10 Tips For Dealing With A Difficult Boss

Tips for Dealing With a Difficult Boss.edited
January 30, 2019 Wifi Attendance Super Admin

Everyone comes across a vindictive boss; it happens and the movie ‘The devil wears Prada‘ best exemplifies this. Of course, this does not excuse any bad behavior but dealing with a difficult boss are a fact of life and that’s something that every professional has to learn to manage.

The tips posted here should enable you to do just that and help you to dealing with a difficult boss and still make a good impression.

Read Also: How to Be a Better Employee

1. Understand the issue

It could well be that your boss may be dealing with other issues which could account for the fact that he seems perpetually cross with you.

It could be personal or something that’s work related at the least, before you castigate him as a ‘devil in Prada’, you may want to take a few moments to check out how he operates and whether he is stressed out.

Chances are, if your boss is good at his job, then you may well be the X-factor in which case you need to adjust your work habits so that you are able to make a good impression on your boss.

2. Figuring out their goals and priorities

If you do have a difficult boss to deal with, then a good way to deal with the same is to figure out their respective goals and priorities.

One of the common priorities’ that most managers have, by virtue of being a manager, is to make their company a success.

So, you may want to focus on delivering along those lines and soon your boss may well change his opinion of your work and your abilities.

What’s more, by being able to help your boss with his current priorities’ and with the company, you should be able to give your career a much-needed boost in the process.

And the golden lining, if you do perform well, then you could well be on your way to a promotion and to a new department head.

3. Pressure triggers

One thing that you may want to do is to help identify the various triggers that are most likely to set off your boss on one of his angry rants.

Chances are that he has an anger management issue, and is likely to take them out on you. So, you may want to find out what sets him off and see if you can take effective measures to prevent the same – for example, if he gets made over typos, then you may want to triple check your work before you hand it in.

Or if he does not want to be disturbed in the afternoon, then you can ensure that no one disturbs him during these hours.

4. Work ethic and work style

Granted that you have to dealing with a difficult boss and no one is asking you to imitate your boss but it would not exactly be a bad thing.

Rather, than imitate another person’s mannerisms or even ape them by wearing the same outfit, you may want to study their work ethic and how they operate at the office.

For example, you may want to see how they multi-task when working and adopt some of those measures as your own.

For example, do they prefer to communicate with all their employees and stay on top of the issue or are they more content to delegate work to others and see what happens.

Are they informal, and want to discuss common issues such as the latest movies with their assistants or do they prefer a formalized working environment?

These are some of the things that you may want to pay close attention to as it can help you connect better with your boss, and in the process, work better with him.

Read Also: 10 Challenges Faced by HR Managers and How to Tackle Them

5. Feedback

Feedback is an important process of any job; usually you get it from your boss and other departments in the form of a performance review.

But it is also a good idea to gauge your boss’ reaction as regarding your work so far and how he views the same.

Since you are not into the habit of gazing into a crystal ball, asking for your boss’s opinion should enable you to adapt and change yourself accordingly.

True, you may not be too happy about the feedback you receive but think of it is an opportunity to grow better and what’s more, the feedback may well transform you and give your career a boost in the process, while enabling you to communicate better with your boss.

6. Always be one step ahead

Yes, this is easier said than done but if you have a boss who loves to micromanage all those working under him and that involves you – the one thing that you can do realistically, is to foresee the same and stay ahead of the curve.

In simple terms, make sure that you complete all the assignments he assigns to you and gets it done ahead of the designated time so that he really does not have anything to gripe against you.

This is one effective method for getting your boss off your back. You may have to sacrifice some of your free time but if that involves you in completing all your tasks ahead of schedule, you would be better off for it.

Once your boss realizes that he does not need to micromanage every task he assigns over to you, he would relax and let you handle the same.

7. Act as a leader when you need to

Leadership roles often do not often come knocking on the door, requesting permission to enter –you may well have to grab the opportunity.

Assuming that you have an incompetent boss and a difficult one at that, he may not be able to handle the official challenges that he is required to.

In such situation, you may need to take on the leadership role, but only if you happen to know the work and the required project guidelines well enough.

If that is the case, then you can chart a new direction for the concerned project, brainstorm with the rest of your team and ensure that the deliverables are executed on, in time and as per schedule.

But remember that you do not and should not want to undermine your boss so make sure that you keep them in the loop and update them with every change that you make to the project and how it can affect the entire organization positively.

8. Do not let it affect your performance

Dealing with a difficult boss and then, there are those who are crazy; but irrespective of how your boss acts in the office and with you in particular, you should not let it weaken your own performance.

It is important that your work speaks for itself and granted that there are times you may find it too stressful to even focus on work.

In such a scenario, you may want to find a hobby as it can help you relax and in turn, enable you to focus on your work properly.

Remember that the best way to dealing with a difficult boss is by doing a stellar job and do not try to take it too slow with your designated work as a way of getting back at your boss or by taking too many sick leaves.

Both do not work and the only thing that you can do is to ensure that your performance is perfect and also maintain a good relationship with others in the company, at least until you can quit this job for another.

9. Do not hold grudges

Yes, dealing with a difficult boss can make you see the but you need to accept that at the moment, they have authority over you. And that includes ordering you about, designating meaningless tasks to you and running roughly shod over you.

But you should not focus too much on the negative aspects or even hold a grudge for long as it is meaningless and would not really help contribute anything meaningful to your life or to your career for that matter.

Read Also: 11 Software Tools Every Team Manager Needs

10. Research

Before you end up with another difficult boss with your next job, you may want to research the company that you are interviewing for, check out their management and see if they have a good reputation.

You should be able to check out the company online, see what other employees or ex-employees have to say about the company so that you can have a good idea of what you can expect with the new company from day 1.

And during the interview process, you may want to ask the interviewer some pointed questions regarding the company, their work ethic and their management style as it can allow you to glimpse into the inner workings of the company.

Bottom line, you need to do your research so that you can make sure that you are not stuck with yet another difficult boss.


Next time you face a boss that you cannot manage properly, go through these tips and calm yourself down. Be patient in your ways and you will surely win your boss’ trust.