way to “go the extra mile” can catch your boss off guard. Most people are not used to special acts of kindness, this can help change the attitude of a person.
Learn From Their Mistakes
You might end up as a boss someday, so use yours as a case study in what NOT to do. Take mental notes on how to properly deal with people and go over the scenarios in your head, imagining how you would handle things if you were in charge.
Let Your Work and Attitude Speak For Themselves
Focus on your work and stay positive. While you don’t want to lead your local “I hate my boss club,” you also need to be supportive of your fellow employees who are dealing with the same leader that you are. Do your best; that’s all anyone can ask of you.
Be Prepared to Move On
Give these bosses a chance to change, grow, and be effective. If ultimately things don’t change, you may need to move on to a new position in a different place. There are great companies with great bosses out there!
At some point, everyone has at least one boss who’s a jerk. Remember that you are not alone! Keep learning how to respond and work towards being the best you can be.